At the time of writing I am 6 days into running a 7 day poll on my LinkedIn profile entitled To Pod or Not to Pod – That is the Question.  In the poll, which I created using LinkedIn’s poll feature,  I ask individuals for their opinion on the use of LinkedIn pods. “Pods” are private groups of active LinkedIn users who commit to regularly engage with other pod members content by liking, commenting or sharing.  The reason? LinkedIn’s algorithm assesses how many users engage with a post within a certain time frame (usually 30 minutes to an hour). If the LinkedIn algorithm sees lots of action on a given post within that time frame, it considers that post to be “trending” and thus continues to serve up the post to others in the way a search engine may serve up a search result.

A Simple LinkedIn Poll About Pods

I introduced my  poll with the following statement: In your opinion are LinkedIn Pods cheating the system or amplifying a good idea?

The poll was super simple. Users were only given two options to choose from:

  1. LinkedIn pods are a cheat
  2. LinkedIn pods are awesome

Before I reveal the results of the poll, I would like to reveal a secret

The Social Experiment

The goal of this poll was not to just hear my connections’ opinions on podding (although I thoroughly loved reading them all) but to test the effectiveness of pods on post engagement and reach.

I’m guilty.  I occasionally use a pod to amplify my posts. My pod is small, just a handful of friends and colleagues whose work and content I respect.  Admittedly I’m not a frequent social poster and therefore don’t pod regularly either, more like 4-6 times a month.

On average, the organic engagement my posts receive when I don’t pod are anywhere from 30 – 50 engagements, 5-10 comments and about 2K in views.  For this experiment however, I went all in and posted not to just one but three pods during a 30 minute period. Here’s how it unrolled:

Day 1:

  • I created and published a poll on LinkedIn. I supported the poll with a post on my profile and two very neutral hashtags: #linkedinpoll and #linkedinmarketing.
  • I shared a link to the post on 3 pods
  • I shared the post on about 3-4 LinkedIn Groups
  • I shared the link with 5 friends outside of my pods

That’s it.

The Results

The poll engagement was fine but not earth shattering,  garnering 133 votes, 35 reactions and 80 comments, from a variety of enterprise companies in some marketing or sales capacity as per the screenshot below.

LinkedIn Poll About LinkedIn Pods

Poll, post and reaction results followed the same pattern, with day 1 of the poll providing the highest level of engagement.

LinkedIn Poll Results

The real surprise was the reach, which generated 6 times more reach than a “no pod” post, garnering over 12K in reach. Please see screenshot of post below:

The Last Word

Thanks to all of those folks who unwittingly ended up as part of my social experiment. I genuinely thank you for your impassioned, funny and thoughtful comments. On some level I respect and agree with all sides of the poll. However, there is no doubt that “to pod” definitely garners a lot more reach and engagement than a “not to pod” approach. To view the post live and read the comments click here.

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