Social pods- What is it and how can you implement it in your business and personal life?

Social pods and Instagram pods are a term that is used more and more frequently these days. But what is it? Last week we had a visit from Andreas Kristiansen and Kenneth Dreyer in our digital marketing class and one of them mentioned the term social pods. I remember thinking that this is something I want to know more about, so I did some research. In this blog post we are going to reflect on what social pods are and how people are using them.

What is it? and how it’s used.

Social pods are a relatively new term. Every article I could find pointed to Instagram as the origin. The term social pods started out as Instagram pods, and from what it looks like evolved to include other social media like Facebook and maybe Youtube as well. Social pods are a way for you and others to get more likes, comments and shares on your media of choice. When you implement this strategy, you will need to find a couple of friends to make a group with. Then when you have found your group it needs a way to communicate, like a Facebook group chat or Instagram chat. From there you will need to establish what the group is going to help each other with, likes, comments etc. So, for example let’s say that the group is to get more likes and comments. The group members will post in the chat if they have published something new on the platform, then the rest of the groups job is to go like and comment on that post or whatever terms the group has set.

(Screenshot from search results when you search “Instagram pods” on Facebook).

There does not seem to be any statistics to if this method works, Instagram is a platform where your feed consists of posts from the people you follow, some adds and tags you follow. The only place this might work is in the featured feed and the tags you can follow. It might help you get higher up on these pages, but people usually get more of what the platform algorithm thinks you would like to see, and I know I don’t like pictures because other people have liked and commented on them. I like photos that I think look good and are interesting to me, maybe the people that are making social pods should make “how to take good pictures pods” instead… Facebook is according to BuzzfeedNews (https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/alexkantrowitz/facebook-removes-ten-instagram-algorithm-gaming-groups-with#.tu6765MwX ) are working to remove pods from their site. Is this a good or bad thing?

Pros and Cons with social pods

Pros:

  • Network.
  • More likes, comments, shares.
  • Safer than buying likes and comments in most cases.

Cons:

  • Takes time and you are not guaranteed results.
  • Can trigger response from Facebook and Instagram or other platforms.

Implementing social pods

Businesses and regular people can use the method in the same way. By gathering other employees or friends to like and share content, you are at least guaranteed the amount of likes and comments that there are people in the group, although it might just be five or ten at least it is some. This might be good for new platform accounts to get a better starting faze. For example, if you want to get more views on your company’s blog, you can get employees to share blog posts on their Linked-in profile. It will probably be apart of the SoMe’s job to organize this, and it will be a pod that goes one way. the group will only act in the intrest of the business.

Team 10 is famous Youtuber Jack Paul’s ¨Youtube group¨. The group lives together in one house and they make youtube videos, often featuring other members. This means that the Youtube videos posted by the members will be full of plugs to other members channels creating a loop of viewers going from channel to channel to watch their favourite creators in other people’s videos, and this can lead to channel growth for the members. This was covered by Matthew Robert Patrick (or Matpat) from the channel Game Theory in their video “the Viner invasion of Jack Paul and Logan Paul” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbMSOCpCcA8&feature=youtu.be ). In the video he talks a lot about how Viners who immigrated from Vine to Youtube when Vine shut down got big on the platform in a short amount of time, but he also talks about what can be categorized as a social pod. He calls it the youtube loophole where viewers get stuck in watch loops because of the constant plugging back and forwards and people responding with videos of other creators’ videos, meaning that you need to go back and forth between channels to keep up with the drama. I highly recommend that you watch this video, it gives you a good perspective on what social pods can do for creators and others.

Overall

Using social pods can be a risk to be a part of where it can trigger platforms, but the only consequences that I have seen are the groups being deleted, so it’s a smaller risk at this point. Social pods can be a good way to jumpstart a new account on a platform, but there is no data on if it is effective, and some platforms have algorithms that are easier to cheat. You would have to evaluate the platform you’re on before making a pod, just to see if it is worth the time. What do you think? Let me know in the comments if there is anything I’ve missed about social pods.

-Carmen

Sources

Kantrowitz, Alex. “Facebook removes 10 Instagram algoryth-gaming groups with hundreds of thousands of membershttps://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/alexkantrowitz/facebook-removes-ten-instagram-algorithm-gaming-groups-with#.tu6765MwX  05.11.19, Read 02.18.19.

Game Theory, “the Viner invasion of Jack Paul and Logan Paulhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbMSOCpCcA8&feature=youtu.be  06.25.17, watched 02.18.19.

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