How To Use Engagement Groups And Kick-start Your Business on Instagram
When used properly, Instagram is an extremely effective marketing tool that can be used to promote your products and services.
If you’re like most other businesses, you want to use Instagram in order to:
Build a network of loyal customers
Increase brand awareness
Stay up to date with consumer trends
There are a whole host of ways to constructively use Instagram to generate growth for your brand. However, one method that is often overlooked is utilizing Instagram engagement groups aka Instagram pods.
Brand new users can accumulate as many as 2000 followers in the space of a few weeks by employing this strategy.
It might not be the instant answer to increasing your sales, however it will greatly enhance your brand’s reputation and help you build social proof on the platform. After all, having a following of a few thousand looks significantly more credible than a following below 100.
This isn’t a long-term answer to increasing your following on Instagram but it will help you in your first few weeks on the platform.
What are engagement groups?
Engagement groups are essentially the platform’s latest trend, which helps small fish on Instagram use the company’s algorithm to their advantage.
These pods consist of a group of people that commit to consistently engaging with one another’s content in order to increase the impact of their posts.
When you join one of these groups the expectation is that you consistently engage with whatever they are posting. This is reciprocated and should result in a fast flood of comments, likes and follows.
Ultimately, pods help increase the number of likes and comments each post gets. They increase the organic reach of in the Instagram feed plus they increase the possibility of your post ending up in the Discover section. Finally, they are a great way to forge new connections, which could result in opportunities for brand partnerships.
Sounding good so far? Here’s how to make the above happen.
#1 Find your tribe
To find an engagement group that is going to be a great fit for your account, ask around other accounts in your niche.
Alternatively, you could look for the right group on Facebook. Have a search for groups that are social media or Instagram related. Many of these groups have weekly threads which are used to form engagement groups or pods. Keep your eyes peeled for someone in your niche and join theirs - or post in a group to create your own pod.
To engage in the ‘rounds’ method, in which users post at specific times of day for a round of 30 minutes, head to Telegram.
Telegram is a chatting app, which is similar to WhatsApp and depending on the group, there could be hundreds of members.
Look out for pods by:
Joining Instagram related groups on Facebook
Searching Twitter for mentions of engagement groups
Checking the Instagram sub-reddit
Messaging accounts in your niche
And if all else fails? Google it. You’re certain to find a pod that will work for you.
#2 Play by the rules
Every group has its own rules. It could be a comment only group, a like only group or it could be a group that is attached to Instagram stories over posts.
The groups often also tend to post at the same time of the day. Group members will all drop their posts at around the same time to ensure that it gets plenty of likes and comments in the first few hours of posting. This is one of the most important indicators to Instagram that your content should be ranked higher on your followers feeds.
A round of posting lasts around 30 minutes. To be involved a user will drop their username and then they usually also let the group know when they have finished participating.
Some groups are a bit more free-wheeling and you can participate at any time. Members can drop posts in whenever they want and have more freedom with liking and commenting. Be sure to pick a group whose rules you are happy to play by - repeat offenders who don’t participate fairly are quickly kicked out of a group.
#3 Operate smart
When you join a group, make sure that you are tracking your growth. This way you will know which groups are working.
Look for groups that have a similar follower count to you and also groups that are sharing similar content. This will ensure maximum impact for your account. If you don’t do this you might end up with lots of engagement with very small accounts that have absolutely nothing to do with your niche.
That said, broad pods are much easier to access. So if you’re having trouble finding a niche pod, they can be a good place to start.
Remember, when you’re operating in a pod the most important thing is to be careful that you don’t come across as spammy on Instagram. The site actively limits users that appear to be messing with their algorithm. One way to do this is if you’re commenting, to keep those comments diverse.
For maximum impact, invest your time into multiple pods. This will result in explosive engagement on your account and increase the visibility of your business on Instagram.
Finally, you should make sure that you send your post into a pod within the first fifteen minutes of posting it. This will result in the biggest amount of organic growth for each particular post.
While it may be a short term way to increase followers as opposed to a long term marketing strategy, using Instagram engagement groups is an effective way to kick-start your business on Instagram. Follow the above tips and you’ll be well on your way to four and five digit followings.