Liven up your Instagram Stories with Polls: 7 creative ideas to boost your business

    Liven up your Instagram Stories with Polls: 7 creative ideas to boost your business

    Every now and then, Instagram surprises marketers with new features and functionalities. Some stick around, some flop — it’s a natural cycle.  ...

    Every now and then, Instagram surprises marketers with new features and functionalities. Some stick around, some flop — it’s a natural cycle. 

    But there are some features that have been around since the very dawn of Instagram, or Instagram Stories at least. 

    One example is Instagram Polls. It’s been available to the general public for ages. And still, a lot of marketers underuse it. Make sure you’re not one of those unlucky SMM managers — read this article to learn about the hottest Instagram poll ideas your business can use to grow. 

    What is an Instagram Poll and why does your business need it?

    Instagram Poll is an interactive sticker that users can add to their Stories; it’s used to ask questions and view vote results in real-time. 

    Instagram Poll stickers are one of the oldest and most popular interactive elements in the Stories enhancement stack. It was first introduced back in 2017, along with the launch of Instagram Stories themselves. It hasn’t left the spotlight since.

    There’s a whole bunch of reasons why it remains a user-favorite, and why your business needs to hop on the Poll bandwagon:

    • It increases user engagement. 
    • It boosts interactions with your audience and keeps your brand relevant. 
    • It creates a stronger connection between you and your audience.
    • It allows you to get real-time feedback about virtually anything.

    When it comes to engagement on Instagram, polls and other interactive stickers are indispensable. People are more likely to engage in Stories polls than in timeline comments. It’s easy, quick, and fun.

    Maria Petrova, Lead SMM at VistaCreate

    How to use an Instagram Story Poll? 

    Creating an Instagram Story poll isn’t rocket science. 

    In fact, it’s likely that you’ve already used the feature as a regular IG user and are, therefore, familiar with its functionality. But granted that you’re a business trying to leverage the benefits of Instagram Polls, you must know exactly what to do and how to do it. With instruction at your hand, you minimize the chances of missing out on critical details.

    VistaCreate is here to give you a helping hand and provide you with the ultimate step-by-step Instagram Story Poll walkthrough. 

    1. Open the Instagram app and either swipe right or tap the “+” next to your profile icon at the top-left of the screen. 
    2. Prepare a background for your poll. Here, you have options. You can either go into Create mode, take a picture of whatever it is you want to upload to your Story, or upload an existing picture from your gallery.
    3. Tap the sticker icon at the top-right of the screen (look for a square sticky note with a smiley face).
    4. Look for the Poll sticker (depending on certain factors, it may be closer to or farther away from the top) and tap on it
    5. Fill in the question for your poll (use this space to give your Story viewers a prompt) and edit the answer options by tapping on them.
    6. Tap elsewhere to save the sticker edits. Move the poll around to place it where you want, and finish editing all the other elements of your Story. 
    7. Tap ‘Your Story’ or the right arrow to share the poll to your Story

    Et voila! Your poll is live, ready to collect your audience’s views. As soon as the Story gets published, you can view voting results in real-time. 

    Once a user votes on the poll, they get a chance to see whether or not they answered like the majority of respondents. However, neither they nor you will be able to see the exact breakdown of votes – just the percentage of votes each option received.

    To check how your audience voted on the poll, simply view your own Story and click on the ‘Seen by’ button in the bottom-left corner of the screen or swipe up. There, you’ll see the total number of people that viewed your Story, how many of them voted on the poll, the summary of how many people voted for each option, and the names of the users who voted for a specific option. 

    You can share this statistic with your followers by clicking on the ‘Share Results’ button. The final results of the poll will be shared onto a new Story for everyone to see.

    The best Instagram Poll ideas to engage with your audience

    If you were a regular Instagram user, we could’ve stopped right here — you already know the mechanism and can use it to flawlessly stick the feature into your Stories every time. 

    As a business person, however, you need to take a slightly different approach to posting on social media. Hence, your use of Instagram Polls must not only be technically correct but also strategic. Every poll you share with followers must have an idea behind it, aim to achieve a certain goal, and fit well into your broader social media marketing strategy. 

    To do that, you need to incorporate the Poll Story format into your social media marketing content plan, and outline the type of poll Stories you’re going to publish. 

    Below, we’ve compiled a list of the seven most popular Instagram Story poll ideas for your small business. 

    The ‘Yes or No’ poll

    The first — and the easiest to create — poll is the ‘Yes or No’ one. 

    This type of Instagram Story poll allows you to ask the audience specific, straightforward questions and get specific, straightforward answers. All with a minimal amount of effort applied on both sides. A win-win! 

    You can use this type of poll to ask niche questions and cover broader topics. For instance, you can use these to find out if your followers have ever tried something, if they liked your recent product update, are interested in an upcoming initiative, or have heard of an industry fact.

    PRO TIP:

    Make sure you add some personality to your “Yes or No’ polls by elevating the answer options. For example, you can replace ‘yes’ with ‘yuh’, ‘duh’, ‘of course’, ‘yas!’, etc. ‘No’ can be mixed up with ‘nope’, ‘nah’, etc. You can even go as far as expanding the answer to ‘Yes, I totally did’ or ‘No, I had no idea’. Just make sure you stay on brand while adding flair to your polls.

    For example:

    • Would you try on this outfit? Yes/No
    • Have you been to Paris? Yes/No
    • Can you relate? Yes/No
    • Should we do it? Yaaas!/Meh
    • Did you know this little-known statistic? Yep, knew it!/I had NO idea!
    • Are you excited about this new feature? Absolutely!/Not really 🙁

    The ‘This or That’ poll

    Just like the previous one, the ‘This or That’ poll doesn’t have anything unconventional about it. It’s a classic, and this is exactly what makes it so good. Anyone who’s ever tried Instagram Story polls knows this format and loves it unconditionally. 

    Why? Because it doesn’t make you think too much. Regular social media users — not marketers and other enthusiasts who use social media platforms for work — go on Instagram to get away from whatever they were doing before and relax. They don’t want another challenge, they’re after a simple task with instant rewards (this is exactly what seeing the results of the poll feels like).  

    Nothing too complicated — just two straightforward options to choose from. Either this or that. 

    But it doesn’t mean that you can’t put a spin on it. The best thing about ‘This or That’ polls is their versatility. You can easily change questions to fit the theme of your account and be relevant to your brand. 

    For example: 

    • What season do you prefer? Team summer or Team winter
    • Are you more of a morning person or a night person? Morning lark or Night owl
    • Which font would you rather use in your CV? Helvetica or Times New Roman
    • Which scent combo is your favorite? Lavender mint or Tobacco vanilla
    • Do you think follow-ups should be manual or automatic? Team automation or Team manual

    PRO TIP:

    Replace both ‘This’ and ‘That’ with emojis. It’s a proven fact that people are more responsive to images, which means more followers will engage with your Story if you change ‘cats’ to ‘🐈’ and ‘dogs’ to ‘🐕’ Bonus points if the emojis are cute! Just make sure you don’t mess it up by picking an emoji with several meanings. No 🍆s and 💦s. Unless you mean it. 

    The ‘Quiz’ poll

    We just talked about simple and straightforward polls to post on your Story, but the thing is… Sometimes people like a little brain workout while they’re tapping through Instagram Stories. 

    You need to cater to both the chill and the enthusiastic, so consider spicing up your stack of interactive Story polls with a little quiz. Besides, quizzes are a great way to hop on the gamification trend and improve your followers’ experience. 

    There are the two main types of Instagram quizzes:

    • General knowledge. Your average ‘pub quiz’ with a digital twist. You simply ask your followers a common sense question and see how they respond. 
    • Brand-specific knowledge. If you want to strengthen the bond between your followers and your brand, you can host quizzes that are dedicated to your brand, your market, and your industry.

    For example:

    • When was the first email sent? 1979 or 1971
    • What does ‘C’ in CRM stand for? Customer or Co-worker
    • Which liquor does the original eggnog recipe contain? Rum or Vodka
    • How many Instagram Story templates does VistaCreate have? 10000 or 50000

    Take a look at how Palmer’s, popular skin and hair care brand, makes use of poll quizzes to strengthen connections with followers.

    The ‘Take control’ poll

    Instagram account takeovers are extremely popular nowadays. Brands of all calibers invite celebrities and influencers to take control of their IG profile.

    The reason why this format is so popular is that people love remixes (Off-topic, but have you noticed how a huge part of modern bangers are just remakes and remixes of old songs?!). 

    Combine this with an innate human desire to be in control, et voila — you have yet another Stories poll idea at your fingertips. 

    Do you remember the absolute craze our world went into when the interactive episode of Black Mirror was released? It wasn’t the plot of the episode that made the project so popular. People just wanted to make a decision and see the consequences of their choices. 

    When people feel like their opinions and decisions matter, they engage even more. So, let your audience influence the content you share with the help of polls. Offer them two options and let them vote on what they want you to do. Announce the results and do what your audience suggests you do. 

    For example:

    • What should we do next? Show our backstage or Talk to the guest
    • Which colors should we include in our next post? Black or Red
    • Which product should we apply now? Foundation or Concealer

    The ‘Market research’ poll

    Long gone are the days of hefty questionnaires — modern people value their time above anything, so they’re very reluctant to give up even the tiniest bit of their day to marketers conducting market research. Unless the whole experience is heavily gamified, of course.

    The Instagram Poll feature is a perfect tool for quickly collecting your audience’s feedback, and gathering their opinion on your brand and the products/services you offer. 

    For example:

    • Did you like our last product? Yes or No
    • Would you recommend our services to a friend? Absolutely or Not really

    Alternatively, you could use the feature to learn more about your audience’s preferences, wants, and needs. You can use Polls for anything starting from demographics and ending with what your audience expects you to launch next. 

    For example:

    • Which template do you need the most? Instagram Story or Facebook Post
    • What do you need help with? Relaxing your back or Unknotting your neck 
    • Would you rather purchase gold or silver jewelry? Gold or Silver
    • What would you like to try? Vegan cakes or Gluten-free cakes

    The ‘Suspense’ poll

    If your brand is launching a new campaign soon, you can use the Poll feature to tease it to your followers.

    Simply post bits of the upcoming initiative and offer your audience the option to guess what you have in store for them. This helps you solve two tasks with one Story Poll! You improve your engagement and soft-launch your campaign, perching it right into your audience’s minds.

    By keeping them guessing, you ensure your audience is invested in the upcoming campaign and your brand in general. So, when the time finally comes, there will be more public resonance — everyone wants to know if they were right.

    The ‘Cross-marketing’ poll

    Surprise-surprise! Instagram Stories aren’t just for social media marketing. You can use it for cross-platform marketing.

    For example, you can use the Poll feature to draw traffic to your blog.

    If you have a blog article you want to promote on Instagram, single out a scandalous, engaging, or simply interesting fact or stat. Then, turn it into a poll and direct followers to your blog for the answer. 

    Here’s how @whowhatwear went about it on their profile:

    Alternatively, you could use the feature to grow your mailing list. Simply drop a ‘Would you want to join our mailing list’ Story and send everyone who voted “yes” a link to the signup page.

    Here you go — 7 ideas later, your Instagram is ready to engage with followers more than ever. But remember, the OG idea of IG is to be entertaining. So, no matter how strategic your Stories are, make sure to mix it up every now and then with a poll that is simply fun. That’s how you keep your brand authentic.

    Valerie Kakovkina

    Content marketing manager at VistaCreate. Valerie loves all things marketing, with her favourite areas being email marketing and social media. When out of the office, Valerie loves travelling, going to parties, and helping her friends with their art projects (oh to be surrounded by artists).

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