Should brands and businesses experiment with Instagram's poll feature?

Industry experts believe that if leveraged in a prudent way, the recently released poll feature could fetch brands and businesses a great deal of engagement and consumer insight

e4m by Misbaah Mansuri
Updated: Oct 20, 2017 8:45 AM

Instagram recently released the ability to conduct polls inside its 'Stories' feature. It is already gaining popularity as tons of brands from OPI to HBO India have already started capitalizing on it. The new feature allows users to share two-option polls in their Instagram stories. It enables followers to simply tap on the answer they would like to choose.

The recent feature could be a great way to gauge sentiment and allow businesses to ask questions and receive answers in real-time. Industry experts believe that it could also be a good way of keeping the audience engaged. “This feature is a great way of keeping the platform relevant and the audience engaged as there is excitement in trying new stuff,” says Siddharth Hegde, CEO, Ethinos.

Devin Kewlani, National Creative Director, FoxyMoron, echoed a similar sentiment. “Everybody suffers from the fear of missing out. When a new feature is introduced on any platform, everyone goes on a crazy experimenting spree. Engagement levels shoot up for brands that want to remain relevant. They have to keep up and ride the buzz, while it's still buzzing,” reiterates Kewlani.

The feature could be a fairly good way for brands to gain insights. It can help them learn where the mindset of the end-consumer actually is and is also a brilliant way of letting consumers in on choices. Hegde believes that people may not always go with their real choice because of the fear of being judged as their choices are visible to the public. While Shekhar Mhaskar, VP, Isobar India, feels that the hitch lies in the short-lived results. “These polls should stay back in the analytics beyond the 24 hour-life of the story for a future deep-dive into the psyche of the audience,” he explains.

Mhaskar, however, believes that brands can make some real prudent use of the poll feature. “It’s a no-brainer for brands to get a quick view from followers about various things. It can be about an existing product or service, any innovation that is desired in an upcoming launch or even an R.S.V.P for an on-ground launch event. The options are varied,” he says.

Gurpreet Singh Bhasin, Co-founder, One Digital Entertainment, also admits that if leveraged properly by brands, the feature could be a game-changer to engage with consumers. “Our creators are using it. It is a part of our pitch right now and we are suggesting brands the engagements and activations that can be done with this interesting feature,” reveals Bhasin.

Instagram seems to be dabbling with everything engaging from stories to live videos. The fact that the platform hit a whopping 800 million monthly active users should come as no surprise. Maybe it is Instagram’s ability to innovate and engage that makes it a consumers and marketer’s delight alike. In the coming days, it will be interesting to see how brands embrace and capitalize the poll feature. Given Instagram’s constant quest for innovation, multiple-choice responses on the poll feature might also be on their way.

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