Twitter recently released a new feature: Twitter Polls. This new type of tweet allows you to ask your audience questions and get a statistic answer from your Twitter crowd.
What are Twitter Polls?
Basically, Twitter polls are native, a special kind of tweet. You do not have to count likes and retweets for the votes, which many people used for voting so far. You do not have to set up or install anything or use a tool to handle the Twitter Polls. You can simply go to your Twitter account, start creating a tweet and choose “Poll”:
You can now type in a question and give a minimum of two and up to four answering options.
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You cannot choose a time of duration for your poll. All Twitter polls are always active for 24 hours, after that time the poll closes. Thus, the polls are not suited for long-term votings.
As long as the poll is active only the initiator of the poll can see how people voted so far, everyone else can only see how many people voted and how long the poll will still be open for votes. Once the poll is closed, everyone can see the results.
If someone retweets your poll the poll will show up as a poll in the feed of the followers of the retweeting account and these followers can also vote. Thus, an interesting poll can spread very far.
What can you do with Twitter polls?
Now, why are so many people (including me) so excited about this new feature? The answer is simple: There are so many great possibilities with these Twitter polls, and they are easy and fun to use. To give you some ideas about what you can do with Twitter polls, here are some examples how they already are used and some ideas how you could use them:
When Twitter first released Polls to a limited number of people, they gave it to sports organizations and media for testing. There are endless options for engaging your audience with polls in sports.
Image source: Twitter Blog
1. Ask for the outcome of a Game or competition
2. Ask which player should play
3. Ask if the referee made the right decision
And much more.
The media always has a need for public opinions. Before elections, with controversial topics, with fun questions, and more. Public opinion now comes much more accessible – well at least restricted to the people on Twitter. But for a variety of questions, the Twitter crowd should give a pretty good idea of the public opinion. (Maybe you should not ask what is their favorite social network…).
4. Ask for opinions on popular and current questions
5. Ask who people would vote
Organizers of events can engage their attendees. Often at events, a Hashtag is given for the event, and people tweet around the occasion. Often the hashtag feeds are rather slow and boring. With polls organizers now can push activity and inspire a ton of conversation about the events – even long before the event starts:
6. Ask what would be a good topic for the event
7. Ask which venue to choose
8. Ask for the best date for your event
9. Ask who you should invite for speaker on a certain topic
10. Ask who was the best speaker
11. Ask for feedback on the organization of the event
You can find more ideas on how to engage your audience around a conference on the Eventbrite Blog.
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Poll ideas for bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small business owners
12. Do some research
With Twitter polls, you can now do your own quick and dirty research on a topic you want to blog about. A little statistic added to your article may well add value to your posts. While this form of research can never be scientific, it may well give a first impression or tendency to a question.
13. Ask for content preferences
You can ask whether your audience wants a webinar or a video, an article or a podcast, an online course or an eBook.
14. Ask for content you should cover
15. Ask for Product Feedback
Which new features would your audience like? What do your users like best about your product? What prize would they pay for a planned upgrade? Which features of your product do they use?
16. Get help for choosing the best headline
Finding a good headline is always hard. Even with experience sometimes a headline won’t work. With Twitter polls, you can ask beforehand, which headline options your audience would click.
17. Use polls to help your customer service
Ask what is their favorite way of getting in touch for inquiries.
18. Gather insights about your audience
You can use the polls to ask where your audience is located, when they are online or how they use Twitter. When you want to optimize your activity directly on Twitter, this is the way to go. Which of the influencers from your niche are they also following?
19. Let the audience vote on your Twitter activity
What kind of tweets do they like: discussions, blog posts, news,… How many tweets do they see from you or how many would they like to get?
20. Ask them in which network they would also like to follow you
Maybe the results of the polls cannot always serve as solid proof and only give an indication. But your audience will most likely appreciate your efforts to get in touch and include their opinion in your activity and development.
So far engagement on Twitter polls seems fairly strong compared to other tweets. While some of the euphoria may wear off when the feature loses some of the shine of being new, my guess is that it will remain one of the more engaging options on Twitter: Fun to use, easy to set up and easy to answer. The feature seems to agree very well with the fast moving Twitter world.
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