Getting people to engage with you on social media is not easy. Luckily for you, Twitter polls can help. According to Hootsuite’s social engagement coordinator, Nick Martin, they’re a surefire way to drive engagement.
As the host of #HootChat, Martin gave us some expert tips on how polls have worked for him on Hootsuite’s Twitter channel and how you can use them to drive engagement for your brand.
Bonus: Download the free strategy guide that reveals how Hootsuite grew our Twitter following to over 7 million users and learn how you can put the tactics to work for your business.
Why polls increase engagement
People can respond to a question without the fear of being wrong
People are shy and don’t want to risk being wrong, especially on a public forum like social media. And that’s the beauty of a poll—there’s technically no wrong answer. It’s an open question simply asking for participation with a select number of answers to choose from. Without the pressure of coming up with something unique on their own, users are less likely to be deemed “wrong.”
People want to help
According to Martin, people like knowing their opinion is contributing to a greater cause. Especially within an online community, being able to help one another is big motivator for audiences to share their thoughts on social.
Shoe / sock combo:
— Dean Michael Unglert (@dean_unglert) July 20, 2017
As brands use polls to collect some kind of audience insight, participants help by taking the time to respond. With that in mind, polls appeal to those wanting to make an impact.
Participation is easy
You know that feeling when a company is trying to get you to fill out a survey that will only take “five minutes”? Most of us will verge on saying no and our excuse is that we’re busy.
The same applies to your audience. Your audience is busy—as are most folks—so getting people to take the time out of their day to provide your brand with feedback is hard.
Unlike a survey, polls require little effort. A vote is casted with a single click. Not only is the format straightforward, but participation comes easy when the answers are set.
It’s a learning opportunity
Not only do polls provide you with better insight on your audience—participants can get information from your poll as well.
As Martin explains, one of the biggest benefits to social media polls is that it offers both parties—the pollster and participants—information from a wider audience.
When do you see the most engagement on your social networks? 📅 📈 #twitterpoll
— Hootsuite (@hootsuite) July 11, 2017
Take this poll on social media engagement, for example. What can we learn from these statistics? Does it match up to what we already know? Does your data need updating? These are the kind of insights to put towards your social media strategy.
Ultimately, a poll turns your brand into an education resource on social, by showing how others operate or what they think and feel.
Since individual answers aren’t disclosed, users tend to be more honest. Users are more likely to be straightforward if they know they won’t be judged for their opinions.
Quicks tips for running Twitter polls
Launch your poll when your audience is active
What’s the point of hosting a poll if nobody sees it? Make sure you’re sharing a poll during times when followers are available to respond.
For times of high engagement on each social channel, take a look at our guide to The Best Time to Post on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Use a variety of questions and answers
Martin recommends keeping your audience engaged by switching up the type of poll and range of answers you’re providing. You don’t want to bore your audience by asking the same type of questions over and over.
Keep things interesting by finding new ways to ask for votes. When creating a Twitter poll, you’re in control of both the question and answers. Answers can range from yes or no (close-ended), gauging sentiment (likely to highly unlikely), or multiple choice answers (open-ended). These can drive different results for your business. A close-ended question, for example, will show more polarizing results but an open-ended question will give you more options.
If you’re stuck for ideas, check out 13 Creative Twitter Poll Ideas for your Business.
Don’t overuse polls
If you flood your followers’ feed with polls you risk being seen as using your audience for “free” market research—like a pseudo-online focus group.
Martin recommends doing weekly polls. “You start to lose the effect with too many polls. It becomes less about engagement and more about using your audience for information,” says Martin.
When someone responds to your poll, they’re taking the time to engage with your brand. If you’ve started a conversation, return the favor by being present.
Especially if a user leaves you a comment—respond, like their comment, and thank them for their contribution. Martin recommends monitoring responses and replying throughout the day.
Being responsive is also important even after the poll has closed. Tell your audience what you’ll be doing with the data (if applicable) and they’ll be more likely to engage with you again in the future.
Aside from boosting engagement on Twitter, polls can also benefit your business in other ways—like gathering customer feedback or joining the conversation on social media. When faced with a decision that requires audience input, a Twitter poll is a great too. For more ways to use them to your advantage our post, 5 Ways to Use Twitter Polls for Your Business.
Want to better engage and listen to your audience? Use Hootsuite for all your social monitoring needs. Set up streams, monitor keywords, and keep track of all your conversations from one place. Try it free today.