The biggest mistakes when trying to gain followers on social media

The Biggest Mistakes of Trying to Gain Followers

If you are trying to gain followers, you may be tempted to join an Instagram Pod or Facebook Engagement Group. I am here to tell you that that is one of the biggest mistakes of trying to gain followers. I know the idea of these games to increase engagement and to gain followers seem harmless and overall beneficial. But I promise you that doing this will have long-term damage to your social page.

Here is my personal experience with each one individually:

Instagram Pods

I was a part of a pod when this idea first started out a few years ago. Now although the algorithm was a lot different back then, here’s why these don’t work. Simply put, people are not that responsible. I was always one of those people that would like and comment right away to other people’s posts. But there were a few people in our group that would literally post and leave. They would never stick around to do the same for the other people in the group.


I explain more of why Pods don’t work in the next section below because the idea of Pods has grown to MASSIVE sizes. The idea has grown far bigger than Instagram can handle in a group DM. And now they must be moderated via a Facebook Group.

Facebook Engagement Groups

flurry of social media notifications

If you aren’t familiar with these Engagement Groups, it’s essentially a large Instagram Pod. The one I joined on Facebook had over 5,000 active members, had strict rules for participation, and had many different opportunities per day to join games to increase likes, comments, Story Views, Tik Tok views, etc. I felt confident that I would be able to gain more traction on Instagram. Since there were many members, there would be probably 50-300 participants depending on the type of game. I thought that even 50 extra likes on my content would be a win! Here’s why I was wrong.

Having all those people flood a direct URL link to my page hurt my organic reach and engagement. My followers weren’t the ones liking my posts, and no one was commenting. After a few weeks in the group, I found that I had to play two or three of these games to get my post’s ‘like’ count back up to what I was getting organically before playing the games! Having those people ‘like’ my content that were not my followers, that were not my target audience, and did not spend more than a split second on my post made the algorithm all read that as “FAKE”.

I don’t know how the algorithm knows this cheap trick, but it does. It knows when you’re cheating the system and acts accordingly. It will always be smarter than us when it comes to trying to gain followers.

Pinterest Group Boards

Group Boards are a way for many Pinterest users to Pin their content on to one community Board. They tend to have many members actively posting constantly. When you post a Pin on a Board that constantly has other people pinning items too, your Pin quickly becomes old news. Inevitably that Pin will only show a few views, if you’re lucky, and 0 engagement. And that severely affects your engagement rate.

Not to mention that the only people who post on Group Boards are influencers who are trying to do the same thing you are. Boost their own engagement. Which means that they post and leave! They are not there to find new content to Repin. They are there to post their content in the hopes of someone seeing it and boosting their engagement. Essentially you are posting on a dead Board. Keep your valuable content to your Boards ONLY.

For reference, pre-Group Boards I had about 300k monthly viewers on Pinterest. Now I average about 60k.

Loop Giveaways

loop giveaways on social media

Many influencers believe that this is the only way they can gain followers nowadays on Instagram. And although you will receive more followers, you won’t receive better engagement. Why? Because the people gained in these giveaways are not there for your content. They are there to win and that’s it.

By gaining followers that don’t care about your content, your engagement rate will tank. Because when your content is published to Instagram, it will get pushed to a very small percentage of your followers. If those followers interact with your content, then Instagram will keep pushing it to more users. But if it gets pushed to one of these giveaway followers, they won’t like, comment, share, or save.

Ditch the loop giveaways, ditch the fake following, ditch the lack of engagement from that following! Just don’t do loop giveaways.


Final Thoughts on trying to gain followers

Now I know all these things will continue to entice you with a good time and the prospect of trying to gain followers. And trust me, I know everyone’s experience is different when it comes to each one of these things. This blog is written from my own personal experience! I am hoping that by giving my insight, you can come to a more educated decision of how you want to take your page. So take what I say with a grain of salt just because what works for me (and more importantly, what doesn’t work for me), might not be the same experience you have.

Read more Influencer Tips on Donna Gail Blog

2 thoughts on “The Biggest Mistakes of Trying to Gain Followers

  1. Pingback: Are Social Media Engagement Pods Bad? | Donna Gail

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