So a few months back I began this blog to get into writing about some hobbies and interests of mine, namely skincare and beauty.
I became active on Instagram at the same time in order to engage with more skincare/beauty lovers and meet more bloggers. To my surprise, I’ve found that Instagram is actually a very fun creative outlet for me, so I’ve been enjoying it.
After some time, I was invited to my first “engagement group”. I didn’t quite know what it was all about. I was actually sort of flattered to be invited!
But, as I have learned, they are quite common and seem to be the way many people use to grow their Instagram following.
For those who don’t know, engagement groups are basically DM groups in which members like, comment and save each others’ posts. Members will post a notification into the chat when they have posted their picture. Often there is a shared hashtag that the group will use.
Now, some people actually do this over alternative apps such as WhatsApp and Telegram, apparently due to paranoia that their involvement through Instagram itself may affect their numbers, stats, credibility, etc. I guess when your Instagram doubles as your business, I can understand taking such measures. Still though, my first reaction is “how do you even have the energy or care to take it there?”.
After joining 3 groups (1 big, 1 medium-sized, and 1 small), I have come to realize I can’t stand being in these groups which is I am no longer in any.
Here are my gripes with them:
1 – They quickly turn into a chore
Instagram can be fun, but engagement groups turn it into a job with little pay-off. It can feel like a chore for a few reasons, the first being that if you miss a day (or an hour), the posts will pile up and you’ll have to dedicate some of your day to just sitting down and going through posts in order to like, save, and comment.
They get overwhelming fast.
2 – You have to comment + like, regardless of the content
What I really didn’t think about before joining was that I had to commit to liking and commenting on things I didn’t care about, or did not believe in.
The skincare and beauty world are full of odd claims and pseudoscience, so it was very difficult for me to feign interest in someone advertising such things.
Sometimes you can beat around the bush and comment on the aesthetics of the photo. Otherwise, you could try to politely question the validity of the post or ask for more info, usually getting nothing in response. (To be fair, most posters I came into contact with ARE critical and do provide fair reviews.)
But really, the breaking point was the baby photos. Once I was commenting on the 3rd baby photo, and the 2nd one of a mom twirling her child in the air, I knew I had to get out.
Another annoying type of post is the follower-train posts. Being forced to comment on those makes no sense…what on earth do you want me to say?
3 – They feel insincere & fake
Most of the people I interacted with through these groups I interact with regularly anyway, so that was fine. But, to expand on the last point, there are users you follow because you must. Posts you’re commenting on because you’re obligated to.
Engagement groups fundamentally encourage fakeness. I know many of us try to be ourselves and be genuine, but you’re still being forced to comment and follow people because of the group you’re in. Most of those comments and interactions are meaningless, and wouldn’t be there if you weren’t in that group.
The entire things makes me feel all kinds of icky, so I had to ditch.
4 – They reinforce the “kind” sexism of Instagram
An extension of the last point, I can’t count how many times I’ve been called “Babe!” in these groups or in comments I’ve received through these groups. And I know many people really speak that way, but there is a kind of “customer service” voice people put on when engaging with women through engagement groups. Okay babe??? :*
5 – They don’t really help your growth
The groups I followed helped me meet some lovely people (and some that made me really wanna gtfo).
But they didn’t help my “growth” much. Being in them and now being out, my steady growth has remained the same.
What is your experience like with Engagement Groups? How do you feel about them?
Do you have any advice on growing and sharing your Instagram account with a wider audience?
Let me know!
Thanks for reading ❤