WTF is a LinkedIn Engagement Pod and Should You Use One

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@darraghDarragh Grove-White

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

When used well, LinkedIn engagement pods are a proven way to increase your brand reach, build relationships and your target audience quickly, and get your message out to more people. 
But not all engagement pods are equal. Here we’ll discuss the different engagement pods and groups, and how to choose the right one for you.

Manual LinkedIn engagement groups 

The most well-known LinkedIn engagement growth hack has been engagement groups. Engagement groups are a way for groups of people to manually get engagements when their posts are hot of the press.
They do this by scheduling a time each week or every few days and commit to engaging with each other’s posts at the set time. This allows them to trigger the algorithm to get more reach on their posts.
The benefits of manual LinkedIn engagement groups
  • It free.
  • You get the initial engagement boost to help your content get seen by a wider audience.
  • You don’t have to write people’s comments they’ll leave on your posts.
The negatives of the engagement groups
  • Engagement groups are often random and based on people’s schedule and availability to commit. 
  • You may engage with brands that are not relevant or compatible with your own. 
  • It’s difficult to grow your target audience when the group has no shared theme.
  • It can start to look obvious to your audience over time.
  • The vanity metrics from random profiles are likely not relevant to your target market.
  • Regular scheduling between several people in different time zones can be inconvenient and time-consuming.
  • It takes a lot of time and mental energy to write unique, thoughtful comments for each member’s post.
It’s no wonder that with all the cons for engagement groups, eventually someone would figure out how to automate this!
LinkedIn engagement pod softwares address some efficiency issues but it comes with a new set of problems.

The different LinkedIn engagement pod options

Engagement pods come in many forms, qualities, softwares and sizes. The idea behind engagement pods is to automate liking and auto-commenting, rather than the manual approach seen earlier with engagement groups.
This means that you can choose the comment that other users will say, rather than hoping they might mention certain aspects or features. There are downsides to auto-comments that we talk about in my onboarding & best-practices training.
There’s three distinct types of automated engagement pod options to choose from that we’ll go over.

Free LinkedIn engagement pods 

The benefits of free engagement pods like Alcapod:
  • It’s free. 
  • It’s very efficient in time because we automate likes and comments.
  • You just have to copy and paste your URL in the pod and it’s done.
  • No restrictions on the number of URLs you can submit per day.
  • It's VERY simple.
The downside of these free engagement pods:
  • You need to find free pod codes to join.
  • Auto-comments can easily look fake.
  • Auto-commenting is unreliable and inconsistent.
  • There’s no training on auto-comments so mistakes happen frequently with other people.
  • There are no quality standards for who can join.
  • Many people don’t contribute, only taking from groups.
  • There’s no quality controls for bad content you may unknowingly engage with.
  • The low barrier to entry attracts low-quality and less-desirable networks.
  • You could engage with content that’s in a language you don’t speak.
  • The people engaging with your content are random and unlikely to apply to your target market.
  • No limits on the number of URLs a day to boost can lead to your account getting banned on LinkedIn because of another member spamming the pod with low-quality posts.

Paid LinkedIn engagement pods 

Paid engagement pods are an improvement over their free counterpart. Some concerns are mitigated, but there is still much left for wanting.
The benefits of paid engagement pods like Lempod are:
  • Time-efficient.
  • You can get started quickly.
  • 1 post a day limit lowers the risk of your account being detected and banned.
  • You can decide the engagement interval between posts. 20 seconds, 40 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes or every 5 minutes a new engagement happens.
  • You can preload auto-comments for your posts.
  • Pods around themes help with growing a relevant audience.
  • Cost is a barrier to entry for keeping out lower-quality networks.
The negatives to paid engagement pods
  • Not free like the others.
  • There’s no quality control for content you auto-engage with.
  • Auto-comments set by others can look fake and hurt your brand.
  • There’s no training or best-practices before using.
  • You could engage with bad quality content and not know it.
  • You may also engage irrelevant content or profiles that don’t help grow your target audience.
  • Although there are supposedly themes, no one seems to vet individuals causing low pod relevancy.
  • Many people leach engagements without contributing.
  • It’s not authentically building relationships between pod members.
  • The minimal cost isn’t enough of a deterrent for low-quality networks to gain access.

Private LinkedIn Engagement Networks

Private engagement networks are for professionals that need discretion. They won’t risk it with fake-looking comments, engaging with inappropriate content that could hurt their brand, or the thought of getting their LinkedIn account disabled.
I created this category of private engagement networks because there was still an unmet need for professionals like me.
The quality, consistency and relevancy for pods was unreliable. Quality controls, non-existent. And the barrier to entry was still too low because poor-quality content, engagements and undesirable networks were increasing over time.
The conclusion was to build a different kind of engagement network that didn’t exist yet. People would get basic training on pod best-practices. And members would be vetted for quality and pod relevancy.
Benefits of being in a private club of LinkedIn engagement networks
  • Everyone starts with a low-stakes training pod while learning best-practices in an email mini-course.
  • The mandatory mini-course covers lessons on pod safety and auto-commenting best-practices.
  • We vet members for each pod. You know the people who will engage and auto-comment on posts are relevant.
  • Real relationships within pods develop because everyone is 1st degree connected.
  • We expect everyone to contribute to the engagement pods they’re in. No leaching.
  • I manage the pods for quality posts and pod safety to avoid LinkedIn algorithm detection.
  • There’s over 130+ different engagement networks, depending on your industry, profession, geography and languages you speak and target.
The downside of premium LinkedIn engagement networks
  • You need to complete the mandatory mini-course before you can auto-comment and join other premium engagement networks.
  • It’s not for everyone. We turn down a lot of requests and have to remove people that put others at risk.
  • Individuals need to learn how to make quality posts or risk getting removed. People don't want to be seen engaging crappy content in front of their LinkedIn network.
  • It's not free for everyone.
While the BETA course is still in testing, I'm offering Hacker Noon subscribers a chance to try the onboarding course and get a free pod to learn with. In return, your feedback is appreciated!
For most people, choosing the right engagement pods isn't easy. Learning pod quality is the first step to joining the best engagement pods.


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