Updated: Sep 10, 2021
Instagram Polls are one of the most popular features on Instagram Stories, and for good reason — these polls boost engagement and provide a great way for brands to get feedback from customers. A poll lets you compare two options, asking your Instagram followers which one they prefer. While the preset answers are “yes” and “no,” you’re free to customize each side of the poll, adding up to 22 characters on each side.
To discover everything you need to know about Instagram Polls, from how to actually create a poll to the benefits of running polls to real-life examples from brands you know and love, keep reading below!
How do I create a poll on Instagram?
First things first: Here’s how to make a poll on Instagram. (Don’t worry, it’s easy!)
Open Instagram Stories and take or upload a photo or video.
Tap the square, smiley-face sticker button shown in the menu at the top of the screen.
Tap “Poll” in the menu of options that comes up.
Type out a question and customize the two responses. (If you’d rather type your question by adding additional text, you can do that, too — you don’t have to type your question directly onto the poll itself.)
Drag the poll to the spot on the screen where you want it to be.
And that’s it! Your poll is ready to go. Once your Instagram Story is published, you’ll be able to see (and share) the results of the poll by swiping up.
Benefits of running Instagram Polls
Instagram Polls carry a lot of potential benefits for your business. Putting polls in your Stories is a great way to increase engagement. By placing a poll on your Instagram Story, you’re giving people a chance to interact and get involved instead of just passively consuming your content. As people engage with your brand, they become more aware of what you have to offer and are more likely to convert and make a purchase.
Instagram Polls are also hugely valuable as you make decisions about the direction in which you’re taking your brand. Ask your customers questions about which of your products they prefer, what kind of content they want to see you post, what their hobbies and interests are — the possibilities are endless. The feedback and information you’ll receive will be invaluable.
Best time to post Instagram Polls
How often should you post Instagram Polls? What’s the best time of day to post a poll? Figuring out the best frequency for Instagram Stories can be a bit of a tricky balance. You want to post often enough to stay top of mind for your followers, but not so often that people begin swiping past your Stories instead of tapping through.
In general, brands should be posting on their Instagram Stories at least five times per week, and ideally five times per day. It’s a good idea to spread these posts out so there aren’t too many slides to go through at once. We recommend finding a rhythm that works for you, testing it out, and seeing how it goes. You may start with one Story per day, then build up to several times each day. You might need to make some tweaks to boost audience engagement. The number of Stories you post may also ebb and flow based on the season or what’s going on in your business at the moment, and that’s totally okay.
Here’s a breakdown of a good amount, a better amount, and the best amount:
When you post your Instagram Polls, make sure you post them at a time of day when you’ll get the max amount of engagement possible. You can view when your followers are most active by navigating to Insights, Audience, and scrolling all the way to the bottom. There, Instagram will show you the days and hours your followers are most active. This can help inform your decisions on when to post.
It’s also easy to see what people think about your Instagram Story content specifically. Go to your Audience Insights (the “Insights” button on your profile) and check out “Content You Shared.” Tap into the Instagram Stories tab and then use the buttons at the top to check out certain metrics. You can view metrics such as how many people exited each Story, how many people swiped up on a link, how many people forwarded your Story to a friend, and more. It’s an easy way to figure out how your Stories are performing and to see trends as far as which types of Stories are most popular.
7 Brands that are killing it with Instagram Polls
Ready to start designing Instagram Polls? Check out these examples from real-life brands that have Instagram Polls down pat.
1. Sprout Social
Sprout Social published a series of polls that were designed to get audience insights for the brand to use. The first poll asked whether people differentiated between creators and influencers. Then Sprout Social asked if people treated creators and influencers the same — or if they even realized there was a difference.
Finally, Sprout Social finished up by adding a question box where followers could share more about what they thought and why. We’re willing to bet this poll gave Sprout Social some valuable audience insights that they could put to good use moving forward with their marketing strategy. And we loved how the company combined polls with a question box to give their followers a chance to sound off beyond a simple yes-or-no answer.
IKEA posted several polls in a fun this-or-that game for its followers. Sharing simple photos of different rooms (for example, a bedroom with a messy bed and a bedroom where the bed was neatly made up), the popular furniture company asked people to choose which one they preferred.
These polls did three key things. First, they effectively advertised the products IKEA sells. Second, they opened up the floor for customer feedback that IKEA could use. And third, they were a way to create some fun interactive content for customers to enjoy.
3. Droplist App
The Droplist App does a great job of utilizing Instagram Polls in its Stories. Similar to IKEA, Droplist shared images of products available on the app. Then followers could tap on emojis indicating whether they like or dislike the product.
This is a great example of how you can get creative with the poll itself. You don’t have to stick with the standard “yes” or “no” answers. Spice things up by using phrases or emojis to get the point across.
Use Instagram Polls to drive web traffic like Grammarly did here. In honor of International Joke Day, the first two slides on Grammarly’s Instagram Story shared wordplay-based jokes, asking followers to decide if each joke was clever or cringeworthy. Then Grammarly invited followers to swipe up to read more wordplay jokes. These Instagram Story polls acted as a preview for the longer piece of content on Grammarly’s website, helping promote the blog post in a few bite-sized chunks.
You might not think user-generated content has a place in Instagram Polls, but take a look at this example from GoMacro and think again! Defined as content that was created by your customers rather than you as the brand, user-generated content is highly relatable and builds consumer trust.
Here, GoMacro combined user-generated content and Instagram Polls by reposting an Instagram Story one of its customers had posted. Then the company added a poll on top of the photo, asking how much others loved the flavor pictured. This is an excellent example of how to use Instagram Stories for marketing.
6. Bath & Body Works
Bath & Body Works boosted engagement with this recent poll using a creative, summary template to get customers’ attention. The “This or That'' template had three separate polls — one on each slide. Users could vote on the polls and see the results. Best of all, this Instagram Story series promoted B&BW products, encouraging customers to think about which scent they would buy.
7. Fenty Beauty
Promote your latest products by playing this-or-that in Instagram Stories, like Fenty Beauty did here. Fenty introduced the game with a slide explaining what was about to happen. Then the company posted six additional Stories, each one asking users to choose between two new Fenty products. This let Fenty promote 12 new items total.
Get on board with Instagram Polls
It’s clear that Instagram Polls are a must for smart brands who want to boost engagement and sales. As you prepare to post your polls, remember to pay attention to your Instagram analytics and research Instagram posting times so they’ll reach as many people as possible.
You can create polls that are themed around holidays or seasons, or simply stick with product-based polls to show off what you have to share. However you decide to incorporate Instagram Polls into your social media marketing strategy, your brand will be better off because of it!