The Instagram game is quickly changing. It’s moving from a platform that encourages and promotes organic content to a platform where attention costs money. It won’t happen overnight, but if you don’t start preparing for it now, you’ll really get hit when the change comes.
Instagram is already an incredibly competitive platform and every day it gets more and more saturated. Growing a channel may seem near impossible. And it is if you’re stuck in the past using outdated techniques to drive traffic. Follow/unfollow may work for a while, but, your intentions are transparent and your brand will soon be tarnished. Using 30 hashtags and posting 43 times a day would once have shot you to stardom, but now you’ll be lucky to maintain your follower count.
What’s the Solution?
So what’s to be done? Should you just pack up your stuff and head home? Well, not quite yet. I still have something up my sleeve that I’m willing to share with you (how kind am I?!).
If you want to skyrocket your results on Instagram, you have to start using Instagram Engagement Groups. Also known as Telegram groups/DM groups/Pods. Whatever the name, these groups, hidden deep in the underbelly of Instagram, are responsible for almost all the viral growth you see. Any page that gets onto the top 9 Featured panel without millions of followers is using multiple Engagement groups.
What are Engagement Groups?
Engagement groups are made up of Instagrammers who agree to like and/or comment on each others’ posts. The rules for each group differ widely, so, to avoid confusion, I’ll go into each. But first, an understanding of why these groups are so effective is useful.
The Instagram Algorithm
You see, though no one knows exactly how the Instagram algorithm works, its obvious enough to see that it uses engagement (likes, comments, saves, shares) as the main metric for evaluating the value of any given post. If a post is seen as valuable, Instagram wants to show it to more people who may find it interesting (based on other people they follow/posts they have previously engaged with).
Therefore, it stands to reason that if you can get more engagement on a post, Instagram will show it to more users. This in turn, will get you more engagement. And if you manage to get enough of it within a short space of time, you may find yourself on the explore page or in the top 9 Featured panel for a hashtag. In no time you’ll have 100s or 1000s of new followers from a single post – almost regardless of the number of current followers you have.
Ok, so that explains why engagement is so powerful.
Engagement groups leverage this knowledge to help those within go viral. But you still have to have the basics right for engagement to come your way, learn more here.
Let’s get into the type of groups available and the pros and cons of each.
General Rules For All Engagement Groups
The following will get you banned, steer clear of them and you’ll reap the rewards:
- Liking/commenting less than required.
- Skipping users.
- Posting before engaging.
*Each Engagement group will have rules unique to itself so be sure to read the rules of each before getting started.*
Where to Find Engagement Groups
Direct Messaging groups are groups formed with Instagram messaging. You can add a maximum of 15 accounts to an Instagram DM group. Though this limits the amount of engagement any one DM group can create, it allows for a level of quality control that larger groups do not possess.
Telegram Engagement Groups
Telegram groups are probably the most common type of Instagram Engagement group. Download Telegram here to get started. Then check here and here for a list of Telegram Engagement Groups. I cannot vouch for all groups listed, so be discerning. Some require money to get in – I’ve yet to invest in those.
WhatsApp Engagement Groups
Works in the same way as Telegram Engagement Groups.
I’ve used Facebook to source Telegram Engagement groups and you should do the same. Type in ‘Instagram engagement group’ or ‘Instagram pod’ into the search bar and you’ll find plenty of groups to join. Whenever someone is starting a new pod in your niche they’ll post it to the group and ask you to comment with your Telegram tag.
Types of Groups
The most common and least time-consuming groups are Like groups. Generally, you’ll be required to like a specific number of posts in the group before posting your own.
DX5 = Like 5 posts
DX8 = Like 8 posts
Comment engagement groups generally have a minimum word requirement for each post. Fail to reach that requirement and you may get banned from the group. Consistently comment with generic, spammy messages and you may get banned.
Rounds groups have predetermined times where engagement is supposed to happen. Each time slot is called a round. For example, let’s say we have a round at 6 pm that lasts for 15 minutes. If you wanted to be a part of this round, you’d need to post just before 6 and then link to said post within the 15-minute time slot. You then must like/comment on all other posts linked to within the hour.
This is a highly effective method for virality as engagement is forced to happen rapidly after you post.
These are Rounds Groups with a twist. You still have to post within a window, but then you’ll be given a huge list of other posts to like by a bot. You can do this manually, and this certainly is the cheapest way to do it. However, if you have a little money to spend, you can save yourself a lot of time by using a bot of your own. You copy the account links into the bot and let it do the work for you.
Similar to Like Bots but focused on comments instead.
Instagram Engagement Groups/Dm Groups/Instagram pods are the single best way to gain a following, increase engagement and exposure. And now you know how to use them, your path to stardom is stark. If you liked this and can think of anyone who could benefit, please share it. Finally, if you have any questions or ideas for improvement, please let me know.