Instagram polls are an amazing way to get to know your audience in an honest and authentic way. Our audience of college women loves responding to polls -- it allows them to voice their opinions and share their thoughts, something they very much enjoy doing. Too, it allows them to have more of an influence over the content we post.
1. Have your audience vote on products and branding.
If you’re seeking data about a product, you can hear straight from your audience by using polls on Instagram Stories. Even if you aren’t trying to gain insight on a specific product, it’s still helpful to get a sense of what your audience is interested in, thinking about, and spending their time researching. That way, you can better shape not just your Instagram, but your editorial focus to suit their goals and needs.
2. Ask what content your audience prefers in your stories.
Wondering how to make use of Instagram Stories? Ask your audience! While it definitely doesn’t replace competitive research and data, it takes hardly any time at all to simply ask your audience what they’d like to see more of on your Instagram Story. Just remember to keep an eye on your numbers to ensure that what they’re asking for is actually what they want, as many of us like to think of our interests as more highbrow than they necessarily are (e.g., asking for hard news, but really wanting to hear about Kylie Jenner’s baby!).
3. Ask what your audience wants to see in your feed.
The same goes for your Instagram feed itself. While not all audiences are going to spend much time on your feed itself (and are instead just going to see your posts while scrolling), other audiences are going to spend a good amount of time checking out your actual feed before giving you a follow. We’ve noticed this is especially true for our college-aged audience, as they’re masters of the platform and don’t tend to follow brands that know less about Instagram (and feed planning, aesthetic, etc.) than they do! As a result, it can be helpful to reach out to your audience once a quarter or so to see what aesthetic and content they prefer so you can really improve your engagement.
4. Host a Q+A about upcoming Live content.
When we partner with other brands or publishers on takeovers, we find it’s helpful to get some information from our audience to prepare for the takeover. For example, we recently partnered with Unbound, a sex positive company, to educate our audience about sex positivity. To figure out where our audience was at with regard to the issue, we used our Story to gauge their comfort with the topic, and passed that information along to Unbound so they knew what to focus on during their takeover.
5. Ask questions about current issues, and encourage follow ups in your DMs.
Looking for information for editorial? Reach out to your audience on Instagram Stories. When you’re working on something news- or politics-related, it can be smart to have an idea of where your audience stands on the issue. For example, during the Women’s March we created an Instagram Story and used polls to gauge our audience’s stance, and then encouraged our followers to DM us their thoughts and reactions. This helped shape our social stance moving forward, and encouraged us to post about the march in-feed rather than just on our Story.
Rachel Lewis is the Social Media Editor of Her Campus.