Crowdsourcing Your Content: Using Instagram Polls for Marketing Insight

New features introduced by Instagram can really boost how you interact with your followers. Knowing how to use this to your advantage is a valuable tool for your marketing strategy.

Instagram stories have been widely successful because influencers are able to interact very closely with all of their followers. The platform is turning into an all-in-one destination for pictures, videos, direct messaging, and Snapchat-style story updates. While many originally doubted the practicality of another platform adopting stories, Instagram stories were quickly picked up by most influencers and celebrities. With access to all of their followers, influencers can post temporary or permanent updates alongside their other visual content. The new polls feature, however, has truly changed the game.

  • Why polls are important for engagement
  • What kinds of questions should you ask?
  • What should you do with your new information?

Polls: A Classic Form of Engagement

People love to give their opinions. Social media allows most people with a phone or computer to have a voice. Before, influencers would benefit off of followers through likes, comments, and follows. This would boost their content and validate their efforts.

Instagram polls offer another level of engagement because they are very tactile (pressing a button and seeing how other people voted is satisfying) and can be perceived as more legitimate ways to show support or voice an opinion.

Make followers wish they were there

Polls appearing over a picture engages followers both visually and mentally. If you post a picture or video at an event or special location, you are showing them that your lifestyle may be desirable. By adding a poll and asking if they are there (or their opinion on what you should order for dinner), you are making them aware of the fact that they are usually not there.

This means that you are doing something that may be out of their reach, so they will be compelled to follow you in order to build their own taste based on your experiences.

Using the poll feature to ask questions about what you are already doing is a great way to engage followers by revealing parts of your life and making followers wish they were there with you.

Show them you value their opinion

By starting a poll in the first place, you immediately validate your followers and their opinions.

Influencers who consistently post polls engage followers because, much like the comments section, polls offer a chance for followers to gain visibility and become a part of an influencer’s life. This sense of increased interaction is important for fostering a healthy influencer-follower relationship.

Gain exposure for your brand

Instagram polls also offer an important platform for lowkey and inoffensive advertising. By asking followers which product or color they prefer, you are also making them aware of a certain product.

Asking followers on which service or product is their favorite also reinforces this concept. Essentially, you will be able to advertise in subtle ways through polls asking followers for opinions about what you are marketing.

Instagram also offers a tool to directly link pages to stories, so polls can be directly followed with links to discussed products, leading to more sales or website traffic.

What Kind of Polls Should You Have?

There is so much information to gain from an Instagram poll. Currently, the app only allows for two potential options, although that could change in the future. This may seem to limit--Facebook allows for countless options under a poll question. The two-option format, however, allows for more focused questions and results.

As an influencer, you have the power to ask anything. Instagram does not show your followers how many people have responded, so even a poll with a few responses can seem engaging to them. Followers also cannot see percentage results until they have voted themselves, so curious about other followers can drive people to respond.

Yes or No?

A standard question to ask followers would be “yes or no” questions. This may seem boring, but the question can be manipulated in multiple ways to gain insight into your followers.

An example of a “yes or no” question that could boost traffic to your website would be “Have you tried [insert product or service name]?” This would provide information about how many of your followers have tried something you are offering. It is also an opportunity to follow up the poll with a linked post captioned with something along the lines of “If you haven’t, swipe up!”

In terms of cultivating interest in your experiences, you can ask opinions with questions like “Should I get [insert object]?” This can be used out at dinner, while you are shopping, or when you are debating partaking in a certain trend. Not only will this keep you in tune with what your followers think, it also makes them feel like they are part of your daily process.

The simplicity of a “yes or no” question does not mean it will not provide you with valuable information. Instead, it offers you a simple opportunity to engage your followers, monitor their feedback, and advertise.

What do you prefer?

In a similar fashion to “yes or no” questions, asking questions about what followers prefer could be a good way to get their opinions. These questions differ because you would ask followers to choose between two tangible options rather than accepting or rejecting something.

This can become very fun for both you and your followers because you can involve them in a decision-making process or ask pressing questions like “Pepsi or Coke?”

Once again, this is a great method for quietly advertising products. For example, if you have two popular products, ask which of the two people prefer. Again, following product- or service-oriented polls with the appropriate links will be good for your traffic. Links to websites or social media are an essential part of any successful social media campaign.

What do you want to see?

Perhaps the most important type of question on Instagram polls questions about what followers want to see.

Directly asking followers what they would like to see in your next video or post will help you as you generate content. Not only will this make your process a little easier, it also means the chance of engagement is higher.

Some examples of questions are:

  • Do you want my next post to be about [option 1] or [option 2]?
  • I tried a new format for my last post. Which did you prefer?
  • If I made a post about [content idea], would you watch it?

The possibilities are truly endless when asking followers what content they would like. Followers like knowing they are being listened to. After all, this is what fuels relationships with influencers and makes social media an integral part of marketing.

Why is This Information Important?

Using Instagram polls to fuel your content will give you invaluable information about what your followers want and how they perceive you.

You can use the information from Instagram polls to focus your content and refine your products or services. The polls are also temporarily visible, so once you get information over a course of 24 hours, the poll disappears.

Essentially, you can directly communicate with your followers in very specific and efficient ways. Polls allow you to quantify preferences, so it will become easier for you to generate content in the long run. If you want to try something new, you can gauge how the crowd feels about it.

If you are not making use of Instagram polls, use the guidelines discussed above to start the process of crowdsourcing data about your audience!

The most important thing to remember, however, is that you are ultimately in charge of your content. Make sure you maintain your focus and have a mission for yourself. Polls can provide information about behavior and preferences, but that should not be the only influence on your work. Rather, use poll results to inform your decisions and gain insight into how your content affects your audience.

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