Instagram Pods: Boost Engagement With Some Friends’ Help

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Feb 16, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

If anyone says they don’t care about how many likes and comments they get on Instagram, they’re lying. At this point, engagement is a currency on social media. People strive for high engagement rates to see their posts more often on the feed. One of the best ways to achieve those high rates is by joining Instagram pods.

Because brands value engagement so much, they sometimes end up buying likes and comments online. But all this gets them is fake engagement—most of the time, not from their intended target audience.

But engagement pods are different. These groups get you real likes and comments from active users, boosting your engagement per post. And Instagram won’t flag it as inauthentic activity. It’s a dream come true for brands struggling with Instagram marketing!

Today, we’ll tell you what engagement pods are and teach you how to look for them or make your own. We’ll also be transparent about some of the cons of joining these groups. Keep reading to learn more!

Engagement pods connect you with people who like and comment on your posts.

What Are Instagram Pods: The Lowdown on These Clever Groups

Many content creators and influencers look at engagement rates as success indicators for their content. The more likes and comments you get, the more credible and influential you seem. Brands typically look at an influencer’s engagement per post before deciding to work with them.

Plus, the Instagram algorithm pushes your content out more to your followers’ feeds if it gets engagement early on. High engagement rates are the key to getting more eyeballs on your posts.

But this obsession with engagement has become a bit destructive. A lot of people rely on buying followers, likes and comments online. This flags Instagram of inauthentic activity in your account, leading to them placing a shadowban on you.

That’s when some clever people invented the concept of Instagram pods. So, what are Instagram pods?

These engagement pods are groups of people who make a pact to like and comment on each other’s posts. Usually, these users agree to engage with their pod members’ posts as soon as they’re uploaded. It’s a “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” type of situation.

What’s nice about pods is that you grow your network and find friends while boosting your engagement per post. And because the interactions are from real users, it’s not considered fake engagement.

The number of people in one pod varies. There are mass groups with thousands of members. What’s difficult about these groups is you don’t know how many of them are committed to the pod’s rules. Meanwhile, close-knit groups with stricter rules but a stronger bond may have around 20-50 people.

How Exactly Do Instagram Pods Work?

You’ll usually find Instagram pods on a direct message with the whole group on Instagram. It just makes it easier to reach the group or alert them of a new post right away.

Other times, they’ll be in group chats on other messaging platforms. You might also see them on forums and other online communities.

But how exactly do Instagram pods work?

It’s pretty straightforward. Let’s say you’ve just uploaded a new post on your Instagram feed. Share your new post in the direct message with your pod. The pod members will then start to like and comment on your post as soon as possible.

Timeliness is one of the biggest benefits of engagement pods. The quicker you gain likes and comments on your posts, the higher the Instagram algorithm ranks them on the feed. So, not only do you get more engagement per post, but it bumps it up on your real target audience’s feed, too.

Then, you give back. Do your part when another pod member drops content on their feed and shares it in the direct message. Like and comment on their post as soon as you see it.

People create Instagram pods for mutual growth only. So, only send a direct message to drop your content in the group. Don’t use the chat to start conversations with other people. This will drown out some of the members’ drops. Instead, if you want to network with someone in the group, hit them up with an individual direct message.

You’ll find tons of engagement pods in Facebook groups.

How To Find Instagram Pods on the Internet

The thing about engagement pods is that you won’t see them out in the open. No one in their right would advertise that they’re part of an Instagram pod. It’s like screaming to the world that your posts have staged fake engagement. So, if you want to join a pod, you have to go out of your way to find one.

How do I find Instagram pods online? Here are three places to look for them:

1. Facebook Groups Are Abundant in Active Instagram Pods

Lurking on Facebook is one of the easiest ways to find an Instagram engagement pod to join. You can search “Instagram engagement” on Facebook to find groups dedicated to giving each other lots of engagement per post.

Many of these groups are closed and private. Some are by invite only, but there are a handful that you can join. When you hit the “Join” button, you’ll likely need to answer a form asking if you’re okay with the pod’s rules. They might also ask for your Instagram handle to verify that you’re a real user.

While some Facebook groups call themselves an Instagram pod outright, some are more discreet. Groups that cater to Instagram influencers may have pods within the group. They may have threads dedicated to sharing new posts and encouraging other influencers to engage with them.

2. Instagram Hashtags Make Finding Instagram Pods Easy

Another way to look for engagement pods is by exploring Instagram hashtags related to pods. Tags like #engagementpods and #instagrampods are a great place to start.

Hashtag usage for terms like these is a good sign. People who post content with them may be part of an active pod.

Reach out to them via direct message and express your interest in joining the pod. If they agree, they will add you to the group’s direct message, where you’ll see new drops and share your own.

3. Reddit Has a Page Dedicated to Instagram Pods

Reddit has its very own subreddit called IGPods. This forum houses plenty of threads that serve as Instagram pods.

What’s cool about pods on Reddit is that people have already categorized them by niche. You’ll easily find a pod specifically for fitness, fashion, food, tech, etc. That makes it easier to join a pod with people that fall under your brand’s target audience.

When you’re part of an engagement pod, you’re expected to like and comment on your members’ posts right away.

Finding a Crew: How To Join a Pod on Instagram

Ready to commit to engaging with people’s posts under one group? Don’t stress over how to join a pod on Instagram. It’s super easy!

The easiest pods to join are threads in online communities. Just drop the link to your Instagram post in the comments and wait for the likes and comments to come in. Then, do your part and go through the other posts in the forum to engage with them as well.

Joining Facebook groups is also straightforward. Just hit the “Join” button and answer the survey that followers. Make sure to answer the questions thoroughly and sincerely. If the Instagram pod members don’t think you can be an excellent addition to the group, they have the option to reject you.

Getting into pods via Instagram is the most challenging. But if you put your mind to it and stay confident, you’ll get into an active pod.

You can’t search for groups or chats on the platform. So, you must go out of your way and ask others if you can join their pod via direct message.

Be respectful when you message someone to ask if you can join their pod. Don’t demand to be let in. Tell them why they should include you in their group and what the members will get out of it.

Making Sure You Don’t Get Kicked Out of Your Instagram Pod

After you finally find an Instagram pod to commit to, the next step is to ensure you don’t get kicked out of it. To do that, you must abide by the pod’s rules and always be respectful to others.

The pod will see you as a valuable member if you participate in liking and commenting as much as you can. Try to engage with other people’s content as soon as it drops. They’ll notice you doing the work and do the same in return when it’s your turn to drop content.

Make your engagements high-quality, too. Don’t just comment with the fire emoji on every post other members share in your direct message. Personalize and make it meaningful so it doesn’t look like fake engagement. Instead of a heart or thumbs-up symbol, say conversational things like “Love your dress!” or “I’m so jealous of your vacation!”

If you get called out for not helping raise someone’s engagement rates, explain your side politely. Apologize and note how you can improve by providing timely engagement to other people’s posts.

Lastly, never leech off people’s eagerness to engage with your content. If you ask people to give you engagement per post, ensure you always return the favor. An Instagram pod is a two-way street—you give, and you take. If the members notice that all you do is take and you rarely ever give, you could get kicked out.

Leader of the Pack: How To Create an Instagram Pod of Your Own

Looking to form your engagement pod? Here’s how to create an Instagram pod, step by step:

1. First, you want to look for people who are interested in joining your pod. Ask some friends or influencers you know might want an extra boost in their engagement rates. You can also look through people posting with hashtags like #likeforlike or #commentforcomment. These people are likely looking for lots of engagement per post. Then, send them a direct message to see if they’re interested in joining a pod.

2. Define the rules of your pod. You can either create the rules on your own or ask your first few pod members what they would be comfortable with. Ensure your rules allow everyone to gain likes and comments on their posts.

3. Choose where you want to house your Instagram pod. Are you comfortable staying in a direct message as a group on Instagram? Or would you want to take it elsewhere, like a Facebook group or another messaging app? The platform you choose should be convenient for everyone.

4. Start dropping content and giving out likes and comments to others. Try to monitor who the active members are and who seem to be leeching off everyone else. If you spot someone who drops a lot of their content but doesn’t engage with that of others, call them out.

As the leader of an engagement pod, you always see that everyone there is heard and feels respected in the group. Remind the members that everyone is there for mutual growth. So, working together is a must so everyone meets their Instagram goals.

Are Instagram Pods Good for Your Long-Term Instagram Marketing Strategy?

Instagram pods are excellent for getting engagement on your posts quickly. But is it sustainable? Is it good for your long-term Instagram marketing game plan?

Engagement pods are very effective at recovering low engagement rates on your posts. Because they work so well, they can be quite addictive. However, if you want your brand to succeed, it’s not good to be overly dependent on the pods.

Here are just a few reasons why you shouldn’t rely solely on engagement pods for growth:

Because of the staged engagement you get from your pod members, your Instagram metrics will be unreliable.

You Can’t Read Instagram Metrics Accurately

The biggest con of being in an Instagram pod is that it skews your Instagram metrics. If most likes and comments come from your pod members, it’s hard to tell if your real followers enjoy your content.

The pod’s boost of initial engagement per post also skews your reach. So, you won’t be able to pinpoint how much organic traction your posts are getting.

This is bad if you have an ongoing ad campaign for your business or a paid brand partnership as an influencer. You won’t be able to track your campaign performance properly.

You May Get Spam Comments

People in your pod are obligated to comment on your posts. It doesn’t mean they want to. So, sometimes, the comments you get can look contrived, lazy and don’t spark conversation. They may comment using the same emojis over and over, which is a sign that they have no genuine interest in your content.

You’re Obligated to Engage With Content You Don’t Even Like

If you’re in an Instagram pod, you must also engage with other people’s content, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, that means you’ll have to like low-quality posts or content that doesn’t align with your values. It’s not ideal, but because of your pod’s rules, you’ll have to do it, no questions asked.

It can be embarrassing if your friends and family see you like or comment on posts you don’t like. You may get kicked out of your pod if you don’t engage with these posts when they drop. It’s a lose-lose situation.

Sometimes, you’ll feel forced to like posts you hate because you’re part of a pod.
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Being in a Pod Takes up So Much Time

It can be a hassle having to take time out of your busy day to like a few strangers’ posts when they drop. You could use your time to build a good Instagram marketing strategy or produce content. For some, this is far from ideal and not worth the effort, even if being in a pod does boost engagement.

Instagram Pods Die Down, Leaving You With Low Engagement Rates

Instagram pods don’t last forever. After some months or years, people in your pod will start to be inactive. And when they do die down, you’ll be left with low engagement rates again.

The initial high of getting so many likes and comments as soon as you post something will wear off. Then, you’ll realize you have to work to make your content engaging again—this time without the help of pods.

Don’t Rely Solely on Instagram Pods for Boosting Engagement Rates

Instagram pods are fantastic if your goal is to get higher engagement rates on your posts. The rules are simple. You post, the members of your pod will drop a like and comment, and you do the same for them when they drop content.

The setup is perfect because you’re not buying fake engagement. So, it’s not likely for Instagram to flag it as inauthentic activity. And you’ll always be assured immediate engagement the minute you post on Instagram.

However, you shouldn’t rely on engagement pods forever. They have a bunch of cons, too, like messing up your analytics and forcing you to like the content you hate. While being in a pod is fun and easy, it can backfire.Instead of investing all your time and attention in Instagram pods, why not improve your Instagram marketing growth strategy? This is something we at Path Social can help with. We’ll use our proprietary targeting tools to serve your content to your target audience. This reels in not just tons of real engagement but new followers for your brand. Grow your Instagram community with us today!