How Instagram Polls can give you the edge

Facebook has done it. Twitter has done it. Now Instagram is bringing polls to users.

Instagram Polls is a feature users can access through Instagram Stories. When you tap on “Poll” on the stickers menu, a Yes/No button will appear on your image, below an “Ask a question” prompt.

Tapping on the Yes and No buttons allows you to customise the answers within a 27-character limit. Once you’re done editing, you can drag the sticker into place. If you choose to leave the question field empty, you can add different text in the style you prefer, and drag that to where you want.

Facebook Messenger allows for several choices, Twitter gives you up to four options, and with Instagram you have two answers to select from. It’s unlikely that Instagram will increase the number of options, since it’s emphasis is on clean, uncluttered visuals.

Polls are a great tool for brands to get insights into their consumers’ decision making. Encourage engaged participation from your audience by posing original questions around topics they can relate to. Then show that you are listening to your market by repurposing your research results into new content, and act on the feedback.

Gain insights into:

  • Preferred products – think about pitting your two best-selling dishes against each other if you’re a restaurant. Then maybe have a promotion with the winner
  • Packaging – if you’re about to launch a new product, ask consumers which colour they like better, what package size they prefer, etc.
  • Prize preference – when you’re planning to launch a competition, regardless of which platform, asking what prize people will prefer will also create some hype and anticipation for a competition.
  • Content and content formats – do your followers prefer Boomerangs or Live broadcasts? Do they prefer motoring content, or tech?
  • What they need – ask if they need help with Managed Document Solutions or VOIP

Polls also provide users the opportunity to take advantage of trending topics. If there’s an authentic way for your brand to participate in conversation around a book launch, for example, then you’d better be sure your phone is charged and the lighting’s good.

The most valuable feature about Instagram Polls is that it can help you profile your audience. Like Instagram Stories, poll results are available for 24 hours, and you can see who voted and what they voted for. The people who engage with your polls are the ones you should actively target through the rest of your content, and to whom you should tailor your brand messages and products.

Be cautious about overdoing it on polls. If all your content is developed around polls, your audience might become disinterested and less responsive.

So, only one question remains. Will your brand be using Instagram Polls?

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