What is advertising?
In this day and age, you might even respond with, “What isn’t?”
With constant exposure comes habituation.
It’s like this. Think about:
The flashy billboard on a highway you traverse as part of your daily commute. When was the last time you remember thinking how distractingly bright it was?
The shrilly default ringtone you’ve set to go off next to your ears every morning at 6 am. How did you manage to sleep through it on your bad days?
And even the smell of your favourite cologne or perfume. After a while, you stop smelling it on yourself though others can.
TL;DR: Humans learn to ignore familiar things or events.
It’s why advertisers and marketers have to constantly come up with interesting content to attract their audiences’ attention.
Yet, however creative they get, there’s one aspect to effective advertising that’s unsubstitutable:
Social proof comes in many forms. Testimonials, case studies and product reviews are three of many methods to build trust and foster confidence in potential customers.
But, they all work on the same principle: When people see that others like them have purchased a product or service and are happy with it, they’re more likely to buy it themselves.
When you’re a B2B business raising your visibility on LinkedIn, you are the main product. Your profile and content are the adverts you put out to draw prospective customers.
And the social proof that increases the chances of conversion? That highly depends on the people who interact with your content. Typically, that would be your first-degree connections on LinkedIn. However, relying solely on your existing connections may not be a standalone strategy for various reasons:
Not active on LinkedIn
Your connections’ lack of vested interest in LinkedIn diminishes their ability to see and engage with your content at the right time.
Your connections may take the time to read your content if it shows up on their feed, but that doesn’t guarantee a response from them.
They may engage with your content occasionally. However, it may not always be with the ones you deem most important to your business goals.
No new input
They may be supportive, though their responses never go beyond the much-appreciated yet predictable “Thanks for the post!” or “Great share!”
So, how else do you get social proof on LinkedIn, if not from your first-degree connections?
You can gain support from LinkedIn groups, but… if you’re still reading this, you probably already have reservations about them and are looking for a better (and functioning) alternative in LinkedIn engagement pods.
What is a LinkedIn engagement pod?
Whether you’re highly familiar with the type of service a pod provides or believe there’s room to know more, here’s a quick summary to get you up to speed.
A LinkedIn engagement pod is a group of LinkedIn users who support each other by liking, commenting and sharing each other’s content.
This mutual arrangement creates a strong community of engaged members who actively consume, interact and respond to content shared with the group, thereby increasing every member’s visibility and engagement rate.
The result of this process:
Everyone in the pod reaches a larger, more diverse and highly-targeted audience than if they had posted it without the group’s support.
Engagement pods for LinkedIn aren’t new, but there’s enough variety in the market that you’d probably want to search and compare them before joining one.
Fundamentally, they all serve one purpose. You get to jumpstart the engagement on your LinkedIn profile and content by collaborating with other pod members. The social proof you gain from likes, comments and shares are positive signals that the LinkedIn algorithm interprets as a reason to show your content to a larger audience.
Types of LinkedIn engagement pods
There are three main types of engagement pods for LinkedIn.
An automated LinkedIn pod tool, as the name suggests, could be for you if you want control over the entire engagement process, down to every word that pod members will leave on your post.
This auto-comment functionality removes the need for manual input from group members. Likewise, you wouldn’t have to commit time to provide others with engagement. After all, other members have the same privilege of using your profile to promote their content. In other words, they get to decide your response just as you would others.
The trade-off for this convenience is that anyone may use your profile to make reputation-damaging comments for their benefit.
In a way, you could say it’s a double-edged sword — one that many automated engagement pod members would not risk wielding and thus have since turned off the auto-comment functionality.
Manual pods are founded and run in group chats. Some groups are exclusive or invite-only, while others allow anyone to join.
While automated pod users hand over their profiles for the machine to distribute likes, shares, and comments, manual pod users provide each other with organic engagement in real-time. You’re able to build relationships with fellow group members, and the comments you receive are far more diverse and natural. But as with every type of pod, there are disadvantages to consider.
By joining a manual pod, you’re typically told to follow certain rules. Most pods would require you to like and comment on a certain number of posts before posting yours.
However, it isn’t easy to ascertain every member’s activity. You may post at a time when most members are inactive, or you may receive comments from the same members every time due to your overlapping schedules.
Essentially, you’re at the mercy of other members’ availability; what you need is not always guaranteed.
Take the real-time engagement from manual pods and automated pods’ guarantee of likes and comments, and you get a hybrid LinkedIn engagement pod.
You want to buy real LinkedIn likes and comments, but you’d also like assurance that the engagement will occur within the critical time window after posting. If that is the middle ground you’re looking for, then a hybrid pod may be the solution.
Nevertheless, hybrid pods tend to have fixed pod session times. These fixed schedules ensure prompt initial engagement for every member, but that also means you or your VA has to set aside the time to engage on other members’ posts when you decide to submit yours for a visibility boost.
LinkedIn engagement pods offer a great way to boost your visibility and reach on the platform — but they’re not right for everyone. Before joining a pod (or multiple pods), you’ll have to consider the time commitment involved as well as whether the group’s goals align with your own business goals.
Participation in an engagement pod can help get your content seen by more people. Still, it’s ultimately up to you to create quality content that provides value if you want to achieve long-term success on LinkedIn (or any other social media platform).
Who knows? The connections you make by joining one could also lead to more opportunities for business growth down the road.