6 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a Social Media Poll

We’ve talked before about how social media polls can be particularly powerful fuel for your marketing campaigns, product designs, and other customer-focused choices. Narrow your options down to two or three big choices, and you can poll your social audiences to find out which they like best: Handy!

As you incorporate these quick polls into your overall strategy, it’s important to avoid making polling mistakes that could lead to poor responses, or dilute your brand message. Here are six mistakes to stay away from with your next poll.

1. Don’t Make Your Poll Too Long

If you check out the Instagram polls that brands are creating for their Stories, you’ll see a lot of innovative pictures – and you’ll notice that all these polls are short and sweet. You get two very obvious choices to pick from, and you can usually tell right away which one you prefer. A vote takes only a couple seconds, so there’s not much time investment required. Twitter polls replace images with text options, but you’ll notice they are very similar: Each choice is usually only a couple words long. Remember that people have limited attention spans on social media, and make your polls simple as possible.

2. Don’t Send Out a Poll Over the Weekend or in the Evening

This sometimes trips up B2B brands, because in the B2C world, publishing social media posts during these times can sometimes be effective, and may frequently happen. But in the B2B world, you are less likely to get any responses during these times. Remember, these social polls are fast and have a limited shelf life, so you want to send them out at prime viewing times for your particular audience.

3. Don’t Use Frivolous Polls (or Very Rarely)

This is another thing that B2C companies do frequently: Frivolous polls that exist to pass the time Buzzfeed-style or show off pictures of cute pets can be entertaining, but they are usually a waste of social media space in the B2B world. Be as cute as you want, but ask for real, useful information in your polls. If you do use a frivolous poll, do it only rarely to celebrate a particular event or lighten the mood after a big project – otherwise, your audience may start ignoring all your polls.

4. Don’t Describe Things Without Visuals

Generally, if a description is involved, you are going to need to include an image along with your poll. Instagram and Facebook are excellent for this (Twitter, less so), and Facebook in particular allows you to use multiple images for your poll options. But if you find yourself describing something via text, stop. People won’t really know what you’re talking about, and you don’t have a thousand words to form a picture. Text-focused polls work well when they stick with non-visual information and basic concepts that are easily understood.

5. Don’t Ask For Personal Information

Some polls do try to ask for personal information as part of the polling process, or as part of the polling questions (what age range are you in, etc.). As a general rule, stay away from polls that ask for personal information on social media. Even in the B2C world, this is frowned on as an improper use of polling (collect this information with other types of more in-depth surveys and customer databases). Ask questions related to your business and marketing, and try to avoid questions about the audience that ask for personal or demographics information. You can usually find these details under the Insights tab in Facebook Business Manager anyway.

6. Don’t Forget Normal Conversations

We know from experience that social media polls can be exciting – but don’t devote too much of your social marketing time to them! Polls can only tell you so much, and don’t always have powerful brand impact. Make sure most of your social media content remains focused on broad brand developer and engagement. Remember, there are many things you can find out only through traditional conversations. In fact, poll information may prove a jumping-off point for these types of conversations so you can find out more. Don’t ignore them!

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