If you are trying to grow your Instagram presence, you probably know the latest Instagram’s algorithm prioritises on ranking posts from accounts with high engagement, that the account holder cares about instead of displaying photos in chronological order. Instagram influencers now have to clamour for attention in a space where the posts with the most likes, comments, saves and shares win. With each challenge, comes opportunities. Seasoned Instagrammers are not unfamiliar with engagement groups that offer quick Instagram hack to grab that attention.
Instagram Hack: What is Instagram engagement groups?
Instagram engagement groups, as the name implies, are groups of Instagram accounts that come together and engage in each other’s account and content. It is a form of Instagram hack. Also known as an engagement pod, the account users follow each other within the group, as well as like, comment and save each other’s posts.
The size of such groups varies from as little as 15 accounts to as many as thousands of them. The groups may reside on the native Instagram platform or other social platforms such as Telegram, Facebook, WhatsApp. Each group also comes with their own rules which generally includes engage fairly, no chatting within the group, no mention of the word “engage” or “follow”, and etc.
Theoretically this works to circumvent the updated algorithm to generate more follows and engagements, signaling to Instagram that your account is growing and your content is engaging, and thus will be ranked higher on users’ feeds.
What are the different types of engagement groups?
Though different engagement groups have varied engagement focuses and methodologies, they all point towards increasing followers and engagement. You might need to pay to gain entry into certain groups.
To gain followers
There are permanent groups that constantly ‘recruit’ new accounts to join every week, and every account in the group has to follow each other within a certain period of time, with the exception of admins who did all the hard work and recruiting, and deserved to be followed by everyone without having to follow back. The genre of such groups might be very niche such as travel, foodie, lifestyle or fashion. Such groups may also have regular smaller scale ‘events’ where members engage in each other’s posts, however their focus remains in gaining new followers.
There are also one-time follower events with the promise of being able to gain hundreds and thousands of followers and one has to follow all the admins without the expectation of being followed back.
There is such term as a ‘Ghost account’ if you paid for the spot, meaning you will be promised followers within these groups without having to recruit new members (like the admins), nor to follow anyone.
Looping groups are a type of short-term event where the engagement activities vary, from posting a picture and reaching out to everyone who posted the same thing, to following everyone who follows you, to engaging with every participating member’s content. Participants are required to tag a few more accounts of the same niche so admins can reach out to recruit more people before the event starts. Some looping events may consist of several admin accounts, with each admin accounts gathering hundreds of participating accounts, usually in a specific niche such as motherhood, blogger, fitness, travel, foodie, etc. Participants basically have to visit each of the admin accounts and progressively follow and engage with every participating member. It goes in a loop, starting from one account, jump onto the next account, until you finished the full round of all participating accounts. The whole progression might take place within 24-hours to a week, depending on how big the group is.
To gain engagement
There are the permanent groups that recruit accounts with the purpose of engaging in each others’ post whenever a member of the group drops a message in the group chat. Admins may specify if members are to like, or like and comment, or like comment save. Such groups might be of a smaller scale with about 20-30 members, usually in a niche topic such as fashion or travel.
Temporary or one-time engagement events also exists and typically consists of a larger number of accounts, in hundreds or even thousands. Participants are required to tag three other accounts of the same niche so admins can reach out to recruit them before the event starts. It usually consists of several admins who take turn to orchestrate the engagement required within a 24-hour, 48-hour, or 3-day timeframe, for example, members might be asked to share posts related to desserts for the next three hours and like all posts that are shared.
Looping groups as mentioned above are common on Instagram that helped to generate high volume of likes, comments and saves.
Should you join an engagement group?
Growing an Instagram account organically is a lot of hard work, perseverance, and patience. I owned a couple of Instagram accounts and was once at a stage where the followers stuck in the region of 150-200. My emotions went up and down with every single follows and unfollows, even though, with a small follower base, I was getting an engagement rate of between 10-18%. I was seriously in need of an Instagram hack.
I have personally joined some of the short-term engagement and looping groups, and they do boost my follower and engagement numbers rapidly. But I also lost many followers as many wants their account to have more followers than followings. It’s not worth it, considering that participating in those short-term events really sucked out a lot of time, I’m talking about almost every other minute in my waking hours. Many of the followers you gain are not genuinely interested in your content and thus will not bother to engage with you after the event is over. You might also see a lot of poor quality comments and emojis in your posts’ comments, a sign of someone trying to comment on as many posts as possible without really appreciating your content. Thus the sudden surge of the numbers might do you more harm and good.
IMHO, it’s questionable when you look at an Instagram account and find a low number of posts, followings, and engagement rate, but with very high number of followers. Unless, of course, the account belongs to a celebrity whom is expectedly capable of fetching high engagement rate with huge follower base.
My Personal Instagram Hack
My personal experience is to first focus on the fundamentals, that is, the quality of your content, your Instagram SEO (search optimisation), your hashtag strategy. Be selective on the engagement groups if you would like to join one, that is, a group that’s aligned with your niche and interests (for example, parenthood), has clear and specific rules, and supporting vibes. I tend to find smaller niche groups more genuine in their engagement. It’s not easy to find such groups though.
How do you find engagement groups on Instagram?
Before I know about “Instagram engagement groups” or community engagement as some have termed it, it’s difficult to find such groups or even know if they are legitimate. You can do the following:
- Ask someone in your niche and ask to join theirs if they are in such groups.
- Search on Instagram using keywords such as “looping”, “followers”. Side note: you will see more of the event based accounts for gaining followers and engagement instead of the smaller niche engagement groups which are typically privately formed and difficult to find, and which you will need an invitation to get in.
- Search on Google, you can use keywords such as “list of free instagram engagement groups”, “Join Instagram engagement groups”. You might find groups that reside on WhatsApp or Telegram with a link to join.
- Search on Facebook using keywords such as “instagram followers”, “instagram engagement group”.
- Search on Reddit using keywords such as “IGpods”, “ig engagement”.
Are engagement groups allowed on Instagram?
With Instagram’s Community rules “We want Instagram to continue to be an authentic and safe space for people to find inspiration and express themselves.”, it’s not surprising that Instagram’s algorithm can figure out whether the your content engagement is genuine or not. In 2018, Facebook removed 10 Instagram Algorithm-Gaming Groups With Hundreds Of Thousands Of Members. Despite these, many engagement groups still exists within and outside of the Instagram platform.
Be selective and focus on the fundamentals. That’s the more effective Instagram hack.
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