If you’ve ever heard of the term “engagement pods,” you may be wondering a few things.
What exactly are engagement pods? How effective are they at spurring traction for your content? And is the effort invested in them justified?
Let’s walk through the major attractors that draw people toward joining engagement pods understand their mechanics, evaluate their efficacy, and provide insights into their role in curating your content.
Their expertise has helped Nextiva grow its brand and overall business
What Are Engagement Pods?
An engagement pod is a strategy used primarily on social media platforms, where a group of like-minded individuals agree to engage with each other’s content to boost its presence and engagement metrics.
These communities often exist on messaging apps like WhatsApp, Discord or Instagram. Think of it like a thought-sharing or experience-sharing discussion group where people exchange ideas and engage with each other’s content that is centered around a specific topic.
For instance, here’s a list of Instagram engagement pods each focusing on a specific type of engagement, such as driving comments or likes quickly:
An engagement pod effectively takes all the posts that members are sharing with each other, extracts what works best, and then gives members inspiration for what to post on their social channels next. It could be something as simple as including a specific hype word in their copy or featuring a specific type of video.
In the end, a lot of the ideas for content end up looking very similar since pod members often end up cross-posting similar content and engaging with each other’s posts to spark the momentum for social algorithms to take notice that they’re “trending.”
The Hurdles of Engagement Pods
So now that you know what they are, you might be wondering whether engagement pods are a good idea or if they even work in the first place. It’s valid to have a pause for a few reasons here.
While engagement pods might appear as a hyper-productive tactic to boost your online presence with new ideas that are practically fool-proof, there are a few drawbacks tied to them, such as:
- Content Uniformity: In these pods, content creators often find themselves producing content that closely resembles one another. This quest for uniformity can lead to a lack of originality, resulting in a sea of indistinguishable posts that mirror one another.
- Loss of Authenticity: Some content creators may grapple with a sense of compromise in using engagement pods. It can become more about pursuing what garners likes and shares, rather than staying true to what they’re genuinely passionate about.
- Short-Term Gains: While engagement pods can initially lead to a surge in engagement, it’s often short-lived. Unique and genuine content tends to have a more lasting impact on the audience.
- Algorithmic Risks: Social media platforms are becoming more proficient at identifying inauthentic engagement. Over time, using engagement pods could potentially harm your account’s credibility and standing with algorithms since the content may eventually look too similar to another account’s content.
The best bet to curb all these points is to be extremely selective in what type of ideas you choose to implement from engagement pods.
The Dominance of Unique Content
An avalanche of posts inundates social media daily, and the defining factor that sets one brand apart from another is the quality of the content and how distinct it is from the rest.
Even if you’re creating thread-based content, it’s the novelty and uniqueness of your perspective that will catapult your content to go viral.
The key to great content is always to provide a fresh viewpoint that captivates your audience.
To that end, it’s always better to develop specific content befitting the personality of your brand and the thoughts it wants to convey. If you’re too focused on mimicking posts out there that perform well but lack any unique identity, you’ll inevitably meld into the background with everyone else – until someone else comes along with something new, thereby stealing the spotlight.
You want your brand to be the one that steals the spotlight, which means producing original content that goes against the grain. Sure, you can supplement it occasionally with recycled ideas from other creators that are likely to be viral, but those should be few and far between, not your entire content strategy.
Built-in Virality Is Potent, But It’s Not the Only Way
One crucial aspect to contemplate is a platform’s capacity for inherent virality. This means that the platform is capable of letting the viewer or listener engage with the content. This is the case with most types of social media.
Platforms like YouTube possess mechanisms that facilitate content going viral. If your video proves engaging, viewers can share it, which is part of the puzzle in seeing your video go viral. Users can:
- Like a Facebook post
- Retweet a Twitter post (sorry, X post)
- Pin a post on Pinterest
👆 These are all examples of inherent virality of a post.
In contrast, TV ads and audio podcasts face a more formidable challenge in terms of growth because they lack the built-in virality that other social platforms offer.
To accumulate more podcast listeners, someone must become so enthralled by your content that they personally advocate it to others. Podcasts frequently rely on a tight-knit community and word-of-mouth marketing, which is why they take longer to grow. The difference is that the audience here is usually a lot more passionate about your content than users on social media where engagement is much easier.
To maintain consistent growth and ensure the production of top-quality content, some content creators resort to financial incentives. They share a percentage of the profit with their team members, fostering a collective effort to enhance content and performance.
It’s not just about generating content for the sake of generating content; it’s more about making sure the content contributes value to the entire business, its product and, most importantly, its audience. Financial incentives can serve as a powerful tool to motivate team members to excel.
Last Word on Engagement Pods
Sure, engagement pods can offer a temporary boost in engagement. They are very effective at growing activity on a post that people are comfortable with. However, content creators must navigate these waters cautiously, acknowledging the potential drawbacks of content dilution.
Ultimately, the success of your content is predicated on its uniqueness and quality. Especially with how much AI is contributing to content creation, there’s never been more call for original creativity.
How does your brand present a different perspective to your vertical?
Look to your primary product or service offering for a jumping-off point. A lot of times, the competitive edge you hold over other players in your industry can be all you need to build persuasive content that helps people notice you.
If you’re ready to drive engagement and boost brand awareness on social, Single Grain’s social media marketing experts can help!👇
For more insights and lessons about marketing, check out our Marketing School podcast on YouTube.
Engagement Pods FAQs
What is pod engagement?
Pod engagement is a strategy where a group of social media users form a “pod” to mutually engage with each other’s content (like, comment, share) to boost visibility and algorithmic ranking on platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
Do Instagram engagement pods still work?
Yes, Instagram engagement pods can still work to increase engagement metrics, but their effectiveness may vary and they are often frowned upon by the platform, which may penalize users for artificial engagement strategies.
How do I find an engagement pod?
Engagement pods can be found through social media groups, forums or messaging apps like Telegram and WhatsApp. Searching on platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit, or joining specific industry or interest groups, can also lead to pod discovery.
First, join relevant social media groups, forums, etc. Once you’re a member of these groups, network with other members and inquire about engagement pods. Often, existing members can invite you to join a pod or guide you on where to find them.
You can also use keywords like “engagement pod,” “Instagram pod,” “LinkedIn pod” or “growth group” in these platforms’ search bars. This can lead you to posts or discussions about existing pods.
Do LinkedIn engagement pods work?
LinkedIn engagement pods can work similarly to those on other platforms, boosting visibility and engagement metrics of posts. However, LinkedIn may also take actions against inauthentic engagement, and the value of such pods is debated in terms of genuine audience building and professional networking.