Happy Tuesday, lovelies! Did you catch last week’s blog post about loop giveaways? If not, go HERE to read about it. It will open your eyes to why they are done and how they help with social media.
Before I move on to this week’s post, I must tell you about this dress from m.carey_. I reached out to them for a collaboration opportunity and chose this dress. When I received the dress, I was so impressed with the fabric, the color, and the cutest bow tie at the end of the sleeves. Soooo cute!!
Last week Friday was my birthday, (thank you all so much for the birthday wishes). Well, I put on the dress and started freaking out. I was worried because it didn’t look the way I expected it to look. My greatest fear in collaborating with companies is to be entrusted with one of their products and not be able to show its beauty. A bit of quick thinking averted disaster. I put a belt on it and voila!!! I went from being skeptical about the dress to absolutely adoring it and loving how I styled it.
The dress is long enough to be worn by itself, and even with a belt, it still covered my knees. If you look at the pictures, you’ll see how the fabric has a nice texture and color to it. The material is very light and was perfect for our warm, yet breezy weather. The bows at the sleeve gave it a nice, feminine touch. Let’s just say, I will be wearing it a lot, so if you know me personally, and you see me in it, be forewarned lol.
You can take advantage of their pretty clothing, great prices (and free shipping to boot!) by using code, ‘NYC10’ to save 10% at checkout. If you order this dress, please tag me so I can see how you styled it. Also, try a skirt extender with it and/or booties! I think it would look so fab! Go HERE to see their inventory, and don’t forget to use the code!
So, have you heard about engagement groups? Do you know what they are? Do you know their purpose? Are you in any? For the rest of the post, I will focus on bloggers in engagement groups since it’s easier to use one example.
Engagement groups are meant to be used as a tool to help a blogger’s Instagram page. The idea is to be placed in a group DM (or create one yourself) with other bloggers and shops. Each time a blogger posts a picture, she goes into the group and tells the members she has posted a picture. The group members are supposed to go ‘like and comment’ on her photo. She, in return, does the same to theirs.
The idea is that early likes and comments to a photo will boost it in Instagrams’ algorithm. There have been reports that the comments need to be at least three words, not including emojis. I don’t know if anyone really knows for sure. Go HERE for some information about how to be a good Instagram friend and you’ll also find details about the new algorithm.
So, do you think engagement groups work? I am still not sure. I was in several groups recently. To be honest, it’s a lot of busy work, and I crave any spare time I can get. Being in one or two groups is probably helpful, but I know bloggers who are in 10+ groups. Who has time for that?
I think I have developed problems with engagement groups over time. Bloggers join with the best intentions. They want to engage with others, but after awhile, they stop for various reasons. These reasons can include becoming too busy, becoming too ‘important,’ or other reasons. So, you run into the problem of only some of the bloggers truly engaging with the other accounts in their group. What happens is that animosity builds up because some bloggers start to skip over the photos of the bloggers who are not engaging. Each blogger’s page is important to them and when they start to realize they are putting out the effort of engaging with their group members but their group members aren’t engaging with them, they stop engaging with those accounts.
It’s been said that the group engagement should be done within 24-72 hours for a true boost in the algorithm. I’ve been in groups where some group members are liking and commenting 5 or 6 days later. I’m pretty sure that defeats the purpose of the group. If you cannot truly engage with each and every account in your group, then leave it. Instead join a support group for information and encouragement because there won’t be any requirements to like and comment.
I also found that being in engagement groups actually did the opposite of what they were supposed to do. After many months of ‘engaging,’ the reach and impressions of my photos were at an all-time low. How could my pictures only be reaching 700-900 people when I had about 20,000 followers? I was engaging with my various group members and was doing the same for two other accounts as a part of a business deal. By the time I was done with all that, I didn’t want to be on social media. What ended up happening is I was not engaging with people outside the group at all. My pictures weren’t reaching anyone else because I wasn’t interacting with anyone. This was not okay. Also, remember in the post about how to be a great Instagram friend when I wrote that the new algorithm would show you mostly the pictures of the accounts on which you liked and commented? Well, I noticed that some of the really fun, fascinating pages I’d found were hidden from me because I was only engaging with my groups. I like to be inspired by the people I follow. I want to see their posts.
I like social media because of the different account holders you can meet. I didn’t want to keep going to the same accounts over and over and over again. Also, because of group rules, I was having to like and comment on things in which I don’t believe. To get around that, I would comment on the photo itself and not what they had posted. I would tell them how I loved the details of the shot instead of focusing on the actual item or message. For this reason, I will not join another engagement group. I will not be forced to like and comment on offensive photos.
One thing I’d like to do is to help other accounts grow and be encouraged. I want to form I&E Groups. These will be for Information and Encouragement. The world of blogging can be very intimidating when you’re first starting out. I do not recommend engagement groups beyond one or two. I think it is better to engage with the accounts that truly interest you. If you are a blogger or a shop just starting out and would like to participate in I&E Groups, please go HERE to contact me. Feel free to also send me a DM on Instagram.
Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at how animosity can grow:
I was in a group with several ladies. There were three people ‘in charge.’ Several times the group leaders had told various members they hadn’t been liking and commenting. This happened many times. Even so, some of these ladies didn’t do it, or if they did, they caught up on everyone’s posts and then fell off again. The other thing that happened was some of these ladies were taking up to a week to like and comment on my photos. I have to admit it became frustrating. I value my time and I realize others value theirs as well. I don’t think it’s fair to always be doing your part while others aren’t. I know life isn’t always fair, but when you can control something, do something about it. For a long time I wanted to leave the group for this reason. I toiled with the decision for so long. I complained to Milt, but I kept coming back to the choice of staying so I could be involved with accounts who had more followers than me. I had hoped I could learn from them.
It didn’t end well lol. The day came when I was called out for not engaging properly. My response was that many times we were all told to engage and I was actually tired of liking and commenting on EVERYONE’S account, but out of the 15 people, maybe 10 were engaging with me. Of that 10, about 5 of them took up to a week to come around to my photos. Instead of working it out, I was called petty and spiteful and told to leave the group. To be honest, it was the one of THE best things I’ve done so far on Instagram. Why in the world would I even want to be in a group with a bunch of people who are not really supportive? The moment you say something, they attack you. Ever since leaving that specific group, my engagement, reach, and impressions have grown 500%!!!
A little more information about this is the message one of the group leaders sent me. A few paragraphs back I told you I was liking and commenting for two other accounts for a business deal. I was doing a tremendous amount and it kept me on my phone for hours. I asked if I could do less work and receive less benefit from them. I have screen-captured proof of the conversation where I was told that I could continue to receive the same amount of benefit from them even if I didn’t do as much as I was doing before. Well, a few months after the new arrangement, my phone went berserk. Unbeknownst to me, the engagement I was doing on their behalf wasn’t showing up on the accounts on which I was engaging. I didn’t realize it at first. Someone in one of my groups sent me a message saying they hadn’t seen me being active in the group. This is how I found out. When these two ladies messaged me about it and I explained and told them I was sorry and would go back and get caught up, once again, they attacked me. They told me it wasn’t going to work out because they were giving me something in return for what I was doing. I told them they weren’t really keeping up their end of the bargain. I was, in effect, ‘working’ for them. When it was time for me to get my ‘pay,’ I had to keep asking and reminding them. When you work, do you have to remind your boss to pay you? Again, I have a screen capture of the conversation with the new arrangement. Even after I explained the situation, it didn’t help. I really shouldn’t have been surprised leaving their engagement group happened the way it did because they aren’t rational and supportive at all.
One of them asked if I was still bitter about our business deal not working out. I literally laughed out loud because a few weeks before, I had reached out to her to find out if she would sponsor a loop giveaway. If I was upset and bitter about anything, I surely would not have asked her to do this. That’s not even logical. This is not my idea of a supportive group. I’m glad I left.
The other issue I have with engagement groups is I feel they’re somewhat dishonest. I know this is not a popular statement, but if I’m collaborating with a company, I would rather to have true, genuine engagement on my photo. I want my followers to actually like the product or service I’m reviewing. I’m not saying that the likes and comments you receive from engagement groups are not genuine, I just think the engagement is good for the algorithm boost. As I scroll through Instagram nowadays, I like and comment when I want. If I like your photo, or your outfit, or whatever you’re posing, I will like and comment. Being bullied and forced out of that group made me really look into how and why you should be a real Instagram friend. Again, my post two weeks ago was all about that.
Have you dealt with any social media bullying? I’d love to hear about it.
Again, if you’d like help in navigating Instagram and would like to be in a SUPPORTIVE and encouraging group, please contact me HERE. I’d love to help!