How to Use Polls in Instagram Stories

If you use Instagram for personal use, business use, or a blend of the two, the poll feature on Instagram Stories is a great tool for connecting with your followers.  

Polls are a relatively recent addition to the Instagram app. To give some context, Instagram launched the Stories function in 2016 and introduced the poll option in October of the next year. In the time since, social media influencers and businesses have been able to increase engagement with followers by creating polls on a regular basis.    

The poll feature is easy to use from both an influencer and a follower’s perspective. Whether you’re new to the Instagram platform or an experienced social media strategist, there are many benefits to interacting with followers through polls. 

Classic vs. Slider Polls

Instagrammers can create two different types of polls on the platform. The classic poll is the feature that was first introduced in 2018 and soon followed by the emoji slider sticker poll

Once you publish either type of poll, it’s live for 24-hours. During that time, followers can enter in their responses to your question and see updates on how other followers are ranking their answers. On hour 25, you can share the results from the poll in another story post.

How The Classic Poll Works

To create a classic poll, you can type a question into the prompt section and write two response options. An example of a poll topic might be “How do you take your coffee?” and the response choices could be, “Without cream and sugar” or “With COPIOUS amounts of cream and sugar.” 

For any poll question that you ask, it’s important that the question relates to the image in the post. If you go with the coffee topic for a poll, you might choose a photo of a coffee mug or to-go cup.     

Both the question and the responses are entirely up to you to choose. Once you publish the story, followers can begin sending in their answers. You’ll be able to see the percentages of how many people selected either option.

How The Emoji Sticker Poll Works

This poll style is just as straightforward as the classic option. To create an emoji sticker poll, you enter in a question or statement and then choose an emoji that relates to this prompt. Followers will answer your poll by sliding the emoji across the screen. 

How far a follower slides the emoji usually correlates with how much they agree with a question or statement.

Let’s say you post a sneak preview for an upcoming product launch and include the poll question “Are you excited for the big reveal next week?” You can choose the heart emoji, confetti emoji, or another option that makes sense for the topic. 

Polls benefit you but also your followers for several reasons.

A phone with Instagram on it.

1. Know Your Follower’s Likes and Dislikes

Because of social media platforms like Instagram, you can connect with and follow people you admire. This can be someone you know on a personal level or someone you’ve never met. Distance isn’t a hindrance, either. You can follow Instagrammers who live close by or in another country.

The most effective way to grow your platform is to know your followers and create opportunities for personal connections. Especially if you use Instagram for business, it’s necessary to know follower demographics and preferences. Creating a poll is one way to ask your followers questions and show that their responses matter to you.

2. Curate Your Content & Increase Engagement

With polls, you no longer have to guess what type of content your followers want to see because you can go right to the source. Involving your followers gives you insight into their preferences, so you can plan future posts and boost your engagement rates at the same time.

Tracking engagement is an important element of any social media marketing plan. When actively trying to boost engagement, influencers can see the best results by dispersing their efforts across different areas. 

Exclusively posting photo and video content to the Instagram feed probably won’t give you the results you want. If you publish feed posts and stories consistently, polls will only improve your engagement rates.

In order to exceed your engagement goals and grow your following, another strategy to take is to work with a creative marketing agency.

3. Direct More Traffic to Other Platforms

A strategic way to generate more traffic to your website, YouTube page, and other platforms is to follow a poll with a story post with the swipe-up feature.

The swipe-up feature is only available to Instagrammers with at least 10,000 followers. We recommend taking advantage of this feature if you have access, but if not, you can still direct followers to your platforms with polls.

Let’s say you just uploaded a new article to your blog. You can create a poll asking followers if they’ve read the article yet. Then, create a follow-up story post that links to the article on your website. Instead of doing a Google search for your blog post, followers can simply swipe up and start reading. 

4. Time Saving for Everyone

Instagram polls are designed to be easy to use and effective in equal measures. It takes seconds for followers to enter in a response to your poll. The process is convenient and instantly rewarding for you and your followers.

Keep in mind that the people who subscribe to your other platforms might not be following you on Instagram, and vice versa. In order to grow your platforms, the best course of action is to poll your audiences in many ways.  

Sending out an email poll can be effective but might seem time-consuming to some people. This isn’t as much of a concern with Instagram polling. To get well-rounded feedback, you can use Instagram polling in addition to other marketing strategies.

Polls are Mutually Beneficial

Social media influencers benefit from using the different polls interchangeably. You can create a classic or slider poll depending on which format you think will work best for a specific question. Polls give you an outlet to address certain topics and give your followers the opportunity to interact with you directly. 

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