Instagram presents a great opportunity for sharing economy businesses to connect with potential clients, partners, employees, and investors. However, cultivating a sizable following on Instagram from scratch isn’t easy, and takes much time and resources.
For a few months we have utilized growth pods as part of our Instagram strategy, and we’d like to share some of the lessons we learned:
What Are Growth Pods?
Growth pods are private groups of usually 10-15 Instagrammers who share similar target audiences. They can be influencers, bloggers, entrepreneurs, or businesses that want to work together to grow their engagement and follower count. Some growth pods can have up to 70 or even 100 members, but they take a lot of time and dedication to maintain.
How Do They Work?
Members communicate via direct messages. Each time a pod member publishes a new Instagram post, they share it in the group chat. This way, other members are directly notified and are encouraged to like it and leave a comment of at least four words.
The origins of growth pods are unknown, but it’s clear that they arose out of Instagram’s altered algorithm. Since Instagram introduced the non-chronological feed, Instagram prioritizes posts that have high engagement. Consequently, posts with higher comment and like counts immediately after being published will rank higher on the host account’s followers’ feeds. High initial engagement signals to Instagram that the content is quality and worth prioritizing on the feed. This also helps the post receive favorable placement on the Instagram Explore page.
Why Should You Join A Growth Pod?
They’re a great way to take advantage of Instagram’s algorithm to grow your following on Instagram, and ultimately make new partnerships, sales, and business connections. Growth pods are also opportunities to meet thought leaders and influencers that might be helpful to your business. It’s a free tool perfect for startups that have a relatively low marketing budget.
How Do You Get Into A Growth Pod?
You can join an existing growth pod or start one yourself. Oftentimes, you’ll receive invitations to join growth pods from individuals in the same business niche as you. You can also research existing growth pods and request membership. If you have enough influence already, you can try starting your own growth pod.
Try joining Instagram-themed Facebook Groups, such as Instagram Marketing Mastermind or Instagram Comment Pods. But before you decide to join a pod, you need to take into consideration the huge responsibility and time commitment that it requires. You will constantly have to give likes for likes and comments for comments at all hours of the day. Our advice is to start with a single small pod of 10 to 15 Instagrammers. After you get an idea of how it works and how much time you can spend on it, try moving to a bigger one.
Other Helpful Tips
Always write comments that have more than four words. Avoid generic comments like, “love it”, “awesome”, “great”, or solely emoji comments. Tag the post’s account in the comment, and make relevant remarks. Also, don’t waste your time on pods that have low engagement.