Why Engagement Pods are Shit and Why They are Harming Your Account
We live in a society that wants a quick win. We live in the world of Social Media where everything is fed to us in a fast paced way and as business owners we have been sold a dream that everything can come to us quickly and you can accelerate the growth of your business by putting in the work but there are no such things as ‘quick wins’. Engagement pods are a product of our obsession with Instagram and other social media platforms as a vanity measure. We want likes, we want followers, we want comments but we are not willing to put in the work that you can do to get that in the right way and so people are trying to beat the algorithm. Beating the algorithm is not possible and is a waste of your time. Why not try to work with the platform to get the success that you deserve from the effort that you put in?
What is an Engagement Pod?
An Engagement Pod is when a group of people, often in the same industry, will swap contact details and use either WhatsApp or Telegram to put everybody together on the same chat and then whenever anyone posts a picture they link to it in the chat and everybody else in that chat is expected to comment on and like the picture. The theory behind an Engagement Pod is that the more Engagement you get on a post, the more likely the algorithm is going to think that that is a post worth showing and so it will push your post into more people’s accounts because it thinks that it is a good post. This is not beating the algorithm, this is making you feel like you’ve put some effort in and you’ve done a good job but the results you get are false, the engagement you get is manufactured and there is only a very small chance that anyone who bothers to read or comment on that post is interested in actually spending any money with you.
Let’s get into why they are so shit and damaging your account
1. It is a waste of your time
Engagement Pods take time. If you are using Instagram, or your other social media accounts properly, then you will know that it takes time to write your posts, post your posts, engage and find new followers; all the things that you are supposed to be doing. The thing is, as soon as you get into an Engagement Pod you are increasing the time you are spending on the App but for other peoples benefits. Yes, you get the ‘quick wins’ too but you get a small percent of the success from the group but you are spending more time on everyone else's accounts than you are trying to find real life people who are interested in what you are doing. You would be better served spending that time studying the followers of your competitors and engaging with them.
2. You become unaware of how your content is actually performing in a real life situation
If you engage in automatic likes, automatic followers, engagement pods; any of these ‘quick win’ things that are out there you become disassociated with how your efforts are actually doing. If you don’t know how well your posts are performing, if you don’t know what your audience cares about, if you don’t know which pictures work best or what comments people respond to or what times of the day people are looking at your account, then you are not growing your account. If you are not aware of your audience then your marketing efforts on social media are useless. How are you supposed to target your campaigns, or talk directly to ideal customers if you don’t know how or what they respond to, or even who they are. Think about that next time you celebrate your win on an Engagement Pod post; it is not a win, it is a lose because you are losing the ability to look into who your real life audience is and what they need.
3. They fudge up your algorithm
This is the most important reason. So, for those who don’t know what an algorithm is, it is essentially the computer behind social media. They work in the same way on every platform as they all have the same goal. It doesn’t matter if you are using Instagram, Facebook, LInkedIn, Twitter, You Tube or Pinterest. The whole purpose of these apps is to make you spend as much time as possible on them. The algorithm works by keeping your interest on the app for as long as possible. What it does is that it studies you, the people you follow, your habits, the way you interact and what you comment on, like, spend time looking at on the app and then shows you, firstly, things that it thinks you’ll be interested in based on your habits, but secondly, it puts your content in front of people who match these habits because it uses your data to predict what other people who are like you will be interested in. If you take a bit of time to understand how this algorithm works and you just think about it in the basic sense then you will start to understand why Engagement Pods are super shit number three. They fudge up your algorithm and they keep you in a supplier-supplier loop. Generally, Engagement Pods happen within industries because people do not have the time or the effort to get to know people outside of their industries. Even if it’s inside a wider sphere of industry, i.e. business owners, you are still not going to be seen by people who are not business owners because you are engaging on things that are similar to you, your interests and your likes and people engaging with you are similar to you, with similar interests and likes because you are all in the same Engagement Pod. Therefore, the algorithm will then only show you to people who are already in the Engagement Pod and people like them, and you will only see people who are in your Engagement Pod and people like them. That means, firstly, I very much doubt, that anyone in your Engagement Pod is actually going to buy from you as they have their own agenda, which therefore means that you are boxing yourself into a space on Instagram that can’t be found by real life people; clients who would be interested in spending their money and working with you. You are telling the algorithm to stop showing you to people who are trying hard to find you as think are you beating the algorithm….. but you’re not.
I hope you can see now why Engagement Pods are shit and how they are harming your account. Social Media marketing is a powerful and legitimate tool to use to find real life customers who would be interested in what you have got to say, every single day. If you don’t use it properly, then you are doing yourself a disservice. It is not there to just simply post pretty pictures, it is not there to simply have a nosy on what other people are doing, it is there for you to use to find clients and make them interested in who you are and what your business is. That is your sole purpose. And If every time you log onto the app you are doing anything outside of ‘the sole purpose’ of your social media account then you are wasting your time socialising and not doing business type things to grow your business. Engagement Pods are a prime example of people trying to get ‘quick wins’, of trying to beat the algorithm, trying to make things happen quicker for themselves but instead they are wasting time from doing what they should actually be doing and what would actually help them.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, I feel very passionately about the subject. If you want to talk more about it, please send me an email, or even better if you’d like me to come and do a live chat and workshop about the subject I’d be very happy to. Just get in touch.