Before reading this tutorial, be sure that you are familiar with the concept of an engagement pod. Check out our lesson, Instagram Pods 101: What? Why? How?
Engagement pods are very beneficial for your Instagram growth and engagement. They allow you to trade likes and comments with similar accounts, significantly expanding your potential exposure among similar audiences. But the absolute best way to ensure that you’re in an engagement pod with the right accounts is by starting the engagement pod yourself.
So you’ve decided to start a pod. Now what?
Decide who you are going to invite. You’ll want all of the accounts to be around the same size. For example, if you have 2,000 followers, you should invite users who have 1,000-5,000 followers. You’ll also want the accounts to be within the same niche. The idea is to share audiences, so you’ll want accounts who have the same ideal audience as you. More likely than not, a few accounts have already popped into your mind. Write them down.
Note: Instagram pods are in Instagram direct messages, which allow up to 15 members in each group message.
To find more accounts to invite, search through the posts with hashtags that relate to your account. Scroll through the top posts and recent posts and look for accounts that look a bit like yours. Follow them and write them down!
Start sending out those DMs! The best way to be sure to get the right people in your pod is by reaching out to them directly! Not everyone will respond or want to join, so you’re going to need to send quite a few DMs. You can copy and paste this message to your invitees:
Hey [insert name]! I absolutely love your Instagram account and truly enjoy following you. I am starting an engagement pod for [insert your niche] accounts and would love to have you. We will be liking and commenting on each other’s posts on a regular basis to help boost each other’s reach and engagement! Let me know if this is something you’re interested in and I’ll add you!
Create a group message in your direct messages. As users begin agreeing to join your pod, add them to the group message. Begin introducing yourselves until there are several users.
If researching accounts and sending dozens of messages sounds miserable to you, you’ve got another option! Write a post in the Girlcrush Collective Facebook group, or any other Facebook group that allows you to post, and say that you’re looking to start an engagement pod.
Describe the kind of accounts you’re looking to add, then tell group members to comment with their Instagram handle if they are interested in joining. This will help you fill up your pod faster, but the quality of accounts may be lower as you’re not hand-picking them.