As a business owner, what do you think about online polls? Love them? Hate them? Never really think about them?

See what I did there? I asked you a question and gave you a few choices to select from for your answer. That is the essence of a poll. This simple tactic can be a great addition to your digital marketing program. Polls work well on Facebook and Twitter because people actually love to share their thoughts and opinions. If you don’t believe me, ask a question the next time you are with a group of people and watch the conversation grow. It doesn’t matter if it is about politics, sports, food or cats people will share an opinion if you let them. 

The appeal of the online poll is how easy it is to respond. Just a simple push of a button and your opinion is counted. 

Online polls help engage your audience

So people like to share their thoughts, how does that help you? The engagement can help you expand your social media community. Just like in the real world, when you ask a question on line, a conversation can spark. Every answer, comment or share is recorded and added into your Facebook Algorithm. That is the equation which Facebook uses to decide how much of your content to share in the broader timeline. The more interaction you get with one post, the more likely the next will be shared as well. 

If engagement is your goal, try out a few fun questions. They don’t even need to be directly connected to your product, Think of the poll question like an ice breaker at a networking event. Your objective is to get people talking to you. 

Discover what customers think or want with an online poll

Social media polls are not scientific research. The data will not be ” statistically significant,” I would not suggest making changes to your business model based on a Facebook poll. This is qualitative research, like a focus group, which can help you uncover themes worth exploring in more detail. For example, we worked with a sandwich shop to run a poll asking people to pick their favorite sandwich. It was a great way to show off the range of sandwiches they serve, and it gave the chef a few new ideas,

Online polls are easy (and inexpensive) 

The simplest type of poll is just asking a question and collecting responses. If you want something more polished you can try any one of the many polling tools available. Blogger jet has a nice review of some of their favorites. Their list includes tools you can use to run polls on social media, your website or even in a newsletter. Most offer free trials, and I would suggest you test a few. 

We have discovered Polls for Pages. If you are just running one poll at a time for one page, the tool is free. So have some fun, give it a try and find out what your customers think! 

Sam and I talked a bit more about polls in a recent episode of More than a Few Words. Listen now: 

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