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7 creative ways brands use surveys in Instagram stories

"Use more stories!" So the advice of Fanpage Karma. The analytics provider presented an analysis of 2.5 million Instagram stories at the beginning of March. One finding of the study: Instagram stories are worthwhile for both small and large profiles. Fanpage Karma therefore advises the little ones to “post up to three stories a day”.

No question about it, stories are extremely popular: a whopping 500 million stories are posted on Instagram every day.

Regardless of whether you are one of the 50 percent of brands that already use the Stories format or the other half who should definitely put the stories on the agenda - you have probably already given some thought to how to keep your content fresh and keep it exciting.

One possibility is offered by features such as “polls” that make your story content interesting and interactive because you enable your followers to interact with your content.

Are you looking for inspiration? We've put together 7 great ways to use surveys in stories. Find out what these brands are doing right.

bonus: Learn from our step-by-step guide how to create a social media strategy and optimize your social media presence with Hootsuite.

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How to use surveys in Instagram Stories

With the option "Poll" you can ask your followers a question with two possible answers. To add this feature to your stories:

  1. Find the sticker icon in the upper right corner of the screen and tap the poll icon to add it to your story.

2. Enter your question and the answer options. The default settings are yes and no. But you can customize the text and even add emojis.

There is no character limit for the questions. However, an answer can have a maximum of 22 characters (we tested this ourselves).

  1. Check your results! When you swipe up from your story, you can see how people are voting on your story and see the total number of views.
  2. Your Instagram poll will stay in your story for 24 hours. Remember to share the results with your followers after you finish. This shows that you listen to them and value their commitment.
  3. If you would like to extend your survey beyond the 24-hour limit, add it to a Stories Highlight.

7 creative ways brands use surveys in Instagram stories

As the SNL producer Lorne Michaels puts it: “There is no creativity without limits.” The same applies: the limitations of the simple survey feature open up endless possibilities for creating funny and dynamic content.

1. Take a quiz

Media giant Buzzfeed is arguably best known for its guessing games, which anyone who finds out what kind of sandwich it is can attest to. It was therefore a good idea for Buzzfeed News to entertain its audience with guessing games in Instagram Stories.

But guessing games aren't just a Buzzfeed specialty.

With their Royal Wedding Quiz on the occasion of Meghan and Harry's marriage, Vanity Fair has also proven that the quiz format is fun.

The guessing game was entertaining on its own (did you know the daffodil is a Wales landmark?). And it complemented the extensive coverage of the royal wedding.

The secret to any good guessing game: make sure it pays off your overall content marketing strategy. The content should align with your other posts and your brand identity.

"Which Hogwarts house do you belong in?" can work for Buzzfeed, but doesn't necessarily have to be a good fit for your concern.

2. Put your product catalog in the limelight

“Show, not describe” is an essential rule in storytelling. And for a good reason. Why should you describe to your audience what great products you offer when a staging makes a much bigger impression?

IKEA USA used surveys to show its followers its range of kitchen options and ask them to choose their favorites. This approach works for all types of products - regardless of whether you offer dog-themed sweaters or sweaters for dogs (as long as you show at least two products in comparison).

It is particularly helpful if you want to increase the visibility of a product line or a special offer.

In the case of IKEA, it was about the application of an upcoming final sale of the kitchen lines. The surveys attracted the target group and were followed up with a discount code and further information about the sale.

This type of survey in Instagram also provides valuable insights into customer preferences.

And that leads us to another wise use of surveys ...

3. Examine your customers

Haven't you always wanted to own a glass ball that reveals what your customers are looking for at a glance really to wish?

A survey on Instagram comes very close. It provides a simple form of customer research that allows you to ask your audience important questions while providing them with quality content.

An example: The swimwear brand Mimi Hammer used surveys to ask its customers about their preferred swimsuit designs.

Although it was "only" about a customer survey, Mimi Hammer relied on high-quality visuals to illustrate the questions. It doesn't matter what your survey is about: always pay attention to the visual consistency of your brand and striking images that grab your audience's attention.

4. Draw traffic to your website

Is it one of your social media goals to get your audience to click through your website? Surveys help drive your target audience to your website.

That's what Elle Magazine did with its Instagram poll on the romantic Netflix comedy To All the Boys I've Loved Before In a cute series of polls, they whetted an appetite for the content of their article on the film and provided incentives to swipe up and read the post in full.

Even those who hadn't seen the film at all could take part in the survey - this included the entire audience.

5. Promote social responsibility

Target groups (and especially millennials) expect brands to share their values ​​- such as sustainability, giving back to the community and honesty. Polls on Instagram are a way to share your company's values ​​and encourage followers to join a good cause that matters to both of you.

Refinery29 did particularly well: The company encouraged its followers to register for the US mid-term elections in November 2018. With several stories, the company reminded its audience of dates and deadlines and asked in surveys on Instagram whether they had already registered.

Here the survey encouraged its audience to cast their vote with a reality check on the registration status of the peers. (Gentle peer pressure is a very effective tool!)

The campaign also made it clear that Refinery29 is committed to social engagement and democratic processes and is convinced that its audience shares these values.

Perhaps your company prefers to avoid social or political concerns. But if you want to get involved, here are a few tips from a successful case study.

6. Educate your followers

It may be part of your company's mission to educate your target group about your services, your products, or your mission.

Education is an integral part of your content strategy, and surveys can be a valuable teaching tool.

The meditation app Headspace knows a thing or two about it: a large part of her job is teaching mindfulness and reflection to users, using polls on Instagram in a series of stories teaching the audience about mindful eating.

The survey also served as an introduction to their blog content on the same topic, and viewers could swipe up to learn more after completing the survey.

7. Just for fun

Of course, it's important to set goals and keep an eye on your metrics. But don't forget that Instagram audiences want to be entertained.

Sometimes it is advisable to keep things simple and have fun with your stories yourself.

Break up a long series of story posts with a fun poll. That keeps the audience engaged. Take an example from MOMA and its #ArtSpeaks series.

Or, ask a silly question to top it off with a fun caption. Like REI with this pun. (All also good examples of using slider stickers similar to surveys.)

You can also tackle very important topics ... Like Grub Street with its survey of Donat's taste.

However you use these, polls are an easy way to connect with your Instagram followers and spice up your stories.

Are you looking for even more inspiration for your Instagram content strategy? Learn how to spruce up your Instagram Stories and use Instagram Stories like a pro.

Save time and manage your Instagram presence with Hootsuite. Schedule and publish your posts, interact with your target audience, measure performance and manage all of your other social media profiles - all from a single dashboard. Free test now.

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By Michelle Cyca

Michelle Cyca is a writer, editor, and digital content strategist. Offline, she likes hefty magazines, public libraries, all-day breakfasts, and bike rides.