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How to Use Twitter Polls to Boost Engagement (+ 7 Best Practices)

How to Use Twitter Polls
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  • How to Use Twitter Polls to Boost Engagement (+ 7 Best Practices)

Your Twitter marketing strategy wouldn’t be complete without polls. Why? Because showing your audience that you care about their opinions builds trust and brand loyalty.

A Twitter poll is the perfect tool to use when you want to engage with your audience, learn about their preferences and promote your products without being “salesy.”

So how do you jump on this train and join the other businesses that boost engagement using polls? Let’s start with the essentials.

What are Twitter polls?

A Twitter poll is an interactive feature on Twitter used to gather feedback and share opinions in real-time.

Many brands and marketers who want their audience to weigh in on a topic or idea use Twitter polls to ask a question and present two to four options that respondents can choose from.

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A poll typically runs between five minutes and seven days, depending on the duration specified by the creator. However, a poll is set to run for 24 hours by default. When a poll runs, respondents can tap or click their preferred option and the results will display instantly.

Each respondent can only vote once, and feedback is collected anonymously.

After a poll closes, the final results will be displayed for everyone, showing the option that received the highest number of votes.

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Twitter polls are simple to create and fun to participate in, giving them an edge over other online feedback collection methods like surveys, testimonials, or reviews, which are usually time-consuming. They are also flexible and allow for various options that give brands creative freedom.

Want to know what your audience thinks about a topic? Create a quick Twitter poll to find out. We’ll show you how.

How to create a Twitter poll in 5 steps

Create and publish a polls the same way as regular tweets, but with a few minor customizations. Follow these steps to learn how to create Twitter polls.

Step 1

  • Sign into Twitter and click the “Tweet” button on the left navigation bar (for web) or tap the “+” icon (for mobile)

Step 2

  • Click “Poll.” The icon looks like a horizontal graph.

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Step 3

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  • Type your main poll question in the “Ask a Question” section.
  • Add the first option in the “Choice 1” box and the second option in the “Choice 2” box.
  • You can offer up to two extra options by clicking on the “+” icon on the right.

You can have a maximum of four choices (options), each with a 25-character limit.

Step 4

  • Set the “Poll Length.” That is the duration of time you want the poll to run. Consider giving at least 24 hours (1 day) so people have ample time to vote.

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Remember, Twitter polls can run between five minutes and seven days. No more and no less.

Step 5

  • Click “Tweet” to publish your poll.

After posting your poll, you can decide to share it on other platforms or encourage people to retweet it for a wider reach.

The benefits of using Twitter polls

Using Twitter polls is a great way to spark engagement. It is also a quick and easy way to learn how customers feel about your content, product or service.

Polls encourage your audience to interact with your content while you collect valuable data at the same time. Polls can also offer insights into your audience’s cares and interests.

Here are a few other reasons why running polls is good for business:

Get feedback fast

With Twitter polls, you get feedback instantly instead of waiting to go through a long feedback loop with your sales and marketing team.

A smartly-worded poll can deliver actionable insights that verify how your audience feels about a product you just launched or a new service offering, for example. With a single question, you find out if they love it, would buy it, or have specific preferences.

This in no way replaces your comprehensive sales and marketing data. It simply corroborates it.

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Lead the conversation on timely topics

You can use Twitter polls during major political, sports, beauty, or fashion events to call for opinions and predictions in an engaging way.

Besides participating in the polls, your audience can start conversations in your comments based on the poll results or to clarify their stance. It’s also the perfect opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership and showcase your expertise in a particular field.

Validate content ideas

The quickest way to find out if your audience enjoys your content is to ask them. Haus Labs, a makeup brand by Lady Gaga, did this recently. After sharing a video featuring an employee, they posted a poll asking followers if they would like to see more employee content.

87% said yes, and many others left comments, validating the positive poll results. Mind you, this is also a great employee engagement tactic. So the brand wins both ways.

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While you test out social content based on your foolproof strategy, you can quickly check in on your audience to see if they like it. It’s an amazing way to make your community feel heard by asking for their opinions.

Increase website traffic

If your poll references previously published content, then you have the opportunity to link to that content. See how Bloomberg does it.

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World Health Organization (WHO) and World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are also two organizations that have used polls to promote educational content and drive traffic to their website. If you run a for-profit business, directing engaged visitors to your website can help you generate marketing-qualified leads, so this is one tip you should keep in mind.

Keep your audience entertained

Yes, Twitter polls are great for engagement and learning about your audience. But they can also be purely for entertainment.

People easily warm up to brands that don’t take themselves too seriously, so why not share some fun polls?

7 Best practices for increasing engagement with Twitter polls

One way to get the best out of using Twitter polls is to experiment and test multiple formats over time.

While following our recommendations, we suggest you switch things up to fit your brand tone and industry. In addition to that, ensure you keep your poll interesting. Suggestions should be specific to your industry or niche.

Ask good questions

When you decide to run a poll, you have one job: to ask a question people are eager to respond to.

With the combination of short-and-sweet copy, an understanding of your audience and the information you need, you have enough to craft a well-composed poll. It will get you your desired results—especially if those results are to get valuable feedback from a large number of people.

If you’re new to running polls, go through our recommendations below to give you an idea of the questions you can ask. Remember to use conversational language and focus on one specific ask.

  • This or that questions: Present two options and ask people to choose one.

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  • Questions about specific preferences: Asking people to choose between two meals differs from asking them what they like to eat.

When asking questions about specific preferences, you should present a broader range of options so people can choose the one that is precisely or closest to their preference.

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  • General yes or no questions: These questions are straightforward and the easiest to answer. Trying switching up the typical “Yes” or “No” options for something a bit more expressive. E.g, a politics poll about the soup activists.
  • Opinion-based questions: This goes beyond audience preferences and encourages them to tell you what they think about a topic.

Use hashtags to reach a wider audience

Poll results are more valuable when a lot of people participate. So if you’re running a poll related to a trending topic or major event, include hashtags for increased visibility.

If you have a popular branded hashtag or you want to create a signature hashtag to brand your polls, now’s the time to do it. However, don’t go overboard—stick to using only one or two.

Run polls consistently and on a schedule

Consistently showing up in your audience’s feed helps you build connections with your audience and stay top-of-mind. Try creating a weekly poll series or create a schedule to run polls during every major industry event. For example, check out the polls in #marvelquestionoftheweek.

Create polls on relevant niche topics

Strengthen your brand position by running polls on key industry-related topics with which you want to be associated. You can bring your audience together to weigh in using Twitter polls for every interesting point of discussion or hot take on innovation within your industry.

Run product-specific polls

Upcoming launches, new releases, and holiday discounts are the perfect opportunity to use polls as a product promotion tool. This is a key marketing strategy for e-commerce brands as it creates awareness for not just the brand, but also specific products.

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Add a thread to your poll

A thread is another Twitter feature that can help you increase your engagement rate and reach. How can you take advantage of both polls and threads? See how WWF does it here and here, sometimes even linking back to old Twitter polls.

Be relatable and make it fun!

As Ross Overline mentions on the Twitter blog, “injecting some personality into the mix makes your brand more relatable and inviting to engage with.”

Every poll doesn’t have to be about your brand or a serious industry topic. Pull at your audience’s heartstrings and show a bit of your playful side with entertaining polls everyone can relate to.

Use Bulk.ly to manage your Twitter account

The next best step you need to take is to put your polling plan into action.

Use Bulkly to automate your Twitter publishing schedule while focusing on other important parts of your growth strategy.

Find out how the smartest social media marketers do it here.

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