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How to Leverage Twitter Polls to Increase Audience Engagement

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Twitter is a platform where one can express one’s opinion instantly. The platform is tailor-made for the impatient generation which likes to vent on the spot. Tweeps used Twitter not only to air their views but also to ask opinions by carrying out polls. They used to ask users to retweet or like/favourite on the options given.

Twitter polls before the feature update
Twitter polls before the feature update

This had its own drawbacks. First of all, it had only two choices. Next, the voting was not anonymous and lastly that the reach would be low given that users would be agreeing to a particular option if they did retweet.

This issue was solved last October as Twitter officially came out with its poll feature. And with that, the approach to venting one’s opinion became that much more engaging. But before we dive into the ways to leverage Twitter polls, let’s understand the nitty gritty of it.

1. Nitty Gritty of Twitter Polls

Let’s see how to create Twitter polls in their own words (* shoplifted from Twitter)

To create a poll on twitter.com:

  1. Click into the compose box at the top of your Home timeline, or click the Tweet button in the top navigation bar.
  2. Click the Add poll icon
  3. Type your poll question into the main compose box. You can use up to 116 characters in your poll question.
  4. Insert your first poll option into the Choice 1 box, and your second poll option into the Choice 2 box. You can use up to 20 characters for each option.
  5. Click + Add a choice to add additional options to your poll. Your poll can have up to four options.
  6. Your poll’s duration defaults to 1 day. You can change the duration of your poll by clicking 1 day and adjusting the days, hours, and minutes. The minimum amount of time for a poll is 5 minutes, and the maximum is 7 days.
  7. Click Tweet to post the poll.
Twitter poll while editing
Twitter poll while editing

Note 1: Images or media cannot be attached to a Twitter poll. That option remains disabled while editing.

Note 2: Make sure the hashtags are spelled correctly. Notice the mistake in the Twitter poll example above? Yup, I did that, and the poll went to the wrong audience. These errors need to be avoided as there is no option to edit your poll tweets.  

It’s the same procedure to create polls in the Twitter app (iOS or Android) so I am not going to trouble you with those details. Once the poll has been created, it remains live for the duration selected while creating. The users can respond to the poll during this time. The important thing to note here is that these Twitter polls are completely anonymous, i.e., your participation is not shown to others: neither the poll creator nor other participants.  

Now that we know how to create a Twitter poll, let’s find out how to leverage a twitter poll to boost engagement.

2. Leveraging a Twitter Trend

When tweeps start talking about a particular topic or an event constantly, it starts trending. These Twitter trends can be leveraged by putting out a poll. Polls get constant engagement which ensures that your tweet (with the poll) stays in the ‘Top Tweets’ list. A smart social media manager can easily leverage a Twitter trend by taking a poll to put his brand in front of a large and active audience.

Goes without saying that the poll needs to be relevant to the trending hashtag.

Leveraging a trending hashtag with twitter poll
Leveraging a trending hashtag with twitter poll

3. Twitter Polls to Promote Content

Wait, What? Yes, you heard me right. You can promote content through a Twitter poll. You should have grasped by now that Twitter polls boost engagement. What better way to get your content before your audience than to attach a link at the end of the Twitter poll. And yes, this Twitter poll idea is already in use.

Promoting content through Twitter poll
Promoting content through Twitter poll

4. Effective Feedback Mechanism

Brands can leverage Twitter polls by using this as a channel to get feedback. Twitter polls need to be used effectively by brands as they can monitor the pulse of the audience. Feedback can be asked about current offerings, discounts, product/service quality etc. Once the poll has ended, Twitter sends a notification with the results which brings back traffic to your tweet. Needless to say Twitter polls are effective in maintaining a brand’s connect with it TG.

Getting feedback through Twitter poll
Getting feedback through Twitter poll

5. Opinions on Twitter

Opinions fly on Twitter. And what better way to get an opinion than to ask it in a poll. Twitter polls are the ‘Trump’ card to get the word out and get an opinion on it. Presidential candidate Donald Trump recently got a poll out to his five million plus followers to know if he should go to the GOP debate. Regardless of what he chose to do, the poll got a lot of attention as it did engage with a huge follower base. Needs to be seen if his Twitter strategy gets him to nest in the White House.

Opinion through Twitter polls
Opinion through Twitter polls

6. Poll on important results

Sporting events or game show contests can get their audiences hooked. But what better way to ensure that they stay connected even after switching their TV sets off, than by getting them to vote in a Twitter poll. Twitter polls ensure that audiences consistently engage and are always in the game.

Leveraging important fixtures with Twitter polls
Leveraging important fixtures with Twitter polls

7. Fun Polls Just to Engage

Twitter polls need not be about strategy all the time. Sometimes polls can be taken just for fun or to poke fun at the competition sometimes. These polls don’t mean anything but are fun to have in your timeline.

Fun Twitter polls
Fun Twitter polls
Fun Twitter polls
Fun Twitter polls

Note of Caution: Do not do too many Twitter polls just in the name of engagement. The audience may then start withdrawing from them.

Don't overdo Twitter polls
Don’t overdo Twitter polls

(Image copyrighted by Warner Bros. Television)

Well, that’s my cue to leave now. Do let me know if any of these tips has worked for you. Even if they haven’t, you can vent in the comments section below. If you have an extra tip on Twitter polls that I could’ve included, do let me know in the comments or tweet to   https://twitter.com/smhackapp

 

Happy Polling!