How to Use Instagram's Poll Feature Like A Boss

If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, you know that there is NO shame in this gal's Instagram polling game. When the feature was first released, I knew I could have some fun with it, while also gaining fantastic insight from my audience that would help me improve the way I serve them. Because here's the thing: Your audience on social media is essentially a focus group of potential customers that you have access to all the time. Ladies, it does NOT get better than that!! So if you want the hookup on a simple, fun and FREE way to learn what your audience wants from you (i.e. market research), keep on reading.

HALP! WHAT TYPES OF POLLS SHOULD I EVEN TAKE?

Mix it up. You want to energize your audience with a healthy mixture of... 

  • The One & Done, Just For Fun Poll: We're talking totally casual - dare I even say random - polls that showcase your personality or lifestyle, and ask your followers' opinions just for fun. These are important opportunities to up your know-love-trust factor!
  • The One & Done Market Survey: Not sure which photo editing style is best? Can't decide which calligraphy script to use for a project? Trying to decide on a color palette? On the fence over a new product you want to offer? Take it to the people! 
  • The Actual Market Survey: A series of in-yo-face, no-nonsense questions designed to glean information from your audience. Don't even bother disguising it - you're all about getting answers, and you want them to know it! 

OKAY, BUT HOW DO I GET MY FOLLOWERS TO ENGAGE?

Delivery is king! It's all in your approach.

  • Secret #1: If you want people to engage you've got to be creative with your delivery! Make your polls as fun as you possibly can. A playful poll that asks, "You like?" with options 'yes/of course' is unlikely to generate half the engagement as a poll that says, "You like?" with options that say "O GOD YES" and "LIKE?? LOVE!!!!!"
  • Secret #2: Remember that you don't always have to ask a question to engage your audience. Use it to get them to share about themselves, too! For example, the other day I posted a photo of my beautiful, clean living room with a caption that read, "Throwback to less than 48H ago when the house was this tidy... Christmas shrapnel EVERYWHERE" and a poll next to it that said "Train wreck here too!!" / "Get yo life, Jess..." 
  • Secret #3: Don't scare them away from disagreeing with you. This is a BIG one in any case, but especially if you're trying to do real market research. Since Instagram shows users which followers voted for each option, saying 'no' or disagreeing with the story poster can be uncomfortable. No one wants to admit that they don't like someone's work or ideas! So, if you want real answers, it's important to make the response option something palatable. You want them to feel like it's OKAY to not approve of an idea or something you're doing! For example, I asked followers in a recent poll if they wished I had a print shop. Instead of making the options 'yes please!' and 'no thanks!', I made it fun and lighthearted: 'yes, like, yesterday!!!" and 'nah, you're good!!" This makes honest engagement FUN. 

HOW DO I MAKE SURE MY MARKET SURVEY POLLS DON'T ANNOY MY AUDIENCE?

Easy peasy, lemon squeezy! All you need is your intuition, coupled with a little strategy. 

  • Secret #1: Create balance. Make sure that you're doing plenty of just-for-fun polls, too! There's no one-size-fits-all recipe for this because it all depends on your unique audience, but the general idea is to serve more than you sell (in this case, poll for fun more often than you poll for business). My approach, which has worked well, is to balance with a rough estimate of about 70% just-for-fun polls, 20% one-time market survey polls, and 10% real deal, series of questions market survey polls.
  • Secret #2: It's all in the delivery! By keeping things light-hearted and being creative with the way you word your poll options, you're making engagement FUN for your followers. As long as that's the case and you're keeping things balanced, you're golden! And when you decide to do the occasional real-deal market survey, it helps to place a cover page or brief video from you before the polls start, ASKING them for their help. This activates  a sense of choice, which actually makes people more inclined to participate.

... And that's a wrap! Happy posting, friends. If this post was helpful to you, please let me know and help me continue to deliver content you LOVE by leaving a comment or tapping the heart below! 

BusinessJessica Strohm