The Truth About Facebook Engagement Groups
In my previous post about “The Dark Side of Instagram” I talked about how some of your favorite bloggers and influencers have so-called “fake engagement”. What is engagement in terms related to Instagram? It’s basically the number of likes, comments, and follows an account generates. The more engagement an account has, the more likely they are to land brand deals and earn money. I also mentioned how a leading source of engagement came from Facebook engagement groups, so what better time to talk about the ins and outs of these groups than right now?!
Facebook. Truth be told most people don’t use Facebook anymore…maybe besides your mom and dad. But when it comes to networking with other bloggers, influencers, wannabes, etc it’s your best bet. For those who don’t know, gaining traction on Instagram is extremely difficult. Gaining loyal followers seems to be pretty much impossible nowadays since everyone has the same mentality, followers over everything. I’ve personally tried out many different groups relating to my blog (which you’re currently visiting), and Instagram and have formed my own personal opinion on the results. So, let’s talk about it.
I joined multiple blogging groups with the hopes of networking and gaining plenty of advice from veteran bloggers. There are designated days for specific member activities such as Mondays are for self-promotion (blasting your blog to anyone who has eyes and can read), Tuesdays are for making money (selling products to anyone who has eyes and can read), and so on. You can get involved with different “trains” which is basically where you comment or subscribe to a set amount of blogs. The downside is that people don’t follow the rules so you can expect to get no love in return. Though the creators of these groups claim to kick out people who don’t follow the rules, I haven’t seen it happen. The main benefit to these groups is the advice portion…somewhat. I’ve asked a question or two and barely got any answers so I gave up. If you’re patient you can keep asking questions and hope someone is nice enough to help you out but don’t depend on it. You can also creep on the group page to see if others are asking good questions that you might need an answer to as well. The one thing that you will repeatedly see over and over again, I repeat over and over again is that you should be using Wordpress over anything else. That’s too bad since I’m a Squarespace blogger (I plan on writing a post about being a Squarespace blogger soon).
These types of groups have good intentions but since most people are selfish, it’s hard to find genuine connections and people who follow the rules correctly. Also, be prepared to face the group creators spamming the group with their content, since at the end of the day they’re bloggers as well and are trying to get views.
The purpose of these groups is to gain as many followers as possible. You’ll frequently see people self-promoting their Instagram account as if they’re some type of God, to which I always ignore. I only got involved with “trains” started by group creators as the others were very obnoxious. These “trains” range from like for like which means if someone likes your post you must like theirs in return, follow for follow which means if someone follows you must follow them back, comment for comment which means if someone comments at least 4 words on your post you must do the same in return and so on. The problem with these is that people rarely reciprocate. Or if someone obnoxiously self promotes their account and says they’ll follow anyone back, the people who comment are then harassed by other commenters asking for follows in return when it isn’t a follow train.
A big underground “business” as I call it is the explosion of DM engagement groups. You’ll find people recruiting others to join their pods where you follow everyone in the group and then like and comment on every new post they put out. You could end up getting hundreds of notifications from your pod members basically forcing you to engage their content. No matter what anyone says, this is fake and not real engagement which is why I stay away from these pods. There’s also Telegram pods which are similar to DM pods, just on the Telegram app and not in Instagram DM’s.
While these groups are great for initial growth, don’t expect these followers to stick around for long. They usually unfollow pretty quickly as if they don’t understand that most people have apps to see who has unfollowed them. I will say that I have found some quality followers whose content I absolutely love. My advice to those who use these groups is to try to find quality followers by not actively posting your account in follow trains. This is what I did:
Come across a follow train or obnoxious self-promotion post. Browse the comments to find accounts that you like. Follow those accounts. If the account follows you back then you’ll know if they really like your content as well. They won’t know you came from the same engagement group unless you have hundreds of the same followers (exaggerated but you get the idea). This is how I’ve grown my following with not as many unfollowers as I’ve seen others complain about.
social media groups
These work the same as the other groups I mentioned. There are the usual “trains”, follow for follow, like for like, comment for comment, etc. Expect the same kind of selfish behavior and great initial growth followed by massive unfollowers. The good thing about these groups is you’ll find people from brands looking for influencers or bloggers to promote their products. You would have a hard time finding some of these companies if you weren’t involved with these groups, so props to this.
I could honestly go on forever about how much I don’t like these groups and how I’m happy I've pretty much stopped using them. My goal is to now focus on creating great Instagram content and helpful blog posts. I’ve always been considered a loner and this experience is the same. I love building myself from the ground up, no matter how long it’ll take.
Have any of you tried engagement groups? Tell me about your experience! And for those who aren’t involved, I recommend you not join these groups and focus on building the authentic way.