Do The Work Series: Insta PODs Dos and Don'ts

Welcome to the "Do The Work Series", this is a weekly series where I will be sharing with you some of the tips and actions I take to build and grow my business. My hope is that each week you find some useful information and you are able to take it back to your own business and apply it immediately. We often look at the big picture and get overwhelmed but if you could take action each week on 1 item that would eventually lead to a year of you taking action consistently. Imagine how much you can accomplish, one action at a time. 

This week we are talking about PODS. No I am not talking about those white and red storage containers, this is something a little different. If you are an avid instagrammer or even a newbie you may have heard about and already loath the algorithm of Instagram and Facebook. For both platforms there is this, super secret, complicated "Matrix" like code used that only shows some of your followers your post. Such a pain in the butt.

This mainly affects your business accounts. If you haven't noticed it before take a look at your Instagram feed. As you scroll down take a look at the time and date stamps on the pictures you pass by. They are completely out of order. This is because the post with the biggest engagement gets pushed to the top first even if its an older post that recently gained some traction. If this seems wonky to you don't feel bad, we all feel the same way.

Insert INSTA-PODs... 

What they are? PODs are a way for you to "hack" the system and increase the chances of your post being seen by your followers. Its a group of individuals who comment and like each others post consistently as soon as they go up. 

How to get people in your POD? The best way to find people for your POD is to ask. If you are in a Facebook Group or if you have Business Besties ask them to join. The goal here is to make it beneficial for everyone. So you don't want to force your Mom, Aunt, Sisters or cousins to be in your POD where you are the only one benefiting. Meaning, you post and they all comment on your post but you aren't doing anything to help them. Work with people who also would like having someone comment on their post.

How they work? Now that you found your people, create a group chat in the Instagram app. This makes it easier for everyone to simply click your profile and go straight to your latest post. Once you post and you are ready for them to comment, send a message to the group and let them know you posted. The quicker you get comments after you post the more your post will be boosted. I suggest that you keep the group to no more than 12 people but no less than 5 people. You want as much engagement as possible but you do not want to overwhelm yourself with having to be on social media all day. 

Simple Ground Rules to consider:

  • Limit the amount of post shared for comments to 1 per person per day. More than that can become overwhelming to keep up with.
  • You must comment on others in order to ask them to do the same for you. 
  • Comments need to be meaningful and a full sentence or more. None of this "Love It" mess with 12 emojis. I mean, you can add emojis but it needs to be a full thought. You do not want to look spammy, the "matrix like" coding of Instagram KNOWS. This is why its super important to add people to your POD who post things you are interested in. 
  • Make your captions something that makes people want to respond. This is helpful for people out side of your POD too. Ask a question or do something that will keep them engaged.

If you need other Instagram 101 tips, check out my guest blog post over at The Queen Photographers . In that blog I share some tips on getting started with Instagram. 

Additional Benefits (WIIFM) From my personal experience this is what I found:

  • It holds you accountable to post and stay consistent with your own IG account. Imagine being in a POD and only commenting on others work and not having anything of your own for them to comment on. 
  • Instant Inspiration - this is similar to the other but when you see other people pushing hard for and in their businesses how can it NOT fill you with inspiration and motivation.
  • Cross over followers - as you comment on their post and they comment on yours, you increase the chance of their followers clicking on your name. Let me suggest that you use that little "heart" on insta to like other peoples comments and start conversations with people. I mean, its called SOCIAL media for a reason. 

Final Thoughts:

With the last bullet in mind, let me suggest that you enter into PODs with people in different industries than you. It doesn't have to be people in your exact same industry. Actually it is better if it isn't. Let me give you an example. People LOVE examples, I know I do.

If you are a wedding photographer. Some people you may want to consider reaching out to for your POD may be wedding planners, florist, someone that does hand lettering and invitations, maybe an up and coming baker and a makeup artist.  Do you see how this group of people makes sense as a POD. You can each help each other increase traffic. You all share the same target audience but for different reasons. Quite genius if you ask me, LOL. Ok maybe NOT genius but definitely common sense. 

Last word of advise. Know yourself and your ability to commit. If you can't be committed then bow out gracefully and be fair to the others in your POD. You don't want to get the reputation of the lurker who never communicates. They will respect you more for being honest.

What questions do you have, any tips or suggestions of your own? If you have been in a POD what are your feelings about them? Lets Chat and keep the conversation going. 

Peace Peace, Jean - See you in the Comments.