Mention the Facebook Algorithm to a small business owner one day and watch their reaction. To most of us, it's become a gigantic albatross around…
Increase Engagement Using Polls
Did you know there are NINETEEN ways to post on your business page and SEVENTEEN different ways to post on your group?
I am totally not joking.
Yet most of us only use a few of them – picture/post, GIF, Live, Video. Which is a shame considering that Facebook (and other platforms) love it when you make use of their shiny new toys they created FOR YOU to use!
Buzzsumo recently did a study that showed that people on Facebook LOVE to answer questions, and they like it even more if it taps into their interests! mTAB (a leader in data analysis and research) says that consumers LOVE to talk about themselves, and love to give their opinions (though let’s face it – we didn’t need a study to tell us that).
Polls give us a perfect mechanism for tapping into our audience’s instinctive desire to answer questions, talk about themselves, and use those other tools on Facebook we were talking about.
There are a few ways to do this. You can just throw up a few graphics and ask, “this or that,” but that doesn’t really leverage the algorithm very much, so right off the bat you’re hamstringing your reach.
OR you could invite your viewers along on a journey designed specifically for them. Yup. You can design a journey for your viewers based off of their interests that will keep them coming back day after day to make sure they’re giving you their opinions!
Set up a Competition
Instead of just having a single poll that goes one time, why not create a competition bracket that could create a story arc to last you an entire week? For the time it takes you to write a few priming posts, you can conceivably get 5-10 additional poll posts out of a single topic. Which sounds a lot more appealing than coming up with 8-13 new posts each week to engage.
Prime Your Post
Don’t just dive in with a poll right off the bat – make it part of a fun experience for your audience. For example, when Saira and I were at LuLaRoe, our Target Audience was women, ages 37-55(ish), who were nostalgic for the 80s and/or 90s. Our audience was way more detailed than that, but for the purposes of this poll, that’s the only part you need to know.
For us, we might set up a competition about the best songs from the 80s. We’d want to start by establishing the ground rules (which by the way use lots of keywords to help Facebook with its interest matching!)
Our post may look something like this:
Saira and I were having a debate the other day about exactly which music video from the 80s was the absolute best. It’s TOUGH, and we both agree on some and disagree on others. Is it a-ha or Duran Duran? Depeche Mode or the Thompson Twins? Or was it one of the hair bands? Or 80s alternative? We managed to get our list down to a handful of finalists, but we need your opinion to make the definitive FINAL answer! At the end of the week, we’ll give you the DEFINITIVE Bobbie’s Dreamers TOP 20 80’s music video list.
Each day we’ll post 2 poll questions with 2 options each for which music video was better. The winner moves on into the winner’s bracket, with the losers being moved to the bottom end of the Top 20 list. Make sure you VOTE, make your voice heard, and make sure you let your fellow Gen-X and Yers know that they need to head over here and vote too. I may be wrong about this, but I think it’s like, totally our duty to vote.
We’re using all the keywords we need to achieve 2 goals. First, we give Facebook the information it needs to figure out who to show the content to. Second, we’re writing about something that will excite our target audience.
Schedule your Polls for the Week
Now that you’ve set the stage, you can schedule your polls for the entire week. Schedule one or two a day (however many you promised them), with each one giving them only 2 options. And since this is meant to be a competition, I would turn off the option that allows users to add in their own entries.
Make sure people know about it
Don’t just post about it on Day 1 and assume everyone who needs to see it will. You can turn this into a full on event by changing your cover photo, instagramming, using stories on Facebook & Instagram, reminding people on your business page (and then inviting them to join your group to vote – or you can just do the poll on your business page – either way works), if you use Twitter you can tweet the ongoing results. Let them know they don’t have to vote in all of the polls, but they can always go back and do so if they want to (make it easy for them – include the links in your cover photo, or have a single aggregate post)
You can also use this time to post some engagement posts if you wish. Hype up the results so far or provide a general commentary of the state of the competition. This would be a great time to invite your community members to share their favorite videos from the era that maybe didn’t make the cut so far.
Bonus Engagement – You can always use the submissions from your community to do another poll later on!
This doesn’t just have to be for music, you can use it for any kind of contests you like:
- Which Avenger is the best one?
- Which superhero has the best superpower?
- Who would win in a fight between (insert video game characters)?
- Best romantic comedy ever?
- Would you rather…?
- Best book adaptations to film/video?
- Best vacation destination?
- Predict will win the superbowl/world series/whatever they have for basketball?
Anything that has a lot of options and a lot of opinions will work. Avoid religion and politics though, unless that’s the purpose of your page or group. They’re too heated and divisive.
How to Sell
The way that Facebook works is this. The more recently someone engaged with content in your group, the more likely it is that they’ll see other posts there.For example, lets say you have Jackie and Susan. Jackie recently voted in a poll, but Susan hasn’t engaged in your page for weeks. When you post an item for sale, it’s more likely to show up in Jackie’s news feed, than in Susan’s. Which is why we have engagement posts in the first place. Knowing this, we can play around with the algorithm a bit. After you post a poll question, wait 15-20 minutes. Then post something for sale so you can reach your more engaged members while they’re right there on the platform.
You also want to make sure that in every poll question and periodically throughout the day you remind people that polls are open. This will depend on how far down your Group Feed your post has fallen. You may not have to remind people that often – but don’t neglect it! Invite them to scroll down and vote in other poll questions for this competition. It’ll require them to scroll past all your products. This will make it more likely that they’ll see something that they like and want to purchase.
And there you have it! One topic and one content arc will keep your engagement posts coming for an entire week! I’d love to hear some ideas you have for polls like this, or any other polls. Share your ideas with us! You can either comment below, or you can head over to this post on our Facebook page and make your voice heard there!