This article has been contributed by Kristin Herman.
One of the more popular features of Instagram right now is the Instagram Polls feature. It allows you to post little quizzes and questionnaires on your Instagram Stories.
Sure, you may or may not already use these polls for your business, or you may have used them within your social circles. We all love the person who asks us to rate their outfit, their sunset photo, or a photo of their dinner. Okay, maybe not all of them, but it’s all a bit of harmless, interactive fun that gives people a little more engagement than just swiping and tapping to the next Story.
As of today, there are two main forms of Instagram Poll can choose from.
- The classic, traditional form of a poll where you ask a question and offer a selection of two answers.
- An emoji slider bar where someone can choose where on the scale they love or hate something.
While simple by nature, there are a ton of ways you can use these polls features creatively. All it takes is a little thinking outside the box, a bit of savvy, and some willingness to create content.
Let’s get into it.
How to Create Instagram Polls
First, if you’re not aware of how to make polls, here’s a brief step-by-step guide, so free feel to try it out as we go.
- Take a photo or upload an image or video to your Instagram Story in the same way you usually would. Just tap the little camera in the top left or click on your Story.
- When you’ve adjusted your image or video, and you’re happy with it, click the ‘Add Sticker’ icon in the top right of the tap.
- If you scroll through your options here, you’ll find the ‘Poll’ option, the ‘Questions’ option, and the ‘Emoji Slider’ option. Select whichever poll type you want to use.
- Add your details into the sticker, position it wherever you want on your image, and upload!
It really is that simple.
Creative Ways to Use Instagram Polls for Your Business
Contrary to popular belief, there are lots of ways you can use Instagram polls. We’re going to talk through some of them, but don’t forget that these are just the tip of the iceberg. You can get really creative, and really specific, with how you use these poll ideas.
Try to keep things specific to your business, matching your branding and company’s personality. For example, if you’re a professional B2B business, using the love heart emoji slider may feel a bit out of place, but if you have an idea you want to use, then you may be able to use another poll feature to make it happen.
1. Source New Ideas and Crowdsource
So, you’ve got your business, and it’s going well. You’ve got some products out there, some services on offer, and you’re thinking to yourself, ‘This is all great, but what’s next?’. This is a problem all businesses face at some point, and the real challenge comes from trying to think up new ideas that are going to make your existing customers happy and attracts new ones.
Well, if you have some ideas, but you’re not sure what people are going to think about them, why not just ask them to use an Instagram poll? Let’s say you have a running apparel company, and you’re thinking about what kind of products people are interested in.
You could ask something like; hey, would you rather run in the rain or the sun? Do you mind running in the rain? Do you only run in the sun? How do you deal with running in the wind? What would make running in bad weather more comfortable and enjoyable?
These are all just brainstormed questions you can take or refine into questions that will help you truly identify what your customers want from you and what kinds of products they’re interested in. This gives you a fantastic overall feel for what people want from your business.
The best thing is that this approach works. Take a look at these images from the IKEA Instagram page.
The IKEA posts show valuable insights that the brand has gained using polls, which will help the business create products that people are going to love and buy.
2. Drive Website Traffic
Look, getting engagement on Instagram is great and all, but likes, followers, and the number of comments you get per post can be seen as just vanity metrics that don’t really mean a lot. They give you a rough idea of what’s going on and how successful you are, but if you have a million followers, but nobody is buying anything, then you’re not a profitable business.
Taking this into consideration, what if you could use Instagram Polls to drive people to your website, thus opening the floodgates for more opportunities to make sales, guide people into your sales funnel, get more data on people, and increase your SEO? Sounds like a winner, right?
Well, take a look at these Instagram Polls posts from the Zoe Report.
Makes you want to click, doesn’t it? This type of post works really well if you have over 10,000 followers and can use the swipe up effect. If you don’t, you can still use the ‘link in bio’ approach.
I personally love this approach because it really draws people in and makes you want to find out more. Going back to our running company example, which has now been involved in an exercise business, you could ask people in one poll what kind of exercise is people’s favorite.
Taking the results, you can then create a blog post on your website which shares what you found in detail, and then share a post on Instagram Polls saying something like ‘What do you think everyone’s favorite exercise is? Is this your favorite kind of exercise?
Through your Instagram post, you’re tempting people in, making your content irresistible for them not to find out more and giving them the interactivity through the Poll that they gave their feedback on, thus giving you even more information to play with.
Who knew you’d have so many opportunities through a simple Poll feature?
3. Improve Post Engagement
You’ve probably noticed this yourself, but if you look at someone’s content often, their posts will start to come up at the top of your feed. Of course, this is just Instagram taking into account that you’ve looked at this person’s content a number of times, so they make it easier for you to click on them by putting them first.
Not great if you’re trying to get over an ex, but it happens.
The positive side of this is that the people who are looking at your own Stories are probably the people who are engaging with you more than others and are interested in what you have to offer. This means you can promote your content to them more because you know they’re actually interested in what you’re saying.
Linking this in with the Instagram Polls feature, you can make things more interactive by saying things like ‘Have you checked out our latest post?’ followed by a poll saying, ‘What did you think?’
Let’s say you share a post of a beautiful sunset as a travel Instagram page. You can share the post on your Story and then use the emoji slider to ask if people would want to go there or not.
If you’re running any kind of competition, you can draw focus using a Poll by asking, ‘Have you entered our giveaway competition yet?’ or sharing a photo of the prize with an emoji slider to see if people are interested in it.
4. Learn About Your Audience
Nowadays, data is everything. The more you know about your customers, the more you’ll be able to market to them, create products they want, and give them the experience they’re expecting from your business. Using Instagram Polls is a fun and creative way to get such information.
You don’t have to be blunt and ask people want they like and don’t like but be creative. Check out these posts from Mimi Hammer.
For a fashion company, the kind of information you get from these posts is priceless because it tells you exactly what kind of customers you have, what they’re interested in, and what kind of product they want from you.
Of course, this is going to massively contribute to your success as a business if you can give people what they want.
Creating an Interactive Experience
As I’ve said already in this post, sure, people love tapping and swiping to the next Story, but it does get a little bit mindless when they’re just going next, next, next, etc. Why not give your followers something a bit more exciting with an interactive experience that’s going to wake them up and make them want to know more?
Take a look at these posts from Vanity Fair.
The posts look really professional and well made. They’re clean and minimal, but with enough visuals going on to catch the eye. But when you really look at how they are made, you realize that the content is quite simple, but it’s the Instagram Poll feature that really brings the content to life.
It’s a little bit of fun where people can get educated on a topic or can be entertained by a quiz of sorts, and it makes it even more fun when you can see what percentage of people answered what answer. The quiz is just for fun, but it is also educational.
Here’s another one from Headspace.
These posts were a part of the ‘Mindful Eating’ series that Headspace ran on their social media accounts, and it was a great way to get people thinking about how they were eating and how they can bring mindfulness into what they do. It’s like a little meditation guide that’s free and right on their Story.
The possibilities of what you can do here are pretty much endless, so think outside the box and get creative!
Just Have Fun
The final point to consider is just having fun with your Instagram Stories. If you’re posting a lot of standard content, your audience will probably get a little bored just tapping through and will soon swipe away to the next account.
You can use Polls throughout any form of content just to grab someone’s attention, pull them back into your Story, or just to mix up the kind of content you’re posting.
Check out this post from REI and how they took an answer from another poll they ran, and then made another poll from it.
The kind of interaction and engagement you’re getting from this kind of post is massive, and it can never be understated how much of a community you can create around this kind of post if you do it right.
As you can see, the world is your oyster when it comes to Instagram Stories once you start creatively using the Polls feature. Hopefully you’ve got some ideas in your head about the kind of content you can create, and you’re willing to try something new.
Don’t forget to track your analytics, monitor how well your posts are performing, and then bask in how much more success they bring you!
About the author: Kristin Herman is a marketing writer at at Oxessays. In her free time, she loves finding new social media pages and helping people connect to others around the world through networking and online events.