We have all experienced the fun of voting in polls on election days, but did you know that they have also become hugely popular on social networks?

In this article, we’ll be looking at the world of social media polls, explaining how to create them, and how you can use them to benefit your business.
What exactly are social media polls?

A poll is a very easy way of getting data from the people on social media by asking them a question and giving them a list of the possible answers for that question.

Followers simply have to tap their answer and then they will see how the voting has progressed so far.

Such as:

What helps you get through Monday?

  • 34% Snooze alarm for 15 mins
  • 43% Coffee (including me)
  • 2% Debrief from the weekend
  • 21% Exercise & music

What type of content are you most interested in?

  • Digital Marketing 30%
  • ELearning 10%
  • Web/Mobile Dev 30%
  • Design 30%

Polls are quick ways to get the opinion instantly they have numerous different uses. For example, if you were a tea manufacturing company and you wanted to create an advert, but you aren’t sure whether you’ll feature cake or biscuits in your ad. You can create a poll and ask that question.

Q: what do you like with tea?

  • A: Cake
  • B: Biscuit

This type of data can be invaluable for a product launch or a marketing campaign. But it does not stop there, there are more benefits as we’ll see next.

Benefits of using polls in your business

Polls are great because they allow people to respond to questions with minimal effort and see where their answers lie in among the answers of the other people.

It takes only a second to answer since it’s usually a simple multiple-choice question. This makes polls super attractive when users are scrolling down a news feed in an idle moment; by comparison, it takes substantially longer to compose a reply by typing it from scratch.

Polls also stand out visually in news feeds, particularly on Twitter, making it more likely they will be noticed and responded to.

The fact that with some polls the results are shown after voting encourages people to engage, as those who are curious to know the results will have to vote to see them.

They are probably also intrigued to see whether their answer is the more popular choice.
All this adds up to increased engagement, which means the potential to get your brand in front of a wider audience.

That’s a great benefit in of itself, as it increases your exposure and has the potential to grow your customer base.

It’s also handy because it means you can use polls to gain valuable feedback and market research for your business as we’ve seen with the cake or biscuit example..

Additionally, you can use them to:

  • Get feedback on existing products or services – which is not only useful for your product or service development but asking your followers to influence your decisions shows you care about their views
  • Conduct market research by getting your followers to vote on new product or service ideas, or tell you about what features or benefits are most important to them
  • Ask for preferences, such as preferred mode of communication, to see which method is most favoured by your audience and therefore most worth investing more time in

How to make the best poll so that people respond?

The most important thing while creating a poll is the question itself.

Make sure that question is very answerable and the answer is in short and covers the question completely.

Q: We’re adding some new time slots to the schedule! Which times would you like most?

  • 7:30 am
  • 8:00 am
  • 6:00 pm
  • 7:30 pm

Q: I’ll take my Alfred cold brew:

  • Black.
  • Cream + sweetener, please!
  • With almond milk!

Q: What is TheHive’s primary sock choice for #WorkoutWednesday?

  • Calf
  • Ankle

Q: Do you want to unlock an awesome deal on an Apple Watch or Fitbit Charge HR?

  • 50% Off Apple Watch
  • 40% Off Fitbit Charge HR

How to create a poll on Facebook

On Facebook, you will find the option to add a poll when you start composing a new post. You will see a button with three dots, and you can then select “poll”.

Click on the three dots to get more options and then select “Poll”

You can have two options, and each option can be no more than 25 characters. You can also illustrate each one with a photo or gif by clicking the relevant icon if you wish. You can set the response time, choosing from a day, a week, never (no expiry date) and custom date.

It’s important to note that voting isn’t anonymous in a Facebook poll – people’s answers are visible to the poll creator and other voters – so that may put some followers off voting.

Once, you’ve shared the post, you’ll be able to view it on your feed.

Here’s what it will look like once you’ve posted.

And, here is what people will see after they have voted.

In less than 2 seconds, one of my followers answered the poll.

How to create a poll on Twitter

On Twitter, you will see the poll icon when you go to compose a tweet.

Clicking on it gives you a minimum of two and a maximum of four response choices, so they are more versatile than Facebook polls (though you cannot add images or gifs to them). Each choice can be up to 25 characters in length.

Step One
Step Two

Twitter polls can run for up to seven days, and you can set the exact number of days, hours and minutes you want the poll to run within this timeframe. You won’t be able to vote in your poll, but you’ll be able to keep track of the voting by checking back on the tweet.

Step Three
Done!

Unlike Facebook polls, voting for those on Twitter is anonymous, so if you have a question to ask for which users may not want to respond publicly, Twitter might be a better place to ask it.

Your Turn

Have you ever used polls on your social media platforms? What was your experience? I’d love to know. Let me know in the comments!

Author

Umar is the co-founder of ArcheTrust, a marketing agency dedicated to helping small businesses make more money so that the owners can finally live the lives of their dream. He is also the co-founder of the Simple Growth Magazine where he regularly shares his knowledge and opinion about growth strategies. Having started as a freelancer over a decade ago, he's been through most of the challenges that small businesses face, and today he uses his experience to help others avoid the pain that he went through.

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