By Kynda Curtis and Taylor Thompson | April 27, 2021
Computer screen

Using Social Media Polls for Market Research

As discussed in previous Marketing in Motion Blog posts, social media has become an important tool for small farm and direct to consumer marketing, especially for communicating and staying in touch with customers. One tool in particular that is now commonly used for market research is the social media poll. In today’s blog we will discuss when and how to use social media polls to collect data on current and potential markets. 

When to Use a Social Media Poll

While social media polls can be very helpful in gathering data and feedback from customers to help support and update business practices and products, they may they not be ideal for every situation. Social media polls work well when seeking timely feedback or customer input, understanding what types of services/products your customer’s need, and if your market research budget is very low, as social media polls are very cost effective. Social media polls aren’t good for collecting detailed customer feedback over a longer time period, when your customers or target audience are not using social media, or if you wish to collect unique insights as social media supports more “herd mentality.”

The top four social media platforms for market research polls are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. In order to decide which platform to use for your poll, understanding the target audience demographics such as age, gender, occupation, and location will prove invaluable and can help to determine relevant changes in the poll in order to use it across multiple platforms. For information on the target audience for each platform see the previous blog post on social media.

How to Ask Questions

Formulating well-worded poll questions in important to gathering usable data. The best type of questions to ask for general information or customer feedback are multiple choice (yes/no) and rating questions (on a scale of 1 to 5….). Common questions include:

  • How did you hear about us?
  • What made you choose our business or product/service?
  • What features do you like most about our product or service?
  • Is our product or service easy, fast, convenient to use?
  • What do you wish our product or service did that it does not today?
  • Are you aware that we offer _________?
  • Were our personnel courteous and helpful?
  • Did we answer all your questions or solve your problem?
  • Can we help you get started using our product or service?
  • Were you satisfied with our promptness and speed?
  • Would you be willing to tell friends, family or colleagues about us?
  • How do you rate your experience with us?
  • Would you buy from us again?
  • Why have you decided to leave us / not renew?

If asking for customer opinions on new products or products with different characteristics, visual polls where the audience chooses between two or three options, often provided in picture format is advisable. Instagram polls use interactive stickers with two options that you can drag-and-drop on visual content.

Polls can be single or multi-question and length may depend on the social media platform you are using. Twitter has easy to create interactive, customized polls with four options. Facebook offers two response fields/options, but you can include images and gifs. For more robust polls, there are third-party apps available

Other Suggestions

Using social media polls will not be effective if there is not enough audience participation. Some tips to encourage responses to your poll include providing an incentive such as entrance into a drawing or a unique benefit or gift they will receive, show poll results so that your audience knows that the information is actually being used, and keep the rest of the content on your social media pages engaging and meaningful to viewers so that they are more willing to take the poll. Shorter polls are more likely to be completed. Consider splitting up a long poll into multiple shorter polls. Polls are also more likely to be finished if they are continuous-scroll style rather than page-to-page. If the audience knows that the poll or survey isn’t that long, they are more likely to start and finish it. Make sure polls are also grammatically correct and that questions are easy to read and understand. Being clear is more important than having lots of details.

For additional information on this topic check out the PowerPoint Presentation and YouTube Video

Thank you.....

Taylor Thompson, APEC Extension Program Assistant

Kynda Curtis, USU Extension Ag and Food Marketing Specialist

Social Media Poll Resources


Disclaimer: This blog is for information purposes only. USU Extension does not endorse any specific product or service mentioned here in.