Instagram Polls — A UNH Success 👍

We learned of the new Instagram polls feature here at the University of New Hampshire on Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017 before trying it out ourselves the very next day. We created a clean design look that would catch the eyes of our audience and entice a response from them as well. At #UNHSocial, we’re not afraid to try new features released by social media platforms and this was a great example of our process...

First-ever Instagram poll from UofNH

The first go around, which featured a clean shot of our signature campus building Thompson Hall in either winter or fall, had a very successful start. After 24 hours, the poll received 700 votes and 5,011 impressions while the reach topped out at 3,808.

The following week (Tuesday, Oct. 10) we ran another poll, this time using our two mascots as options. The stats increased, as the poll received 5,596 impressions with 552 votes (a slight dip from before) and a reach of 4,186.

We were very happy to see the engagement rate (13.9% for the first poll and 9.8% on the second) as well as an uptick in impressions and reach than our typical story posts. In the past 14 days (as of Oct. 15), our 42 story slides received on average 3,345 impressions. Our first poll received a 50% impressions increase while the second one received a 67% impressions jump, compared to the standard average.

The design we chose was one with a ‘This or That’ theme to make it pop on screens and create a consistent look from week to week. Because the poll only has two voting options, as of right now, this seemed to work best for us. At the bottom, we left a open space to put the poll sticker, which is clearly visible on the blue background.

Currently, the feature does have a few downsides.

  1. For one, the voting results disappear after 24 hours, so who voted for what and how many votes are gone after one day.
  2. A photo slide on Instagram stories only lasts five seconds, so a user must read the question and vote in a relatively quick amount of time (they can always swipe back to re-watch it, but that’s not the best ux). A fix for this would be to create a longer video of just the graphic to give followers more time to read and react — How about 10 seconds, like video?

Lastly, we have a few questions going forward on how to maximize this feature well.

  1. Will polls be interesting to stakeholders as more and more accounts start to use them?

2. What days and times work best for polls to increase engagement?

3. Do the two provided options to vote play into the engagement rate?

4. Will there need to be a redesign to keep it fresh, and catch users’ eyes?

Overall we’re thrilled with the success of our polls so far in the early stages of the feature. It’s something we will continue to use weekly to grow our brand and engage with our audience.

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