I'm an algorithm strategy and digital marketing deployment specialist living on Vancouver Island.
The secret behind getting massive social media engagement for free in a pay-to-play digital ecosystem is engagement pods.
Engagement groups are one of my favourite growth hacks today for giving your content an unfair advantage. But the majority of people don’t know what engagement groups (also called engagement pods) do. So let’s dive in!
Engagement Pods(and Engagement Groups)Explained
Engagement pods are private groups who engage with each other’s content to game that social media platform’s algorithm into thinking the content scores high in virility potential.
The result is a massive boost in visibility for your content you didn’t have to pay for! The boost you receive in visibility comes partially through greater access from your own network, but also additional access through the networks of your engagement pod.
Ideally, you’ll want to join engagement pods where the other accounts have followings that share the same interests as your accounts. Growth hackers benefit from joining other growth hacker engagement pods. Jewelry designers with other accessory accounts. Many people worry they’re losing potential business by opening up their network through engaging with potential competitors, but the opposite couldn't be more true.
The average reach of Instagram and Facebook posts for individuals and businesses is somewhere ranging between 1-8% and expected to eventually get to zero for marketers. But when you game social media platforms with engagement groups, your reach dramatically increases. When you include hashtags, the benefits of your post visibility pay you in further engagement compound interest.
How do engagement pods work?
Engagement pods (or groups) can be done either manually or automatically, depending on your preferences and budget. I use both, because they each offer different benefits which I’ll cover.
Engagement Groups (Manual Engagement Pods)
These are typically private groups on a messenger service like Whatsapp or Telegram (outside of Facebook ownership). Some groups set up a shared time to post and engage together once a week, other groups have an “anytime engage” membership. They are specific to the platform. IE: A Facebook engagement group wouldn’t appreciate members putting engagement requests to platforms that aren’t Facebook, unless otherwise stated.
As mentioned above, it’s more valuable when your engagement groups have similar audience interests to keep engagement high for everyone. If you’re a business interested in setting up a company engagement group, send me a message if you’d like some help.
Engagement Pods (Automated Engagement Groups)
Automated engagement pods require a little bit of learning to use, but the benefits are well worth it. Automated engagement pods that work well do have a cost because of their value.
Once you’ve chosen an engagement pod service to use, you’ll then need to choose appropriate groups to join. They’re most commonly based on industries, professions and even based on locations. Choose the ones that best fit your business or account to avoid getting kicked out of your engagement pod service.
Automated engagement pods give you a great deal of control.
You can choose the frequency between engagements of people in your groups. (Anywhere between 20 seconds to 5 minutes between engagements on most popular platforms).
You can choose what comments you want your engagement pod group members to leave on some engagement pod softwares.
Also on some pod engagement software you can choose whether you want to engage with other people's posts or just have them engage with yours. Depending on your profession and if you’re doing personal branding, this is especially important, because you won’t want to give strangers control over what you’re saying publicly on their posts.
Are Engagement Pods safe?
Unlike the follow/unfollow bots that get banned for spamming people with messages and generic comments, engagement pods are more discreet. Engagement groups are considered extremely safe, and automated engagement pods are generally safe.
When joining engagement pods, you do run a risk of getting your account banned and your online reputation damaged.
Groups that are public and allow anyone to join are among the highest risk. Here are a few reasons to avoid free pods.
Large pod numbers where everyone is not connected or following each other but engages with each others content will appear suspicious to the algorithm and flag it for moderator review.
Your account may engage with content that is off-brand or inappropriate.
Inexperienced users can get flagged and draw unwanted attention to the whole pod without realizing it.
With free engagement pods, you're trusting a complete stranger without any ground rules.
Auto-commenting can easily go wrong when people don't know what they're doing. (see below)
Not pretty, right?
For those interested in joining a premium LinkedIn engagement pod network and gain free LinkedIn algorithm strategy training while the course is in beta testing, I have a special offer for Hacker Noon readers for a limited time.
Are Engagement Pods just bots?
Automated engagement pods are a type of pre-programmed bot that acts on your behalf.
Don't social media platforms hate bots?
Sort of. They hate bots that negatively affect user experience to the point users complain or simply use the platform less. But the flip side is that social media platforms like bots because they inflate site and user engagement metrics and are presented to advertisers and stockholders. Engagement from fake bots make these platforms richer. So as long as the bots aren’t appearing spammy, they’re pretty happy to keep them around.
What platforms can I use engagement pods on?
Any social media platform can use engagement groups. Here’s a few platforms to give you some ideas:
If your business relies on any of these social channels, you’re going to want to get on this ASAP. Engagement pod automation software is where you want to choose carefully.
Remember there are always risks to using engagement pod groups and services! Be sure that the ones you are using aren’t the kind mentioned earlier that act in spammy ways that hurt user experience, because they will eventually get removed.