How many blog posts have you read through all saying the same thing over and over again about how to boost engagement on Instagram?? And that instagram pods are the way to go? I can guarantee you it is one of the most blogged about things out there purely because some bloggers try and make a living out of promoting ways to get better engagement. Don’t get me wrong, I am not slating that at all and I am well impressed by people who managed to do that, but for me it never worked.
I have spent hours on Pinterest and Instagram trying to find ways I can boost my engagement on Instagram because its pretty slack and its getting to the point that I wanted to give up. I even started messaging some of my blogging friends as an SOS. I was totally confused as to where I was going wrong. I was literally stuck on 2800 followers.
I have been in comment pods since I started blogging because when I started blogging two and a half years ago (WTF its been so long?!) they were the new big thing. I joined a few and then I even created some of my own, but the reality of comment pods is that after a few weeks ~ maybe a month ~ after they were created people start not replying, and some people just drop out all together, especially in pods where there is A LOT of people.
I joined one with nearly 30 people in, and when you have nearly 30 people posting up to 3 photos each a day its hard work! That could be almost 90 photos you have to go and comment on and it takes bloody ages I will tell you that! Then other pods I was in literally had two of us active in so it was a real mix!
Being completely honesty, for me comment pods made me fall out of love with instagram, and it became very much a chore to post and then have to routinely comment on the same pages. I loved some of the posts I was commenting on and I met some lovely bloggers, however when you comment on the same pages and the same to your Instagram to me it looks a bit dodgy??? Like not real.
Anyway, long story short I left all my comment pods, I think I was in 6 overall and instantly I felt so much more relaxed! I didn’t have to worry about catching up on time and I would often do it before I went to bed, and after I left I could go to bed without worrying about it.
As for my engagement…. *drum roll*…. it has improved SO SOOOOOOOO much! I have gained over 300 followers in the last month maybe, maybe a bit less than that and I haven’t gained that many followers in over a year! Its because I can spend my time researching useful hashtags and organically grow my engagement by connecting with other bloggers who post about the same things as I do.
There is always that debate whether comment pods damage your Instagram algorithm because of Instagram not liking the made up engagement from the groups and I can so see that it is true! I have left my pods and my engagement is so much better and my page visits have increased by 300% LIKE WHAT?!!!!!!
Are you in any Instagram pods??
This was a really interesting read. I’ve been in and out of pods and like created one or two along the way. As you say they usually start collapsing after a week or so. I left and felt a relief the pressure had been lifted. Plus, there was a lot of scaremongering at the time that brands don’t like pods etc etc.
Then a fellow blogger went to an Instagram PR event or similar and after listening to a speaker on the subject discovered that brands just like engagement, forced or otherwise as it’s still getting the product/item seem either way. She set up a pod which I joined and tbh it’s working very well. Everyone keeps up and there’s only about 6 of us so it’s manageable.
I know exactly what you mean about the same bloggers commenting but I find I have a good mix of both forced and natural comments. My likes are crap at the moment but personally (algorithm excluded) engage for engagement is the best way. I just don’t have time to spend hours scrolling, liking and commenting but I do what I can! As for hashtags, I don’t find a difference whether I use them or not haha. I just find it an unregulated, terrible platform which allows users to engage in what is essentially fraudulent activity buying followers, comments and likes to con brands into a working with them off the back of it.
However, us bloggers need insta for various reasons which is annoying! Let’s hope one day it becomes a better place to be.
Sorry for the essay!! I’ve literally written a blog post for a comment haha.
Great post hun!
Don’t be sorry I like long comments! We seem to have done very similar things with our instagrams! I find I have to use hashtags or my engagement is rubbish! I am a bit scared not to use them! I have been using the time I was wasting on comment pods to like and comment on others posts!
I totally agree with you here – engagement pods are so stressful! I left all mine as well, and they were actually a big reason why I took a hiatus from blogging. The stress of that from insta makes it not fun sometimes. Appreciate your honesty here!
I totally understand where you are coming from! It made Instagram very unenjoyable for me!
Wow what the heck I didn’t know comment pods were a thing until reading this post, which shows you how in the know I am overall haha. That’s such an interesting idea, but I can see how Instagram may pick up on the repetitive nature of it. Of course everyone wants genuine comments and likes, but bloggers definitely rely on Instagram which makes it understandable why pods sometimes work out really well I guess! x
There is always debates going around in pods as to whether instagram liked the idea or not – most of them time people said instagram were trying to penalise people using them.