I love talking about Facebook.
We all know Facebook is important.
Sometimes people focus on it for the wrong reasons, though.
A viral Facebook following can’t be faked with bought likes and fans.
Here’s a video explaining why these fake followings don’t matter for your bottom line.
Fake likes and followings on any platform are a waste.
Numbers look great when they’re large, but not unless they’re engaged. Otherwise you’re speaking to an empty room.
With that being said, Facebook is still a great place to get audiences engaged.
There’s a wide range of people around the world voluntarily providing valuable information about their lifestyle, choices, and social circles.
Here’s the breakdown of Facebook’s demographics from Pew Research Center.
This is a wide-reaching spectrum of ages, incomes, educations, and living situations.
Facebook isn’t the best place to expand your brand’s organic reach.
It’s a place to foster deeper relationships with audiences that already feel a brand connection.
In fact, if you don’t have a large Facebook following like mine, your content is unlikely to reach anyone at all.
I’m not saying that to brag, but simply to point out the facts.
Every entrepreneur wants to believe he or she has the one right answer to make the world a better place.
Facebook is where all the statistics say to go, but it’s not easy to get people to engage.
The trick is to create highly focused and specialized polls to fill in the blanks on valuable information about your customers.
Facebook polls can also lead people further into your conversion funnel for repeat business.
I’m going to lay out some tools to create effective Facebook polls in a minute, but first I’ll explain why these polls are so effective.
Why Facebook polls work
BuzzSumo recently conducted research on which posts are most and least effective on Facebook.
Obviously visual content performed well, but what’s more interesting is people liked and engaged with questions the most.
We love answering questions about ourselves and polls have always done well online.
They’re an important part of our country.
In fact, I don’t know if you remember, but Facebook and USA Today teamed up for political polling during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election.
This real-time constituent data was essential during the political process.
If polling is used to gauge who will lead our country, it certainly has some use, right?
The effectiveness of polls extends far beyond politics, though. They’re also used for consumer research.
Take this chart on the virtual reality consumer, for example.
It’s useful to understand these customer profiles so we know who we’re selling to.
You can’t just pull them out of thin air. This information is difficult to gather, especially in today’s age of privacy concerns.
People don’t always feel comfortable sharing their information with others, especially brands.
And, as AdWeek points out, consumer engagement with brands on Facebook is volatile.
Polls can greatly increase this engagement.
A well-designed Facebook poll is one of the most powerful Facebook marketing tools today’s social media marketers have available to them.
Now that you know why they’re important, it’s time to dig into how to create them.
We’ll get started with the most important parts.
1. Facebook Business Manager
To create a Facebook poll, you’ll need to admin either a Facebook Page or Group.
Facebook Business Manager is the way to do this.
I’m sure this sounds obvious, but I have to start with the basics.
With Facebook Business Manager, you’ll unlock a suite of useful tools to administer a Facebook Page.
You can create a simple, one-question poll from any Page you administer.
In the Update Status box for your page, click the plus sign in “Event, MIlestone +” to find the Question option.
From there, you can type whatever poll question you want to be answered in the status box.
Then you can add any individual options you’d like.
Don’t check the “Allow Anyone to add options” box unless you want to seriously allow anyone to add any options for everyone else to see.
Once you’re done, you can choose privacy settings and whether to promote the post just like any other Facebook post.
It’s also a popular way to get your group engaged.
John Benge of The Aimless Adventure Podcast needed a way to get the Facebook group engaged.
They created a Facebook group to support the community interested in their podcast, which centers around their monthly D&D games.
And the group keeps members regularly engaged with daily and weekly tournaments via a Facebook Group poll.
The latest involves one-hit wonders in music.
After laying out the rules, John posts one poll (sometimes two) per day and lets members vote.
There are typically several brackets (like superheroes vs. supervillains) and people choose their favorite.
Sometimes debates can get heated over which is truly “the best.”
The beauty is there is no right or wrong answer.
It’s all opinion based. That’s what polling is.
Instead of surveying factual information, we mine for opinions, preferences, and tastes.
Think of ways you can keep your audience engaged in the same manner.
Debating which superhero or video game character would win in a fight keeps people coming back.
It’s not necessary to be overly salesy in every post. By creating a Group and Page with moderated discussions, your LTV for every customer will increase.
2. Facebook Audience Insights
Polling is meant for opinions. Surveys provide factual information.
This includes demographics like a person’s age, sex, and location.
For example, it’s a fact that I’m a male in my 30s living in Seattle, Washington.
With Facebook Audience Insights, I can see how many people on Facebook are like me.
While every male in his 30s living in Seattle shares commonalities, we are unique in many ways.
Not everyone living in Seattle is a digital marketing expert like me.
They’re not all of Indian-American heritage.
They haven’t worked with the clients I have or traveled to the places I have.
We need a way to distinguish each of us.
We can keep digging into interests listed on Facebook, Pages liked, and other activity, and it’s all very relevant information.
The more we know about our audience, the better.
Facebook Audience Insights gives us a basis to profile our customer and understand which polls would best convert.
It’s supplemental information that fills in the blanks.
Working in tangent, your Audience Insights research and Facebook polls can tell you everything you need to make a sale.
The great thing about Facebook is its support for third-party developers.
Perhaps you want more robust polling and tracking than what Facebook provides by default.
Then read on, my friend.
3. Polls for Pages
The first app we’ll take a look at is Polls for Pages.
It’s the top app listed in Facebook’s search results for polls.
And it provides several power-user features over the default Facebook poll.
Adding video and pictures to the Aimless Adventure group poll required commenting on the poll with the links.
It’s also impossible to export the results to a spreadsheet.
Polls for Pages resolves both of those critical issues.
Now your Facebook polls can be professional and efficient on both ends.
Begin by clicking “Start Now” on the app page.
Then pick a title for your poll.
This is the first text people will see, so make it short and catchy.
Numbers do well, as do personalized options like “Which Rick and Morty character are you?”
From there, you’ll need to confirm app permissions.
Then you’ll be registered with the app and be able to begin asking questions for your poll.
Each poll can have as many questions as you’d like.
You have a lot more options for question types now.
Think of it like being a teacher creating a new test for your students.
You can choose between multiple choice (with users being able to select one or more answers), text boxes, ratings, and more.
Feel free to mix up the questions to create a more engaging experience.
You’ll definitely want to plan these ahead of time for the best results.
And don’t be afraid to A/B test different strategies and patterns, too.
Once you have the poll set up the way you like, you can save and preview it.
Here you can further tweak the layout.
Once you’re done, hit Publish, and get your poll up and running.
Here’s what it will look like.
I chose to have each question on a new page, so you’ll see the progress bar as you go along.
Feel free to design yours however you like.
These polls are a great way to keep your Facebook audience engaged.
4. Opinion Poll by Fans Vote
Another Facebook polling app is Poll by Fans Vote.
The Facebook group collects various polls, but everything is hosted offsite.
Click the Use App button, and you’ll be taken to the external fans.vote website.
After confirming your account information, you can create a poll.
It’s as easy as filling out the form shown below.
From there, you’ll get a customized poll that looks much like your Facebook page’s visuals.
You can pay for a premium account to upgrade the personalization and customization options.
But remember, it’s still hosted off Facebook on third-party servers.
The tags and layout make this a great way to gain organic search traffic to your polls.
There are also paid plans available if you’d like to add more flare.
By moving the polls off Facebook (but keeping the look and feel), Opinion Poll offers options not available by default.
5. Polldaddy Polls
There was a time when Facebook algorithms were more kind to embedded polls in its API.
Back in those days, Polldaddy was king.
Polldaddy doesn’t embed polls on Facebook anymore, but it still lets you create them everywhere else.
And the company offers much more than that.
You can make customized surveys, polls, quizzes, and ratings.
The customization options far outweigh the previous tools mentioned.
Not only that, links can be customized for any platform, whether Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, or more.
The amount of available options makes Polldaddy a useful polling tool for your toolbox.
There are three plans to choose from, with each tier adding more features and users.
If you’re unsure which plan will work for you, don’t be shy about trying the free plan first.
You can always upgrade later.
In addition to polls, you’ll get some great analytics in the backend.
This color-coded heat map makes it clear what options your visitors are choosing.
All your data can be downloaded in .csv format for import into Excel and other databases.
Polldaddy is one of the most powerful Facebook polling options available.
6. Simple Polls
Simple Polls is one of those services allowing you to create embedded Facebook polls.
But that’s not what makes this such a valuable tool.
I appreciate the Simple Polls page for the constantly updated information about polls, surveys, and more.
Anytime a business offers in-depth information about a niche, I’m interested.
One of the better tips I found (and haven’t mentioned yet in this post) is the usage of different emotional reactions.
Facebook started allowing reactions to posts last year beyond just liking. Not long ago, these reactions spread to comments, too.
By tracking post reactions, you can create DIY polls without using any additional tools.
For example, simply post a Facebook update with your question as the status, while assigning reactions to each.
Using an app like Socialwall, you can even perform live video polls during your Facebook Live streaming.
Don’t feel like you’re stuck using just the basic tools to create polls.
Always think outside the box.
Think of how you can integrate polls and audience surveys into everything you do on Facebook and across social media.
7. Cupli Surveys
I’ve mostly discussed tools for creating polls on Facebook.
But there are also services on Facebook that provide respondents for online polls.
Cupli Surveys is one of them.
Using this service is much like hiring a consumer survey panel.
Based in California, the service promises respondents from whatever demographics you need.
This is a useful service if you’re just starting out and need to perform market research.
It could clue you in as to why nobody is following your page.
This type of consumer research is valuable in testing products or learning why launches failed or succeeded in the market.
Finally, there’s one last Facebook polling option to discuss. It’s one of the more popular online survey companies around.
SurveyMonkey has long been the go-to name in online survey creation.
Of course, the company has specialized Facebook survey options.
Because of its longevity in the market, SurveyMonkey has the most comprehensive surveys and visual results available.
Whether you use the pro or free version, you’ll be happy with what you get.
I know this because SurveyMonkey has a satisfaction survey.
Whatever it is you want to find out from your customers, SurveyMonkey is the key.
I’d recommend the pro plan in order to gain full access to the range of surveys available for the web.
Once you have SurveyMonkey, you can begin creating polls on your own website, too.
These engaging posts can help your social media and SEO rankings on both sides.
It’s a winning situation for everyone.
Polls are an important part of our daily lives.
Whether it’s politics, business, or any other aspect of our lives, everyone has preferences.
You and I may share political beliefs and other demographics, but the only way to know which of us prefers broccoli over spinach is to ask.
With the right polls, you can learn a lot about the opinionated content from your audience.
Polls engage visitors and provide a glimpse into how a business is doing.
It’s even possible to forecast sales and other activities using polls.
SEO experts were able to predict Donald Trump’s presidential victory a full year before his actual inauguration.
It wasn’t magic that made this possible.
It’s just paying attention to the information available in polls, surveys, and other data.
On Facebook, polls are a way of filling in the gaps of information you don’t know about your followers.
How will you use Facebook polls to create a worthwhile ROI for your brand this year?