Instagram Pods (aka InstaPods) – What are they and should you be in one?
Think of peas in a pod, or a pod of dolphins. It’s a family that sticks together and supports one another. In the world of Instagram, this would be a group of people that like and comment on each other’s accounts regularly. The more engagement you get, the more engagement you get. No, that wasn’t a typo.
Why are Instagram pods so trendy right now?
There was a time that you could post on Instagram, and the people that followed you, if they were on around the same time, would see your post. Or if they weren’t on at the same time, if they scrolled down into the feed, they would come across your post.
Then the Instagram algorithm changed to be more like Facebook’s. Which is to say more than a little mysterious. Instagram determines if your post is interesting enough to be shown to others, and one way the algorithm does that is by checking how much engagement your post receives (i.e., likes and comments).
But, if you only have a couple hundred followers and Instagram is only pushing out your post to about 10% of them, you can see from a business marketing standpoint, this is not such a good thing.
This is where a network of like-minded Instagrammers help out
Finding other like-minded folks in the sea of social media can be done in a number of ways. The easiest way I’ve found is using hashtags, and although the pro to that is its sheer simplicity and ease of use, there are some cons to that method. The biggest issue with the hashtag method is
- there is no guarantee that everyone that uses the hashtag will be reciprocating all the likes and comments necessary to make it an effective tactic; and
- someone may hijack the hashtag and use it for unsavory posts.
A better way is to create a home base for a group of Instagrammers and post the rules and expectations of the group. Then individuals can participate as long as they find the system helpful.
There are many ways of pulling a group like this together, each with a pro and con component. But basically, it boils down to the same thing.
- There’s a list of participants and that list includes not only their Instagram account names but also the link to the post they want you to like
- You click on the links to the Instagram post and like the most current 10 (or 20 or 30, etc) links on the list and then
- Add your own link once you’re done.
- Now people coming in after you’ve “dropped” your link will be liking your post as well
Easy peasy. You give, you receive.
Why would you want to participate in an Instagram Pod?
You might not. They’re not for everyone and honestly, it can take some time. The upside, from my perspective, is that it provides you some social proof while you’re trying to get your account off the ground. It gets your posts out in front of people, first from the Instagram Pod group, but after that, Instagram will push it out to people that it thinks might find your post interesting. This is great for getting your customers homes out to more people. Why push it out to 10 people when you could possibly get it in front of 100 people?
The goal in any Instagram Pod is to have members like each others’ posts and make comments on others’ posts. This type of activity does a couple of things.
First – It is a curious thing about human nature that many times a person doesn’t want to be the first to ‘like’ or comment on a post. I wish I had a degree in psychology so I could understand it better myself. What I do understand is that likes and comments provide social proof and that makes people more apt to interact with you.
Second – this type of activity also signals to Instagram that your content must be interesting because people are engaging with you, so they show you a little Instagram love by bumping you up a little higher and are more apt to show your posts to others and put your account in front of other people and suggest they follow you.
But that sounds kind of sneaky.
I’ve heard that before, but here’s the deal. I’m Greek. My ancestors built the Trojan Horse. When they finally figured out a plan and implemented it, they succeeded in their quest.
Is it different than networking in real life?
Let’s move into an IRL (In Real Life) situation. Say you go to a conference and meet new people and exchange business cards. Once you return home you come across someone that mentions they’re moving to Ohio. You remember one of the people you met at the conference works in Ohio. So you refer that person to the agent you met at the conference. What just happened? You just helped a person find a reputable agent in a faraway place. The customer has benefitted, so have you, and so has the agent in Ohio.
Remember that pods are like a family. With that, it is expected that you will be genuine, helpful and respectful of the other members.
Want to know more about Instagram Pods? Sign up for my free mini-course “Become An Awesome Instagram Realtor In Just 5 Days!“. It includes a big welcome into a private Facebook Group and the option of joining an Instagram Pod that is made up of real estate agents and complementary businesses, i.e., professional stagers, aerial photographers, interior decorators, etc.
Click here –> bit.ly/InstagramRealtor to get more information on what mind-blowing things you’ll learn during the 5 Days and what bonuses are available. I’ll be updating the page as I add things, so be sure to check back every so often.
If you’re interested in joining an Instagram Engagement Group, apply here to join a group of real estate agents and a few people from complementary fields (home stagers, loan officers, etc.).
If you’re still hungry for more information on Instagram and hashtags to really blast your social media accounts, I have a few resources you might enjoy.
- You can grab my free eBook that has an overview of Instagram and Content Calendar that will certainly save you time. It’s at https://askforliz.com/how-to-become-that-realtor-with-the-kick-butt-marketing-skills-instagram/
- I also have an eBook (How To Use Hashtags to Attract Followers – Real Estate Edition) that has hashtags that you can use as a base for researching your own tags (many you can use as is). That resource can be found at https://askforliz.com/swipe-file-hashtag-suggestions-for-real-estate-agents.
- If you really want to understand how hashtags can increase your business, not only on Instagram but on other platforms as well, I encourage to check out my course Mastering Hashtags – for Real Estate Agents which can be found at https://masteringhashtags.com, or
- Pick up the #HashtagBible workbook at https://www.SocialMediaCoursesForRealEstateAgents.com
Do you have questions or comments? I’d love to hear them!