Instagram Pods: Marketing with a Porpoise


Thought pods were just a cute li’l families of dolphins? Think again! This new social media technique is an ingenious way to fool Instagram’s algorithm.

 If you have an Instagram account, chances are you’ve had strange accounts follow you out of the blue with weird handles like @more_followerz_4_u_2day or maybe you’ve received random, generic comments like this gem of an example:

For those on the receiving end, these types of interactions are more likely to annoy than intrigue. Trying to boost your social media popularity can really be a pain in the ass, especially when your efforts are fruitless. Rather than resorting to desperate interactive tactics, people are choosing to become members of these clever little pods.

What is an Instagram Pod? 

A pod is family of dolphins who live together in harmony and support one another. In a nutshell, a instagram pod is a tiny group of members belonging to a niche community who share interactions on each other’s posts: i.e. vain fourteen year olds and their friends who want 134K followers, or people promoting services, businesses or themselves who’ve decided they’d like to lend a helping hand in boosting each other’s popularity.

But how does it work? 

First things first, you have to create the pod, most often in an Instagram direct message and limit your member count to fifteen members or less to keep things working to everyone’s benefit.

I mean, how irritating would it be to login to your account and see fifty-five DMs every hour?

If you’re wondering how to find people in your niche to include in your pod, a great place to start would be something like a Facebook group or Reddit page. Like for example, I’m an illustrator, so I could go to and make an inquiry post, or I can make a similar post in my illustration Facebook group.

You might be thinking, “And that works, how?” 

The trick to this whole thing is the timing of it. Once you post a photo, send a message to notify the members of your pod. Alternatively, you can go to each pop member’s profile and turn on the “post notification” settings. When they see it, they’ll head to your photo and leave a like and a comment.

Making more sense?

There are two key elements that can make or break your pod:

  1. Since Instagram’s algorithm is time based, the quicker you like and comment on the photo, the more effective this tactic is.
  2. Avoid emojis, and leave post-specific comments of more than four words. Why? Because it will otherwise appear to Instagram (and probably many other users) as spam.

This method is effective because it essentially sends signals to Instagram that the post is engaging users which will then lead to the post being shared with more of your followers which then leads to an increased number of views, likes and comments on your page. Did I mention you can belong to as many pods as you want?

So go on, gather your adorable dolphin friends ’round, create an awesome pod and when you’re livin’ the social media celebrity life, don’t forget about the little people!