After Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat introduced several popular polling features, Instagram released its own custom surveying tool in early October. When sharing an Instagram story, you can use stickers to create a customizable survey and any follower who clicks on your video can vote in the poll. Their responses, with names attached, can be viewed after your poll is finished.

Although social media influencers were the first to adopt Instagram’s new feature, major brands are quickly catching on. Since Instagram stories are gaining popularity, the company is sure to release additional updates and continue making the feature appealing to advertisers. Instagram polling, as well as other social media surveys, are a major marketing trend which allows you to connect with, engage, and grow your followers. So ask away!

Keep in mind…

Unlike Facebook or Twitter, you can only compare two options in your survey, such as “Which is your favorite Thanksgiving dessert: pumpkin or apple pie?”

Instagram provides default answers of “yes” or “no,” but these are customizable with words up to 22 characters.

Try to make the accompanying picture or video interesting, but don’t let it distract from your survey. Ideally, the photo or video should be related to your poll.

Funny, light-hearted questions will resonate best with your audience. Steer clear of controversial topics or questions that your followers may feel uncomfortable answering.  

1. Ask (almost) anything

Surveys should be relevant, fun, and interactive. Try asking customers which of your products they enjoy or use the most. Instagram polls are a also great opportunity to understand if customers are unclear about your product or business model. Feedback may show that your followers are looking for tutorial videos or that they find your business’ website difficult to navigate.

The possibilities are endless since every type of business can benefit from polling. Follower responses can help you decide what to publish in your next blog post or on social media.

2. Discover customer interests

People love expressing themselves, especially on social media. If you stopped random individuals on the street and asked to survey them, your engagement rates may be low. But if you place that same poll on their Instagram feed, chances are you’ll receive overwhelming responses.

No need to stalk your customers to find out their interests and passions: start a live survey instead. If you discover that your followers are excited about sports, charities, or home improvements, then start posting content that reflects what your customers want to see more of to increase engagement rates.

3. Catch your followers’ attention

Customers want their voices to be heard. If they know you are listening to them, then you can build a personal relationship between your brand and your customers. Once your polls gain popularity with your followers, try posting a survey every week and promoting it. Start trending #SaturdaySurvey.

You can use Instagram posts to alert your followers about an upcoming poll so they’ll be more likely to tune in to your story. Customers can navigate away from your content with a tap of their finger, but surveys are an effective way to keep them engaged and interested in your brand. After the poll is over, you can post another picture to Instagram about the results of the survey with a caption such as: “According to yesterday’s survey, our fans love our blueberry pie ice cream flavor more than our butterscotch. Do you feel the same? Let us know in the comments below!”

4. Branch out.

Not all of your polls have to be brand-focused. Instead, try branching out into complementary topics when your polls are in need of variety. For example, if you work in car sales, ask your followers about their favorite road trip destinations. Holidays are also an excellent opportunity for an easy, but engaging survey. You could ask your followers about their favorite Thanksgiving food or what they’re most thankful for (bonus points if you can relate it to your brand).

Huge cultural events such as the Super Bowl also make an exciting poll. Post a story and ask your followers which team they hope will win. By asking questions about a broad range of topics, you may engage with followers who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in your brand.

5. Listen to customer feedback

Responses to your survey can help you create relevant content based on customer interests, and can even provide ideas for your next marketing campaign. In the future, Instagram may offer a targeting feature to match advertisements to customers based on their survey feedback. If a group of customers indicates they are interested in scary movies then Netflix can show advertisements to them about Stephen King films instead of romantic comedies.

Later on, Instagram may add more response categories and increase the character limit. You should consider becoming familiar with Instagram’s new feature now so it will be easier to keep up with the additional updates the social media giant is sure to release.

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