Why I left my Instagram comment pods and don't regret a thing. You don't need to be in a pod to have high Instagram engagement.

Instagram pods, some people love them, some people hate them, some people may have no idea what I’m talking about. If you don’t know, Instagram pods consist of a group of people on Instagram (maximum 15) who are part of a chat. Each time one of the members posts on Instagram, they notify the pod and each member must go and like the photo as well as comment. There’s usually rule about comment length, if you have to comment, if you have to like the photo, and so on.

When I first joined an Instagram pod I wasn’t working and all of my focus was on my blog (can I go back to those days?). I wanted to see my Instagram engagement increase, and I thought there was no better way than a comment pod! I would be supporting other women who had an interest in beauty and lifestyle, and they would be supporting me. What could be better?

[Related Reading: How To Improve Your Blog Photos]

I joined two pods at once, and while it was a lot, I could manage it. I enjoyed the support I felt from the other ladies and my engagement was becoming better. However, a month ago I started working full time. I suddenly felt all of this pressure to stay up to date with the comment pods, except I couldn’t. I would get home from work and be busy with other blog related tasks, seeing friends, or simply relaxing from a long day at work. The last thing I wanted to do was go comment on a backlog of Instagram photos simply because I had to.

And there’s a key phrase: had to. I had to comment on these photos because I agreed when I joined the comment pod. It was also only fair to the women commenting on my photos. I no longer enjoyed Instagram, though. Everytime my phone lit up with another notification that someone had posted, my stress level increased a little. I follow so many lovely users and accounts on Instagram, however by the time I was done commenting on all the photos in the pod, I didn’t want to be on the site anymore. My time on Instagram became consumed by the comment pods and it was exhausting.

[Related Reading: How Facebook Groups Increased My Blog Traffic]

Another thing I came to realize, was that other people in the group probably felt the same way I was feeling. They were commenting on my photos not because they wanted to, but because they also had to. In my opinion, genuine engagement with my Instagram account is better than forced engagement.

I tried my best to give genuine comments, but sometimes it was hard. Sometimes I would stare at the screen for a minute or two drawing a blank as to what to comment. I was trying to think of something to say other than “nice photo” or “you look so pretty,”. Yet, I will admit that sometimes I would leave a generic comment so I could move on to the next photo where I would try to think of a genuine comment.Β I also didn’t enjoy or like some of the photos I was commenting on. I wouldn’t have followed the accounts had they not been in the comment pod to begin with. I’m not trying to sound mean; it’s simply the truth.

So, with all of that being said, I have now left both of the comment pods I was in and I haven’t looked back. Yes, my followers went down after I left the pods, but that just proves my point; those people didn’t actually want to be following me. And yes, when I posted on Instagram today I didn’t get nearly as many likes or comments as usual, but that’s okay with me. I’m going to go back to enjoying Instagram and commenting when I feel like it, not because I have to.

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Audrey Knizek

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51 comments

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I was a member of Insta pods and left them for the same reasons. As much as I tried to give genuine comments, sometimes it was forced and I didn’t feel right about that.

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I’ve been considering asking to join one of these pods to increase traffic to my business’ Instagram account. These were some of the concerns I had – the forced, insincere comments and forced-followers that wouldn’t translate into sales anyway.

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I’ve been thinking about joining an insta pod, but have decided not to for the reasons you’ve mentioned! While it would boost engagement, it would be a bit fake and a chore. I’d rather have genuine interactions, even if it means that the number of comments and I likes I get suffers a bit. That’s a shame that others unfollowed you after you left the pods!

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It’s refreshing to hear your honest thoughts about comment pods! They’re super trendy right now. Thanks for sharing! :]

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I just recently learned about those comment pods. While the likes/comments are nice, the genuine ones mean so much more πŸ™‚

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I didn’t even know this existed. Interesting

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I totally agree with this. I was part of a few pods a while back. It was all wonderful at first, but I think everyone got tired of all the forced interaction. Eventually they all just fizzled out. On the bright side, it really does make you appreciate the genuine engagement! πŸ™‚

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Love your honesty and perspective on comment pods. I am in a couple and I agree, sometimes it is hard to genuinely engage on some posts.

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Such a nice and honest post to read…that you just made me follow you on Instagram πŸ™‚

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This is really interesting. I’ve been blogging for about a year but I’ve actually never heard of these Instagram pods and they do sounds like a lot of work!

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I also left an Instagram comment pod that I was a member of for these reasons. I felt so guilty for leaving, which is why I’m so relieved to know that someone else felt the same way I did. Thank you for this honest post! I’m definitely subscribing! πŸ™‚

xx, Lauren
http://www.theteenrunway.com

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So glad you liked the post! Comment pods are just so much work. I’m also glad someone else feels the same way as me; I felt like I was committing a sin by writing and publishing this post.

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This is a great perspective! I’ve done a few pods here and there but I realized that they just didn’t fit my niche and the comments definitely felt either forced or just sometimes unrelated!

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I am considering joining a comment pod right now and I really appreciate your honest feedback about this. It’s good to hear other people’s perspectives especially when I’m deciding on doing something I’m not really sure of. πŸ™‚

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I left my comment pods as well. Commenting on pics started to be come fake and taking the fun out of instagram for me. I’m just gonna stop focusing on numbers so much and just focus on producing great content, and numbers will increase

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These pods are all over for photographers as well. Gets annoying at times. Mainly because I completely agree with you! Its all forced! Great post!!

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I left Instagram pods month ago actually before the new year. It was a lot of work for barley any reward. I have had my interactions go up after I learned the right way to Instagram.

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I’ve gone through a lot of pods. As soon as I start feeling like I have nothing organic to say, I am out!

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I’m so with you on this! I left my Instagram pod a couple of months ago because some people would post several times a day, everyday and I just couldn’t keep up. Every time I got a notification on my phone, I dreaded looking at it. Now, I feel so much more free and Instagram has become a lot more fun again!

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I totally agree with this! I was doing a mini instagram pod before and it got annoying to manage. I left it and never turned back! Much less stressful this way πŸ™‚

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I’ve definitely toned it down with pods. I still join one when I post a photo, but I no longer participate daily. My “engagement” is a little lower, but I’m happier!

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I just joined on a like pod just for try it out. I have no idea what to think about it yet, but it’s so weird to like photos that I wouldn’t like normally. So I might agree with this in a week!

Heidi πŸ“ | Heidi’s Planner | Instagram

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I have left all my comment pods as well because it was just too much to keep up with and it wasn’t fun for me. I’m still in a couple like-only pods for boosting purposes but don’t feel the pressure to keep up with those!

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Now see a like only pod I would probably do! I feel they’re tough to find though because everyone wants comments.

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I am in a pod too and sometimes it gets a bit much. However, we are only 12 girls and it’s not too stressful. I completely understand why you left though! πŸ™‚

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I still do pods and love them- but they’re not for everyone and that’s okay! Definitely good to share your honest thoughts on them!

xoxo A
http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

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I love this! It is exactly why I left my Instagram pods as well.

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I couldn’t agree with this more. I might just have to leave my pods!

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I totally agree, I am in a pod now and struggle with the authentic comments

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yesss girl! I’m fortunate enough to have an intern who does mine, otherwise I think I would leave too! It just gets old AF!

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It’s so discouraging when people leave 2 word comments on my posts! Sorry, I’d rather have people comment on my photos who actually want to. Thanks for reading 😊

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I’ve left a lot of mine also because I wasn’t getting ANY engagement! There were only one or two people who’s post I thoroughly enjoyed.

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That’s a great perspective! I have never tried Instagram pods. And they seem like a lot of work! Loved your opinion about it!

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I think it’s just a good way to kickstart your profile, get some early engagement, and cheat the algorithm a bit to get the ball rolling. Is it a lot of work? Sure. But I think it’s less work than doing the work without a pod, until you can get the momentum that is. But yeah, totally justified in leaving that method behind.

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girl I couldn’t agree with this post more… I know some people have found such success with comment pods but idk to me they feel a little disingenuous. I’d rather have people who actually want to comment on a pic or a post write something of substance than 50 comments that are just like “cute” or whatever haha.

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It felt like all I was getting 9 times out of ten was “love this picture” “such a cute photo” and “I love that product!” It got old real quick.

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It’s nice to hear other opinions on Commnet Pods. They work for some and not for other. Thanks for Sharing!

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This is refreshing because I’ve felt this way for a while! It’s tough – so finding whatever works for you these days on Instagram is what you gotta do!

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It’s important to stay true to who you are. I personally am not a fan of the pods. I felt very fake and forced.

XOXO
mQs
http://www.shorelifeofm.blogspot.com

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I’m pretty new to the blogging scene and have heard of them but had reservations for these exact reasons. Thanks for sharing! Sounds like now you have one less thing to be stressed about πŸ™‚

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I love your honesty. With a full time job it’s a little bit harder, but the right pod with quality content creators in your specific niche it can be awesome and genuinely. You can also share blogging tips and all… having no blogger friends it’s the only space where I can share my passion with others from the industry.

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I can totally relate to this. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who struggles on true comments. I love making my Instagram visibility as real as possible. πŸ™‚

xo,
Stephanie
Diary of a Debutante
http://www.thediaryofadebutante.com

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You’re definitely not the only one!

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Oh wow! I haven’t heard of these (yet), but I’m so glad to read this before I get sucked into them. Thank you for sharing and for your honesty! Great post!

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Some people like them, and maybe you will too! This was just my experience, but if you have the time and think you might like it I would say give it a try. Just don’t be afraid to leave if you find it’s not for you. Thanks for reading!

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I’m a member of so many different blogging groups on Facebook and already feel the pressure to follow strict rules. I can’t imagine what it’s like to be in a pod, which is exactly why I haven’t joined one. You’re absolutely right that genuine engagement is more important than forced engagement

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FB groups can be a bit stressful, but the payoff is SO much better than Instagram pods.

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I use to like pods, but I learned that they hinder true growth on social media. I stopped joining pods and follow for follows. Thanks for saying what I have been telling myself. It was very encouraging.

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So glad you could relate to my post. I know some people like them, but they’re just not for me.

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Love your outlook on things! I tried joining a few myself but I fall off the wagon quickly.
I would love to have a pods of friends instead where you just get to choose the photos you want to interact with.

Loving your blog!
Ana
http://www.thesheapproach.com

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Thanks so much for the comment, Ana! A pod of friends would be great; much less pressure and more enjoyable for sure.

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