Instagram Engagement Groups
The next phase of our program introduces the exciting world of Instagram Engagement Groups (a.k.a Instagram Pods). These groups are the latest trend helping Instagram users gain additional organic exposure for their content. Before we get into what your role will be in these pods, we’ll start by explaining what Instagram Engagement Groups or Pods are.
An Engagement Group or Pod is a community of Instagram users that commit to consistently engaging with each other’s content or account to increase post impressions, engagement, followers etc.
Usually, these pods take the form of group chat through a third-party app like Telegram or WhatsApp, but smaller groups and pods can also be found on Instagram or Facebook. Once you’ve joined a pod, the expectation is for you to engage with fellow group-members’ posts on a regular basis with the expectation that they will do the same. It’s the simple concept of “if you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”.
Why do we encourage the use of engagement groups or pods?
In order to understand why people use this growth method, you need to understand how Instagram’s algorithm works. When you share a post, Instagram displays that post to a small percentage of your total followers. Based on how that post performs with that small group of people, the app ranks the quality of your content, which then determines how your post is delivered in your follower’s feeds (including the duration the post remains in those feeds), performs in hashtag categories, as well as in the Discover tab.
These groups and pods will help your account achieve the following:
- Make new connections and followers relevant to your niche
- Increase post engagement (likes, comments, story views)
- Boost organic reach and post impressions
- Raise the likelihood of your content being seen by your existing followers
- Improve the chance of of a post ending up in Discover or as “Top Post” for a hashtag category
How an engagement group or pod operates
Engagement groups and pods range in size – some are as small at 15 or less people, while others have thousands of members. Users must “apply” to join a pod, essentially verifying that they are not spam and that they agree to the terms of the group.
Once accepted into a pod, members send links to their Instagram posts to the group chat after they publish them. After sharing the link, pod members like the content and comment on it. The goal is for this engagement boost to flag to Instagram that the post is quality content (as defined above).
Many Instagram users will also participate in multiple Instagram pods to further boost engagment. Yes, the more groups you join the higher the chance your engagement will increase, however, the more groups you join also translates into more work in engaging with others’ posts – therefore, proceed with caution.
The Rules of Engagement:
Members of a group or pod usually have to follow certain rules to maintain the quality of engagement offered by the community.
Some groups require members engage with others’ posts first before being able to share their own posting, or require an “engagement minimum” per member. Pods may also have restrictions to the number of times in a day you can share your content to the group.
Comment guidelines apply too. To avoid looking like a bot or spam, comments usually need to be four or more words and cannot consist of only emojis.
Failure to comply with these rules will result in a ban or mute in a group.
What types of pods are there?
There are a variety of pods and groups available to join that have different functions and rules:
Niche: Niche-specific pods focus on a certain industry, service or community. Usually these groups have fewer members and tend to be more exclusive, however, these groups can have a bigger payoff in respect to reaching your target audience.
Broad: These are usually larger groups that do not have a particular focus or requirement to join. Members come from all different niches and industries.
Follower-Based: Some groups members are required to have a certain number of followers in order to be admitted into a pod. Often the magic number is 10k followers or more to join follow-based engagement groups.
Open Engagement: The group focuses on all types of engagement on Instagram including story views, comments, likes, and follows.
Specific Engagement: These groups have specific engagement requests from members. For example, there are engagement groups that only request likes or comments instead of both.
Instagram Group Chat: Pods that exist on Instagram tend to be smaller and more exclusive due to the platform restricting the maximum amount of group chat members to 15.
Third Party Messaging Apps: Most larger pods exist in various messaging apps, such as Telegram, WhatsApp, and Slack.
Making the most out of a pod
The first step is to find the right pod that will achieve your engagement goals.
We often find that an engagement group of like-minded creators or a group relevant to your niche (e.g. beauty, bodybuilding, wedding photography, etc) who are more likely to engage with your content can be the most beneficial to your account. That way, not only will the members engaging with your account offer better comments, they will also be more likely to begin following your account.
These groups are a time commitment, but can be incredibly effective if used properly.
Here are a few tips that will help you get started.
Leverage the group or pod shortly after posting.
Time is of the essence in the land of Instagram. The more in engagement your post receives in a short period of time, the higher Instragram will score the content, which is why it is important to gain engagement quickly. Roughly 15 minutes after you share new content to feed, send your post link to the group to gain organic traction.
Give good comments to get good comments.
Writing meaningful comments will not only gain you a good reputation in the engagement group, it will also inspire a user to return the favour, and lead their followers to check out your account.
Here are a few ways to ensure your comment game is strong:
- Read the post caption before responding – this is REALLY important
- If there are other comments left on the post, try to craft a reply that is different
- To avoid getting banned from the pod or group, don’t post a comment that is only emojis
- Include at least four words per comment – the more relevant words the better.
- Tag the original poster or another account you think would like the content
- Avoid vague comments such as “wow, I like your account”, or “great work, keep it up”, or “super content, good job”
- Don’t direct people back to your account or try to sell your product or service on someone else’s profile
Don’t forget to engage and reply to comments left on your posts! It’s important to respond to pod comments for etiquette reasons, plus it will help your post’s quality “score”.
Ready to begin?
Remember, whether the pod is big or small, engagement between you and the group members is intended to be authentic and meaningful by creating real and relevant comments for each other’s postings.
If this feels like a lot to digest, don’t worry, we’re here to help you out! If you have any questions or concerns about engagement groups or pods, please contact us, were here to support.