By now I'm sure you're aware of how the Instagram algorithm works and not exactly thrilled about it. If you're new to the Insta-game, last year Instagram announced that posts with higher engagement - likes and comments - will be seen most by their following audience. Technically, I think it's a great idea. It just forces people to be social and I mean, it is social media right? However, if your followers are like most of mine - friends and family who aren't promoting a business and don't realize that by liking or even posting an emoji will help your small biz be seen more - you're a little screwed, sorry for the bluntness.
As one business owner to another, I totally get it. We aren't superstars or a huge brand that gets likes upon likes with random comments upon random comments, so what do we do now?
Basically it's an algorithm hack. The first time I found out about this, I had just launched The Sparrow Co. and was approached by a fellow Instagrammer who followed both Sparrow and me. She explained it to me and my mind was blown. Like why am I just now hearing about this? As I chatted with more peeps, it seemed that they aren't aware of comment pods either, so to make it easy on my DM's, we are now here.
What is a comment pod?
Think of a comment pod as your posse, entourage, squad - your cheerleading squad actually. Each pod member likes and comments on new posts by other members letting Instagram know that post is creating engagement and Instagram pushes it through to be seen to the followers of the poster as quality content. Now think of the people you used to see all the time versus now? You don't even know what they ate this morning - it's cray people, simply cray.
Why Comment Pods?
There are a handful of ways to increase engagement, this just happens to be one of them. I am a huge advocate of them because I am about collaborative efforts and this is most definitely one them. You know that saying, it takes a village - this is a village made up of like minded people with a goal to achieve. Through pods, I've connected with incredible women who motivate me every. single. day. to keep the big picture in mind and to push forward. It's definitely a feel good group of chickies who I look forward to seeing everyday.
How to Start an Instagram Comment Pod:
- Invite 8-12 people by telling them what comment pods are or by sharing this post with them. I would choose people who's posts you like, because for reals, you have to actually double tap that bad boy. If you're not a big fan of their content, be realistic. It's not mean, that's just not how you roll. As women, we get touchy feely about things, but sometimes, business moves are not touchy feely decisions.
- Once you have your 8-12 peeps, create a group chat in Instagram. Name that chat something cool or fun. Limit the pod to be used on 1-2 new posts in 24 hours because, let's be real, we all have lives and can't comment all hours of the day. When someone has a new post, they would use a specified emoji like 🆕 or whatever you choose to let other members know there's a new post to be liked and commented on.
- Keep in mind, this hack works if engagement occurs when the post is made up to 24 hours of it being posted.
- Be intentional with your comment. This is your tribe who has agreed to help you and your business out, so do them a solid and make your comment relevant to the caption and image.
- Use more than 4 words - Instagram likes that kind of engagement.
- Avoid generic comments like "So cool!" or "Amazing!" or a series of emojis when possible. Yes, we've all had those super crazy busy days and you're just trying to get by. Not talking about those days, I'm talking about all the other days. All the other days to show you're not a bot. Your comments can also attract new followers or repel new followers.
Remember, comment pods are a terrific way to build community not just with your current following and potential new followers but with your pod members. I've seen my pod peeps collaborate outside of Instagram and it totally gives me the warm fuzzies to see others lift others up. That's how it should always be, don't ya think?
If you're interested in being placed in a comment pod, let your girl know!
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