For all the updates that Facebook makes (seemingly weekly), I was actually really excited to see Twitter announce a fun new update to their platform. It may just be me, and I’m not asking Twitter to evolve weekly, but I feel like they’d be stagnant there for a while.
But this new update – a polling feature – where you can add a poll directly to your tweets is so freakin’ fun! I literally checked my Twitter app repeatedly for 3 days until I confirmed I had the update with this new feature.
First, let’s talk about how to use this new feature on Twitter.
If you have the update, you’ll notice the little pie chart looking icon next to your tweet icons.
To create a poll, tap this icon.
You can have only two answers to your question. Type in the question of your choice and then type in the possible two answers. After that, all you have to do is tap “Tweet” to send the tweet out to your followers.
And now the fun begins!
Your tweet will appear in the Twitter stream looking like this:
People can tap on either answer to record their selection. As you collect responses, you can view your tweet on your own profile for status information:
Other people will be able to see the number of participants (votes) but not the results until they have cast their vote. After casting their vote, they’ll see where their result falls in with the others.
You’ll notice that the poll is live for 24 hours. People can participate up until that time expires. Then you’ll receive a final tally of the votes and this will remain as your tweet on your profile. You cannot see who participated in the poll, only the final number of people who did
Ok, so it’s fun. But how can you use this for business?
I think this could be a very powerful tool for market research. It could help boost engagement on your tweets.
Of course, many aren’t aware of this feature yet, and the more people see it and use it, the better the results may be. And, you may want to run a poll (with the same question or another variation of the same question) at various times to ensure more people see it and respond to it – since we all know how fast a tweet can move.
My sample tweet for the screen shots here was seen by 241 people but only 9 engaged with the tweet.
Here are some of my thoughts on how you could incorporate poll questions into your Twitter strategy:
- Find out what time of a webinar or live stream video is best for your audience
- Find out what geographical area people are in (this could be good data to see who is on at different times of the day)
- Get input on new product options
- Capitalize on a trending topic (is the dress blue/black or white/gold? or are they watching a big live event on tv?)