Instagram Polls?

This week, Instagram integrated a new feature called Instagram Polls into their Instagram story functionality and its a big one. The principal is relatively easy: You add the new poll sticker to your story post, write your question and give 2 options people can choose from. When someone now watches your story, they can vote for their favourite answer and afterwards see a percentage split of how others have voted. Easy, fun and incredibly useful.

Value for brands

To a certain degree, I feel nearly stupid to talk about this as the value and opportunities this brings to brands, influencers or, basically, everyone is tremendous. The new Instagram polls allow you to ask questions directly to your follower base and since the interaction is a simple click, you can expect significantly higher response rates than asking a question in a regular post.

Now what kind of things can you do with this easy feedback system? The most obvious thing to do is to ask your followers which of your products they prefer, what their favourite topping or addition to a menu item is or if they love to eat out or take home. Another interesting scenario is the possibility to influence your product development directly through the input of your fans. The added value of that is tremendous as you will not only get direct input from the market you are trying to sell to, but you can also enjoy some of the benefits of co-creation as your fans will appreciate seeing their opinion being taken into account when coming up with new products and ideas.

The third scenario I want to shine a light on is pure entertainment. Humans use social media to, yes be social, but also to be entertained. We are entertained by the lives of others, by their achievements, their travels and their food, but also by the interaction between us and others. The new polling function offers another level of interaction and therefore entertainment which is necessary to engage your followers with your brand (which in the end leads to more ROI). It’s much more fun to go through the Coca-Cola story shown here and vote for your favourite topics and the spiciness of your taco than to simply watch their videos.
Last but not least, you can use this functionality to tailor your Instagram content straight towards your follower base. Ask them what they want to see, what kind of media format they prefer and how often they want you to post. Eliane Roest did a great job, asking her followers if she should post her captions in Dutch (her native language) or English (as she is probably gaining more international traction and the Netherlands is a second circle country). By doing so, she makes sure to get higher engagement rates as she is following the wishes of her follower base and her content becomes more tailored towards their taste. It’s smart, efficient and effective. Here are a few question to ask your audience that will help you to understand them better:

– Do you prefer video or images?
– How often should we post?
– Do you want to see more of the people or the products?
– Are you interested in a recipe blog?

Where to find the Instagram Poll results

You can find the results of your Instagram polls in the viewer’s tab. Simply click on your own story and swipe up to see who watched your story and who voted what. 

What do with my data?

As always, the most important part of marketing is listening. Look at how people replied to your polls and act accordingly. Taking my example into account, I saw that my housemate Natasha voted “Love” when I asked the question “Do you love or hate your housemates if they buy these (Kruidenoten – a Dutch Christmas treat that’s heavily addictive), so the next time I do groceries, I will get another bag – goodwill secured! I also saw that my sister Paulina replied love and since it was her birthday last week and I am going to see her this weekend, I will get another bag of Kruidenoten for her.  Of course, this is a highly personalized and small-scale example, but it gives you an idea on how to use the Instagram polling function. 

You might see several big influencers responding in a certain way to a poll, so your next step would be to note them down and once you have made your product changes, introduced a new item or whatever, you send them a message to try it out. They will be baffled by your eye for detail and are much more likely to review and endorse your product – its an easy way to earn media instead of buying it. 

That’s it Snapchat!

After we explained the functionality and the value of Instagram polls. it’s probably clear to you how big of a deal this can be for brands, users and influencers. The pure fact that Snapchat, next to its other weaknesses, doesn’t have this feature makes the race between Instagram stories and Snapchat even more clear. If Snapchat remains on it’s current path, I don’t see a future for brands and influencers on the network and the users will slowly but steadily shift their attention too. Because they want to be where their friends and the people they are interested in are. In the near future, that will not be Snapchat.

Thank you very much for reading our blog post, use the comment section down below to let us know how you will use Instagram Polls to entertain your followers and to inform yourself! 

Until then. Stay tasty,

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