Friend or Spammy Foe? What to Know About Engagement Pods

by | Sep 6, 2023 | Content Creation, Oh Snap! News, Social Media, Social Media Engagement

Gone are the days of the chronological feed. Now – with some exceptions, like newcomer Blue Sky – pretty much everything you see in your feed is governed by the whims of the algorithm. Basically, the more engagement your content gets, the more engagement your content gets. If you’re scratching your head at that, I totally get it. It’s easy to freak out and worry that you’re facing a discoverability death spiral. 

There are a couple of tried and tested ways to get eyeballs on your posts. Creating damn’ good content for one. Outbound engagement, where you seek out relevant people’s content and like, comment or share, helps too. Paid ads and promoted content can also help boost visibility. And then there are some approaches that seem great, but actually do more harm than good. Like engagement pods. 

Animal, Vegetable or Mineral? What are Engagement Pods?

Don’t let the name trick you: there are no whales, seeds or NPR hosts involved (probably). Basically, engagement pods are where a group of creators get together and agree to mutually amplify each other’s posts. And they sound great on the surface. In a world where engagement = value, having a pool of guaranteed fans has to be good, right? 

The thing is, not all “likes” are created equally. If the same pool of people is engaging in the same way with every single post, and especially if that engagement is low effort, the algorithm is going to notice that. And more importantly, your actual audience will, too. When posts have hundreds of emoji responses or non-specific comments, things start to feel spammy, and people start to disengage (or worse, unfollow). 

On top of that, it’s also possible that you might violate a platform’s TOS and get flagged, “shadowbanned” or actually banned. Meta actually suspended a bunch of engagement pods for doing just this. (Stuck in social media jail? Here’s what to know.

How to Make the Spirit of an Engagement Pod Work for You

Now, look. The concept of an engagement pod is great. It’s basically how social media works in an ideal world – you surround yourself with mutual besties who believe in each other’s work, and then lift each other up!

If you can take that kind of energy to your socials, in terms of both the content you create and how you engage with other people’s content, you’ll do just fine. Here are my tips for tapping into the spirit of an engagement pod without all the spammy stuff:

  • Find your people. We all have an inner circle of people we connect best with. Give those people your time – they’ll naturally become your engagement pod.   
  • Engage with a purpose. Comment authentically and thoughtfully on other people’s posts. Don’t just do a bunch of drive-by liking. That effort will come back your way. 
  • Share and elevate! Amplify other people’s posts by reposting, sharing or remixing them with your own thoughts and commentary. The more you do it, the more they’ll do it. 
  • Get outside your comfort zone! Make a point to explore new-to-you accounts and engage with their content. This will help build awareness of your brand while also showing the algorithm that you’re not just stuck in your own creator bubble. 
  • Create great content! Want to make the algorithm happy? Create interesting, engaging high-value content that people want to respond to. 
  • Reup and remix your own work. For whatever reason, sometimes a great post just doesn’t land. Remix it, change up the format, try a new caption or hashtag, and put it back out there! Be your own engagement pod!

Need some help growing your legit followers and creating top-notch content that encourages quality engagement? Book a Pulse Check, and let’s help you take your social media game to the next level!