Instagram is the ideal way for any company or entrepreneur to make their brand and products known and, in the end, get customers and sales.
However, for new entrepreneurs it is a bit difficult to get followers in Instagram because very few people know them and doubt the veracity of their account and the effectiveness of their products and services.
It is estimated that only 5% of small U.S. entrepreneurs use this application as part of their marketing strategy, which is a waste because Instagram is the perfect showcase to publicize products and services.
How can an entrepreneur make himself known on a platform as wide as Instagram and have potential followers come to them and follow them?
All they have to do is what they do in their offline life: create networks.
That’s the entrepreneur’s trick: networking with other entrepreneurs to make their brands known. And now with social media it’s easier to establish those networks.
In Instagram, these recent brands can use what is known as Instagram pods (or engagement pods), which is nothing more than creating a group of friends to support each other among the publications of their products and services.
The idea is that the group of instagrammers unite with the purpose of giving like to the publications that each one uploads, leaving valuable comments, mentioning others in the publication and even re-posting the image so that the publication has engagement and, with the help of the correct hashtags, is located in the Top Post area of Instagram and help the organic growth of the accounts.
In this way, when one of the people in the group publishes a photo, they warn the rest and they quickly go to the post and leave their comments. The idea is that no more than an hour passes between the post being published and the friends giving like and leaving their comments for Instagram to consider that the publication is popular.
Let’s put it in Practical Terms:
Suppose you have an earring entrepreneurship and you want to open an Instagram profile to attract customers and promote your products.
You are informed to create a good profile and establish a strategy for Instagram and a content plan to feed that profile.
You do the step by step to open a business account and publish your first photo: a nice image of your earrings. But the only like you got is your mom’s.
You don’t worry too much and start following your whole family and all your friends. They follow you back and you get your first followers.
You publish your second photo and surprise! You have your mom’s like and a couple more… Uhmmm… When you review your feed, you realize that your images are not seen in the river of images of your followers. Why does this happen? This happens because your images are not generating engagement among your followers: That is to say, you can have followers, but if they do not interact with your publication, because the Instagram algorithm does not place your photos among the first images of their feeds.
You ask your friends and acquaintances if they can help you like your publications and leave valuable comments on each one. One group accepts, but asks you to do the same with their publications. They then make up an Instagram pod. Each comments on the other’s publications and watches as the accounts gradually gain followers and grow organically.
So, do Instagram Pods serve to Overcome the Instagram Algorithm?
No. The Instagram algorithm is clear: the images you will see first in your feed will be of those accounts with which you interact the most.
In other words, your group will see your images among the first ones because they interact with them, but not the rest of your followers unless they also interact with your brand.
What these groups do is make your photo or video visible in the Top Post or Featured Images area, because Instagram will consider that your publication is popular and will place it in that kind of “popularity billboard”. When you are there, anyone looking for the hashtag “earrings” will see your photo and, if the image is eye-catching, they are more likely to follow your account.
If you want to reach that coveted area of Instagram, you must choose with great precision the hashtags that will accompany your publications.
Choose tags that are specific to your niche market and that are easy for anyone who may be looking for a product or service similar to the one your brand offers, in addition to other more general, but very popular.
In the case of earrings, you could wear #earrings #earrings # jewelry #silver #precious stones #madeHand #entrepreneurs #women #jewels, etc.
There has been a lot of debate about the Instagram Pods and the Instagram algorithm, but we emphasize this: the only way to appear among the first in the feed is if you can create engagement with them.
How do you get Engagement by Leaning on the Instagram Pods?
Engagement is that interaction between a profile and its followers. It is much more than a like. Engagement is that relationship that is given based on likes, comments, brand responses to followers, direct messages, repost, among others. In other words, it is the creation of a community around the brand.
But this engagement is not easy to achieve because it depends not only on the followers, but also on the brand.
So, as an entrepreneur, you must find a way to get loyal followers to create that engagement and meet the objectives of your Instagram strategy.
One of the advantages of Instagram Pods is that it will help you create that engagement. When your followers see that in each of your publications there is interaction between your brand and your engagement pod, they will be encouraged to participate as well.
It’s much easier for followers to just give like, but writing a valuable comment requires more time and dedication. What reward does a follower who takes the time to comment look for? Well, to get a response.
The pods will help you create those first conversations and will prepare the way for the rest of the followers to join.
Once you create a community with your followers, you just have to worry about keeping that relationship alive. Attend to their requests as soon as possible, respond to their comments and direct messages, make special promotions for them, and follow everyone who follows you and is valuable to your brand.
Types of Instagram Pods
Although the most common thing is to rely on a network of friends or fellow entrepreneurs to create an Instagram Pod, there are also those groups in which entrepreneurs do not know each other, but still come together to create these teams.
In both cases it is important to establish certain rules of the game that allow all brands to commit to each other to have the desired results.
There are Instagram pods in which only like is given, others in which only the posts are commented and, the most common, the pods in which you must give like and leave a valuable comment. Other groups ask you to mention other instagrammers who may be interested in that product or service or until you reload the publication in your profile.
In these cases it is important to point out something: It is vital that the group you are in represents you and adds value to your brand. If refuelling is among the rules of your group, that publication will remain in your profile, so the brands you decide to support must be valuable brands and with which you share values.
Among the rules of the groups, it should be stressed the need for photos or videos to be of quality and meet all the parameters for a successful publication as hashtags accurate and detailed descriptions.
Although most groups are formed among entrepreneurs or friends, there are Instagram accounts that are dedicated to this practice and charge an “application” for allowing you to join them. Be very careful and find out the reputation of these groups before disbursing any money. You could be the victim of a scam.