An Instagram Pod is a group of people who join in on a group chat with the intention to like and comment on each other's Instagram posts. This is a commonly used tactic used to increase Instagram engagement. There are also hopes that the sudden boost in activity will land you in the top spots for hashtags or even on the search & explore page. While the idea seems nice in theory, there are a few things a wedding photographer needs to consider before joining an Instagram Pod.
1. ARE YOU ATTRACTING YOUR IDEAL CLIENT?
When a wedding photographer joins an Instagram Pod, it is typically made up of fellow photographers or a group of wedding professionals. The Instagram algorithm is for sure a tricky subject, but one thing we can bet on is that IG is analyzing your activity, working to give you a better "user experience". If you are constantly engaging with these same photographers over and over again, Instagram is going to pick up on this, and give you more and more of what you are currently interacting with.
Similarly, if your fellow photographers are constantly liking and commenting on YOUR posts, Instagram is going to work to show your feed to like profiles, which are very likely going to be (you guessed it), more photographers.
2. DOES A POD ALIGN WITH YOUR GOALS?
It's likely that your goal is to book anywhere between 10-50 weddings in a given calendar year. When you think of this number in terms of the amount of active people on Instagram, finding these 10-50 couples is like finding 10-50 needles in a haystack. Is it doable? Of course, but when talking about reach, wedding photographers need to have a quality vs. quantity mindset. Participating in an Instagram engagement pod will give you a little boost in your engagement, but it lacks strategy when it comes to reaching your potential clients.
Remember, while a pretty picture full of likes and comments may make us feel all warm and fuzzy, it does not translate to successfully marketing your wedding photography business on Instagram.
Now, if your Instagram Goal is to create a community of fellow wedding photographers to use as a referral system, an Instagram Pod would be a great way to facilitate this idea! Similarly, if your main goal is to establish your name and/or partnerships within your wedding community, this is a great place to start. It's all about your goals!
3. IS IT THE BEST USE OF YOUR INSTAGRAM TIME?
When you are a wedding photographer, chances are that you are also managing a million other business-related tasks. Your time is precious and needs to be used wisely. Before you sign up for (or continue with) an Instagram pod, think about who you are targeting and if the use of a pod is the best use of your time when it comes to achieving your IG goals.
WHAT YOU CAN DO INSTEAD
My advice to you would be to ditch the pods and spend your time searching for and engaging with your ideal client. Find your ideal client by searching local hashtags or local wedding-related feeds (such as venues and wedding dress boutiques). Use my tired and true Engagement Tips to start authentic IG relationships with your couples!
To learn more about my Instagram Coaching Services, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org