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LinkedIn Pod Software Options, Compared

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@darraghDarragh Grove-White

I'm an algorithm strategy and digital marketing deployment specialist living on Vancouver Island.

LinkedIn engagement pod software has changed the game for many small businesses and entrepreneurs. Now there are new engagement pod softwares we’re able to choose, making it feel more confusing.
Lempod, Alcapod, Le Clap Club and LinkBoost are all LinkedIn pod apps that automate LinkedIn engagements, but in different ways. We’ll review how each engagement pod software measures up to each other from the point of functionality, pod safety, pod quality, customer support and pricing.

Engagement Pod Software Functionality

Engagement pod functionality refers to the options, features, reliability of the software and ongoing product developments.

Pod Safety Features

Engagement pod safety is about how safe the pods are to use in terms of avoiding LinkedIn’s algorithm for detection, as well as the safety of each individual user’s reputation.

Engagement Pod Quality

LinkedIn pod quality alludes to the quality, relevancy, the exclusivity, safety, content standers (if any), along with training (if applicable) and engagement expectations.

Customer Support

Pod customer support is important for when things inevitably go wrong with our technology. I include this in rankings as it affects the overall recommendations.

Software Pricing & Value-for-Money

Pricing and value-for-money are important considerations for those willing to spend on these services.

Reviewing Lempod

Lempod is the incumbent when it comes to LinkedIn pods. They’re the original and have been in the game for more than a year. They set the bar for other competitors that are coming into the space.

Functionality

Lempod has several features that make it the current leader.
  • You can change the interval between pod engagements.
  • You can connect with pod members within the app.
  • You can see your SSI (social selling index) score within the app.
  • You can see who’s profile is set to giving auto-comments and likes.
  • Auto-commenting is easy.

Pod Safety

The Lempod team has done a decent job on pod safety features, relative to the new competitors. I’ll break it down here:
  • Limits a maximum of 1 post URL every 24 hours.
  • Random order of engagements within pods help avoid algorithm detection.
  • Has a maximum pod size of between 60-80 members to help avoid algorithm detections.
  • Lempod does not offer much in the way of engagement pod training or any pod safety.
  • Being able to easily see your pod members profiles makes pod safety more simple.
  • Auto-commenting can be easily abused by inexperienced users.
  • Lempod doesn’t actively encourage users to get 1st degree connected which is a big problem, but an easy fix.

Engagement Pod Quality

Engagement pod quality is a relatively new term that pod software providers have been slow to accept. Lempod is no different in this regard.
  • You can buy monthly access to a pod based on location, profession(s) or industry.
  • There is no gate keeper to ensure the networks have relevancy or exclusivity.
  • There is no standards for content quality.
  • Each pod member’s content you’re engaging with run of risk of being off-brand, low-quality or unprofessional.
  • Auto-commenting from public groups may not be reliable in terms of your market persona.
  • There’s no incentive to keep pod quality high.

Customer Support

I have to give Lempod credit for having the best customer support at this time. However it does take between 24 and 48 hours to get a response.

Pricing and Value-For-Money

Engagement pods are a difficult thing to price out.
Currently at $5 per Lempod, per month, and delivers high-value results.
For private pods, $2 per member.

Reviewing Alcapod

Although currently in BETA testing until the end of May 2020 (estimated), Captain Data has put out a terrific, free SaaS product with Alcapod.

Functionality

Alcapod has the basic engagement pod features of auto-liking, auto-commenting and auto-approving posts to be engaged.
  • You can even post more than 1 URL per 24 hours, though this looks like it will be patched in their next update.
  • Drip feed engagements using Alcapods without the hard 24 hour limit of Lempod.
  • There is no interval between engagement feature. This makes it far more difficult to leverage LinkedIn’s algorithm with auto-commenting.
  • In its current form, Alcapod lacks in user interface and pod safety features to keep people’s accounts safe from getting banned or flagged.
Because Alcapod is still in BETA (free) mode, it’s important to remember you get what you pay for. Regardless, it functions well enough that I can recommend it with conditions and disclaimers.

Pod Safety

Pod safety was not a primary driver in Alcapod’s initial software development. I’ll dig into that a bit more here:
  • No random order of engagements between pod users. (same order of people in the pod engaging repetitively exposes a pattern that’s easy to detect.)
  • Members can’t delete their own posts when they make a mistake. This exposes all the pod members IP addresses when they go to the LinkedIn page that’s been deleted, exposing pod engagement patterns.
  • When the auto-approve posts function is turned off and posts are reviewed manually, an engagement surge happens to several LinkedIn posts at the same time causing a very predictable engagement pattern.
  • Auto-commenting more than once. if you share multiple pods with the same person they will auto-comment multiple times.
  • Pods sizes can be over 600 members, although this will be changed soon to a limit of 200 people per pod and even lower number for engagements.
  • You can’t easily find and connect with people in your pods.
  • You can post more than once per day, making it easier for the algorithm to detect, and for inexperienced pod members to abuse.
I’ve been in contacting with Guillaume Odier on pod safety over the last few months and have confidence in the Captain Data team adding new layers of safety as they continue to refine their product.

Engagement Pod Quality

Unlike Lempod that has a public marketplace for joining pods, Alcapod’s marketplace is in development still. Engagement pod quality is entirely based on who created the pod.

Customer Support

Since Alcapod is a free product, it’s no doubt difficult to pay for the time needed to deal with customer support and troubleshooting enquiries. This will likely change (and improve) as the project generates revenue to pay for it.

Pricing and value-for-money

Alcapod is currently free, but has plans to monetize very soon. Here’s what we currently know:
  • Alcapod pods with under 10 members will be free.
  • €3 per public pod per month. This will put it at slightly cheaper than Lempod pods.
  • Private pods will be charged €1 per member in the pod, per month.
As Alcapod is currently free, it’s great value. However it remains to be seen if the anticipated pricing will be worth it. They have quite a bit of work yet to do to become a legitimate Lempod competitor.

Reviewing Le Clap Club

Le Clap Club is another free engagement pod service that appears to be in BETA testing. It’s a very ambitious project but it is difficult to say whether it will fulfill its functional intentions.

Functionality

What makes Le Clap Club stand apart from Lempod or Alcapod is multi-platform engagement pods.
  • Engagement pods for LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.
  • No Auto-commenting. It’s likes only.
  • Intervals can be set between engagements, based on the pod. (manual, 2 hours, 4, 6,12 or 24.)
  • Can join public pods or private.
  • User interface is complicated and software is far from easy to use.

Pod Safety

Le Clap Club doesn’t appear to have any notable pod safety features but it does have issues.
The positives are:
  • Relatively easy to find your engagement pod members within the interface.
Pod safety downsides:
  • The intervals when everyone engages causes an engagement surge, making the pod patterns very predictable.

Engagement Pod Quality

Unfortunately, the pod quality of the public pods I’ve analyzed is poor and inconsistent. There seems to be lower quality profiles who are attracted to free pods in general.

Customer Support

Although this is currently a free service, of the 4 or 5 requests to speak with the tech support, I’ve not received one reply. It also appears that the last time the pods were active was April 20th and the app has been a ghost town ever since.
UPDATE: Le Clap Club will be rolling out a new software update closer to June 2020!

Pricing

It’s free while in BETA, but it’s unclear if it will ever go beyond BETA given the extent of inactivity.
Finally we go to the newest entrant in the LinkedIn pod software space.

Reviewing LinkBoost

Nearly a complete replica of Lempod, LinkBoost has much of the functionality of Lempod, except it's free and with a lot of bug issues.

Functionality

LinkBoost draws on the same front-end features as Lempod. They are:
  • You can change the interval between pod engagements.
  • You can see the full names of the LinkedIn pod members and manually put them in the search bar to connect.
  • You can see your posts performance in terms of engagements and views within the app.
  • You can see who’s profile is set to giving auto-comments and likes.
  • Auto-commenting is easy.
  • Posts are limited to every 24 hours.

Pod Safety

LinkBoost borrows a few of the same Pod safety features of Lempod, but is very much a lower-quality version while in free mode. The safety features I counted are as follows:
  • Posting is limited to one per 24 hours.
  • You can find your pod members, albeit it takes a bit more effort than with Lempod.
  • You can choose the engagement intervals.
  • Randomization is enabled on auto-commenting spintax.
  • Pods are currently small enough that it is difficult to tell if engagement order is randomized.
What’s unfortunate is that even when your setting for auto-liking or auto-commenting is switched off, I found my account was still leaving random, low-effort auto-comments.
I’ve messages the developers to let them know about this bug.

Engagement Pod Quality

Engagement pod quality is very low. The pods available are small, which makes people join more pods than they match relevance for, just to increase their likes and comments.
Here’s what I’m finding:
  • Anyone can join any pods (again, there’s little screening required).
  • People drawn to these free softwares instead of paying for them typically don’t have money or valuable networks.
My experience with all pods and LinkBoost being no different, is that there’s no incentive to have your account engage with other people’s content. This creates it a pod culture of using others, instead of building real relationships.

Customer Support

Being a free product in testing, I was impressed with the speed of response from the LinkBoost team.

Pricing

Currently free, they’re looking at monetizing models in the near future.

This One Engagement Pod Software Recommendations

Although each of these softwares does nearly the same thing as each other, if used a certain way, they can all work well together.
Lempod and LinkBoost are best suited for the initial engagement early on to leverage the LinkedIn algorithm for further post reach.
Alcapod can be used after the initial engagements in the first hour, and up until 4 days later. You can read the specific strategy here: This One Alcapod and Lempod Strategy
Le Clap Club (if and when it works again) can be used to get engagements on multiple social platforms, as well as compliment post engagements like Alcapod.
If engagement pod quality, pod safety and building meaningful new network connections is a priority for you, the following engagement pods I’ve made are available for free to anyone in or completed the engagement pod training course!

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