A POD in social media terms is where a group of people get together and form a POD to share each others social media posts. The purpose behind this is to boost engagement and reach. 

PODs are used across most social media platforms, however are they actually useful and should you be part of one?

Some PODs are free and some you have to pay for. I was part of a free one that was set up by someone who is an expert in their field and I have even been on one of their podcasts. Whilst they were based on the other side of the world, our content and views on social media did compliment each other, so it made sense to me to be part of it and for us to share each others content from time to time. 

However, the group began to expand rapidly, which meant it was difficult to keep up with what we were being asked to engage with. The majority of the content was not relevant for my audience, my LinkedIn message box I had to mute. Eventually I was honest with the person who set it up saying it was not for me and left.

I then came across this video on PODs and was astounded by some of what I heard. The paid PODs where the owners "guarantee" you XYZ in engagement - if it is too good to be true, it generally is. 

If you are chasing vanity metrics and views then I guess this is where you can find them. Would I advise paying for it? No. You would be better to invest in paid adverts on FB, Twitter and Instagram, than doing this. And probaby get a better return with a more relevant audience.

Social Media is about being authentic, more so then ever before. In a world where #FakeNews is a thing, influencer marketing is on the fall - do we trust someone that they really use the product when we know they are being paid to promote it to their legions of "sheeple". 

I doubt very much that any of you reading this service a global market and can be all things to all people. You may work for a global organisation, however, I suspect you serve a specific audience, territory, sector etc. Therefore, if you fill your social media feeds with content that is not going to resonate with those people, because you are being "told" you have to share it, they are not going to engage with you. It will create a mixed, noisey and irrelvant message to the market.  (Ironically we also see this when organisations invest in Social Amplification tools or Employee Advocacy tools and they gamify it - for another post.)

However, what I do believe is that you can use POD tactics to your benefit within a company, especially if you have a team who are industry focussed. You can all work together in a micro-POD to help amplify each other's content through your own networks. Of course there has to be context as to why you are sharing one of your colleagues posts, and it needs to be blended in with 3rd party content, news articles, industry view points, as well as your own. If not, then you are just broadcasting. 

I recommend you watching the full video below, it will certainly give you food for thought.

I do not doubt that there are people out there who are part of PODs and have found them to be useful - especially those that charge you to be part of one. As with everything on social media, if it works for you great, if it doesn't, try something different.

Social Media has changed the world. So can you.