Did you know that Twitter has a function that lets you create polls and see the results instantly as people respond? People are using Twitter polls for everything from predicting sports outcomes to deciding their next hairstyle.
Polls can be a bit of lighthearted fun, but they can also be a great way for a business to connect with its customers as well as with a larger audience. Customer interaction and feedback is a huge part of defining and developing your brand’s identity. It’s also a way to demonstrate your commitment to delivering the best possible service. Showing that you put customers first is one step on the road to earning loyal customers.
Twitter polls do have their limitations. You’re still stuck with the 140 character limit for the poll description. And each poll option can only have up to 25 characters. But the brevity of these polls is also their strength. People don’t generally like participating in surveys. If you send out a survey link via email, you’ll probably get a pretty paltry response (unless you offer some sort of incentive). The information you do get might be more detailed and extensive, but the smaller sample size will mean it may not be representative.
Twitter polls, on the other hand, are so quick and easy that they tend to attract way more participants. It only takes a few seconds to read all the options and choose one. And you can see how your response matches up with what others’.
Getting Started – Creating Your First Twitter Poll
One of the greatest benefits of Twitter polls is that they’re incredibly easy to use. I mean really easy. In a couple steps, you can get a poll out there, and it could take less than a minute. To help get you going, here’s a little guide:
First, you’ll need to click on the “Tweet” button in the top right-hand corner. It’s the same button you would use to send out any other tweet.
Next, you’ll see the “Compose new Tweet” box, which is the same as for any other Tweet. To make a poll, you just need to select the “poll” icon, which falls between the gif and location icons.
Once you see the “Compose new Tweet” box, you just type in the question pertaining to your poll. Just remember that the question has to stick to Twitter’s 140-character limit. To maximize the effectiveness of the poll, add at least one hashtag. A #poll hashtag is definitely good to have, and you can add additional descriptors as needed.
Next, you have to add different options for the poll. These are the choices available to your pollees. Initially, you’ll be given two boxes to fill in, but you can add additional ones. Click “add a choice” to add more. The maximum is 5 choices, and each choice can have a maximum of 25 characters, so keep it brief.
When you’ve finished adding options, select the poll length. The default length is 1 day, but you can extend that as needed. Then click “Tweet” at the bottom, just as you would for any other Tweet. The poll will go out to your followers, and you’ll be able to see the results in real time.
So, how to actually use a Twitter Poll?
As a business, Twitter polls are a great way to initiate an interaction with your audience. If you’re not sure how to make it work for you, here are a few ideas to get you started:
1. Embed a poll in a blog post
Make a Twitter poll to go along with your blog post. This has the added benefit of attracting new followers to your Twitter feed. It can also be a way to get around Twitter’s length limitations. You can give your audience much more extended background information on the topic of the poll. Or the poll can be about the post itself – e.g. “Did you enjoy this post?” or “How likely are you to share this post with friends?”.
2. Learn about your followers
Ask questions that may not be related to your industry, but that will give you insights about your audience. These could be designed to learn about demographics – e.g. age, gender, location, marital status etc. Or they might have to do with interests. For instance, you might ask, “What’s your favorite social media network?” or “Would you rather read an article or watch a YouTube video?”.
3. Ask for feedback
Solicit feedback from your customers in a convenient and non-invasive way. Ask about your customers’ experience with service within your business, or about how easy your website is to navigate. Customers appreciate being consulted but don’t love long surveys. Twitter polls will give you just a small snapshot of your customers’ experiences and opinions. But you can get the complete picture with multiple polls. Use a weekly poll, or just make a poll whenever you have a burning question.
4. Get input on products and services
Ask your audience if they like a product or service using simple ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘neutral/not sure’ response options. Or offer a choice of two or three different items and ask participants to choose their favourite (or least favourite). Or ask your audience which product or service they’d like to see come to your business next (do this only if you’re actually considering adding one of the options to your lineup). Your followers will appreciate having the opportunity to contribute to your development in a meaningful way.
5. Just entertain
Polls can be used just for fun too. From a marketing standpoint, a ‘just for fun’ poll does have its own value. It can show off your playful side, make your brand more memorable, and simply remind people that you’re still around.
The main thing to remember when using Twitter polls is that you almost always want to keep it lighthearted and fun. This is primarily a means to engage with your audience, show them their opinions matter, and get a little bit of feedback at the same time.