03.11.2015 Twitter Polls: Does the new feature get the ‘yes’ vote from brands?

Twitter is currently rolling out a new feature for its users – the ability to create polls. This marks a major expansion for a social network that otherwise offers just a few basic functions. With polls on the horizon for all of Twitter’s 320 million users, what new opportunities can brands expect?

poll 1

Twitter is currently only trialling polls with two options, to choose from, which go live for 24 hours before revealing their results. There is no sign that the social network will introduce more options or allow polls to go live for longer, which reflects the platform’s well-known preference for limited and concise communication. Twitter’s 140-character limit is still its distinguishing feature, preventing the creation of long, rambling posts.

 This new feature gives brands a different way to gather and calculate the opinions and tastes of their followers – certainly a more accurate gauge than retweets and favourites. Brands could use this information to refine their social media presence or even hone their products and services.

 Each poll is embedded in a tweet, meaning it can be retweeted by followers. A popular poll would be a great way to expand an account’s reach and pick up new followers. Also, tweeting polls on popular topics and unfolding events could earn your business’ Twitter account some significant traction.

 There’s a school of thought that people are more likely to vote in a brand’s poll than respond to their tweets. The fact they will have cast a vote gives them an investment in the result and creates interest around the brand’s content. Every individual who votes in a poll will get a push notification directing them back to the original post to check the results. This is key for brands, as it potentially doubles consumers’ engagement with these posts and increases the likelihood they will interact with and invest in the brand in future.

poll 2

The only information visible on a post is the number of people who have voted, the length of time left until the poll finishes and then, afterwards, the results of the poll. Twitter does not track an individual’s votes in their polls, nor is this information made public or available to other firms or marketing teams. This is a good thing, as it encourages engagement; consumers could be hesitant to contribute to a poll if they believed it would directly lead to a particular company’s adverts being targeted at them.

 Twitter Polls has the potential to be a fun use of social media for Twitter users and a great way to build engagement between the public and brands.

 What do you think of the new poll function? Take part in our very own Twitter poll here. (It takes a couple of seconds to load, so bear with!)