October 11, 2017 Last updated on September 18th, 2018
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Instagram Polls. What’s that you ask? Haven’t you heard? You can now poll your Instagram community through Stories! From asking a simple question to help you to make an on the spot decision, to seriously digging into general public opinion, polls are set to be big on Instagram among businesses and individuals alike.

But as a business, you’ll know that there are only so many social media features you can incorporate into your strategy without feeling like you’re drowning in a sea of metrics. So, in this short blog post, I will show you how to use Instagram Polls in a simple – yet effective – way, to get you maximum bang for your buck.

We Tested Instagram Polls: Here’s What the Results Looked Like!

Instagram polls: first results

As soon as we found out about this new feature, we just had to try it. So, we asked our Instagram community a simple question (which seemed appropriate!):

“What do you think of the new poll feature on Stories?”

Here is the Story:

After only a few minutes, the result was coming in loud and clear – polls are awesome! But after 23 hours (just before the poll disappeared) the results were looking slightly different:


Out of 24,900 viewers, 2,054 people answered our poll (just over 8%). Of these, 1,340 chose the “Awesome” option and 714 the “Meh…” option.

To be honest, I would have expected closer to 80% – 20% for this nifty new Instagram Polls feature, so what could have caused a third of the voters to answer less than enthusiastically in this poll?

Our theories are:

  • Instagram Polls are still very new, and people don’t yet see the benefit of having the option to poll their audience (if you know them, send them this blog post ;))
  • The launch of the new feature caused such a wave of Instagram Polls in Stories that users simply got bored of seeing them in those first couple of days.

Other than that, it is clear that the majority of our voters are big fans of this new little tool!

Aside from the actual results, we’ve noted a leap in our reach on this Story, and consequently an increase in impressions when compared to our usual performance. Could the use of Instagram Polls have helped our Story to achieve better reach? Probably. Equally, would a hashtag or a CTA within the Story have improved participation? In retrospect, also probably.

So with that said, let’s dive into how you can use polls as a brand on Instagram.

How to Use Instagram Polls for your Business

Let’s get you started with a few ideas on how to poll your audience on Instagram.

1. Ask a serious question

This can be difficult to do as a business, because you want to amuse and delight your audience, not bore them with the serious stuff. However, asking a serious question (that you genuinely want an answer to) in a fun way (enter Instagram Polls!) can be the perfect way of getting the info you need while still pleasing your followers. So if you need to find out some demographics info for example, (say you need to know what percentage of your followers are in a relationship), you can simply ask with a poll and see if you can get the answers you’re looking for.


2. Ask a fun question

This should be an easier task than the above. Having said that, it can be tricky to find a question which will interest and amuse your followers enough that they want to engage. My advice here would be to relax and not overthink it! Don’t forget, Stories are all about spur of the moment sharing, so no one’s expecting perfection. The same applies to Instagram Polls. It also means that instead of constantly asking rhetorical questions, you can actually get answers. Are you having trouble deciding what flavor frappuccino to get in your coffee break? Ask Instagram!


3. Ask a non-question

Make your followers laugh by asking an obvious or funny question using Instagram Polls, for which the answer choices are the same – for example, “Isn’t ice-cream just the best?” Yes or Yes. You can really have fun with this kind of poll and even create a series of Stories around a theme. Make sure you share your results with your followers, though! 😉

Best Practices

How to use Instagram Polls:

  • Define a background as you normally would when creating a Story.
  • Open stickers and select ‘poll’. The poll will appear on your Story and you can move it around the screen if you wish!
  • Type out your poll question and two answers (you can use emojis as answers for a fun, visual approach!)
  • Publish your Story and watch as the poll votes roll in! You can view your poll results by swiping up, as you would to monitor views on your Story.

To make things easier, here is a simple checklist for your polls, to ensure you get the most engagement possible from the 24 hour window you have:

  1. Make sure your poll question is completely comprehensible
  2. You only get two answer options, so make sure they are short, distinct and relevant
  3. Keep the design simple to avoid distracting your audience away from the poll itself

Things to be aware of:

Instagram Polls votes are not anonymous!
→ You should also be aware that if your app isn’t up to date, you won’t be able to create a poll on Stories, nor will you be able to participate in one!
→ There’s a character limit (27 characters per response field).
→ You can have only one poll per Story.
→ You can’t change your response after voting.


Hopefully this blog post will have inspired you to go ahead and create some Instagram Polls, if you haven’t already! If you have tried the new feature, we’d love to know how you got on, so feel free to leave a comment!

About the author
Emily Marsh

Emily Marsh

Emily is an Inbound Marketer for Iconosquare, based in the Limoges office. She loves all things social and revels in keeping on top of the social media marketing game by writing for the blog. She’s also a bit obsessed with sushi and Netflix.

More posts by Emily Marsh

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