While it is not the most important form of voting we have done this year, Instagram polls are a fun new addition to the ever-popular platform. The customisable feature was added last month and allows personal and business users to create track-able voting on their stories.

Polls are not just exciting for people needing *even more* instant gratification from their following (which bikini looks best? What extravagant food item to choose? Can I skull this whole beer for the lads?), but also presents excellent opportunities for brands. Not only are they fun to interact with – the also produce instant content opportunities and market insight.

As outlined in this Ad Week article, Instagram polls “present a number of compelling opportunities for brands, from a chance to elicit real time consumer feedback, to crowdsourcing decision making.”


So what are Instagram polls?

Departing from multi-choice polls on Twitter, Facebook and Facebook Messenger, Instagram polls allow just two choices. Streamlined like the famously no-clutter ‘gram, polls simply and effectively enhance user experience – but also shamelessly collect data. That’s where marketing comes in.

One commentator summed it up well by saying, “polls are a great tool for brands to get insights into their consumers’ decision making. “Encourage engaged participation from your audience by posing original questions around topics they can relate to. Then show that you are listening to your market by re-purposing your research results into new content, and act on the feedback.”

Like all new features, there will be a fair bit of trial and error before these polls are mastered, but we are already seeing creative marketing uses about.


Getting more out of social media

As we all know, social media can be the modern day focus group, if leveraged correctly – and the Insta polls streamline this process even further. Some good early examples of brands using the feature well were cited by Ad Week, and we thought the Tribe Hummus attempt was a cracker (lol get it? Hummus, cracker).

By gaining insights into customer preferences, brands not only get feedback on existing products, like the hummus, but can also read the desires of consumers if something new was to be created.

Adidas let its audience choose the design for a new limited-run of UltraBoost sneakers via an Instagram poll.

Ingenious in more ways than one, the stunt also gained a fair bit of press and media attention outside of Adidas’ targeted demographics.


Instant gram? More like instant research results…

Adidas would have been able to see which sneaker designs were preferred instantly, because with just a click of a button real life audience responses are recorded and stored on your Instagram account. Instagram’s polls aren’t anonymous, so this means you can see all the people who voted a certain way – giving you even more insight into your brand’s following.

Poll results are available for 24 hours, so use that time wisely: You know these people are actively engaging with your content – can you follow up with something else? The polls can also give you insight into your use of various content mediums. By comparing the engagement to this new tool to regular posts or live streams, you can tailor content even further.


The verdict on Instagram polls?

Such a new feature will take a bit of trial and error from social media marketers to find the best uses for each client, but there is no doubt some have already nailed this.

We agree with Ad Week when they said: “This new feature adds one more tool to your arsenal to get the feedback you need to make decisions, from aiding with product development to helping marketers identify the most effective advertising messaging.”

So far, polls seem to be a great: Exciting and fun for consumers, a useful data collection tool for marketers. Without knowing how long they will be around, we would recommend some caution with the importance you place on polls in your “arsenal” and maintain a balance of varied post types.

But while they are here, why not make the most? Just don’t overdo it, no one like too many questions.

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