How to use Instagram Story polls to strengthen your online business

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POSTED January 10, 2019 BY Elise Darma


Today, we’re heading to the polls to cast our votes.

No scandals or mud-slinging here — just some good ol’ fashioned social media fun.

Everyone has an opinion, so let them be heard by using Instagram Story polls!

The conversations I’ve had after posting Instagram Story polls have led to new clients, new business and real connections. (Plus, seeing poll responses is a fun way to pass the time at airports.)

No need for voter’s registration or proof of identification.

Anyone from anywhere in the world (with an Instagram account) can cast their ballot and weigh in on the debate!

Today, I’m going to show you how I use Instagram Story polls to conduct market research and strengthen my online business — both in messaging and in sales.

As a special bonus, I’m also including all the entertaining and cheeky ways that I use polls to engage with my audience!

Off to the polls we go!

Need some Instagram Story inspo? Check it out 👆

What are Instagram Story polls?

Instagram Story polls are interactive stickers that spice up your Instagram Stories!

There are two types of polls you can use to quiz your audience:

  • The emoji slider poll
  • The traditional question/answer poll

Here’s an explanation of both types of polls:


Emoji Slider polls let you ask a question and invite your followers to slide an interactive emoji on a sliding scale to represent how they’re feeling about a topic.

Your audience can slide the emoji from left to right and release when they have their answer.

Sliiiiiide to the left, now sliiiiide to the right.

Easy as pie.


The traditional Instagram Story poll prompts you to ask a question and provide two answer choices. Keep the questions professional or business casual – up to you!

The answers automatically populate as “YES” and “NO,” but feel free to customize with your own answer choices (up to 22 characters).

Sounds fun, right? But how the heck do you make an Instagram Story poll?

Look no further, here is a step-by-step guide on how to start quizzing your followers:

How to make an Instagram Story poll

Step 1: Open up the ‘gram and click on the circle that has your photo on the top left of your app.

How To Make An Instagram Story Poll

Step 2: Once the camera is activated, you’re ready to make an Instagram Story poll! Click the sticky-note square with a smiley face to activate the sticker option and choose the “poll” feature.

Step 3: Customize your question and answers. Get creative and make it fun to participate!

Step 4: Share your Story and wait patiently for your audience’s answers to come rolling in.

Step 5: Let your audience know you’re listening. Be sure to share the results of the polls before the 24 hours are up!

How to use Instagram Story polls to help your online business

Here’s how I use Instagram Story polls to strengthen my own business – by making market research fun again:


In a content rut? Need some feedback on blog post topics? Poll your audience!

Curious about my year end review? Read one here.

A simple poll that asks “would you be interested in [topic]?” or “how many of you know about [topic]?”

If the numbers are showing that your audience is interested or want to know more, there’s your next blog post topic idea.

Don’t waste your time creating content your audience won’t care to read about.

Get their thoughts and reassurance of interest before you spend hours hunched over your keyboard writing a post that no one will read.

100% win-win situation.

Plus, they’ll feel more inclined to read and engage with the content when they know they played a part in it coming to life.


Include your Instagram followers in the decision-making process of your current biz brainstorm.

Gauge their interest in the potential service: Do they want it badly? Does it solve a problem that keeps them up at night?

Ask specifics regarding a future product. Here are a few examples:

  • Format – do you prefer video or text?
  • Results – are you looking for traffic or leads?
  • Name – do you like the creative or literal?

Activating Instagram Story polls before a launch is the best way to conduct market research before going all-in on a project. Give it a go!


One of the most useful ways to use Instagram Story polls in my opinion? Ask your followers THEIR opinions and preferences!

Wanting to host an Instagram live but not sure what time of day your followers are more likely to tune in? Ask ‘em!

Throw a poll onto your Instagram Stories, asking if they’re early birds or night owls. Bam! Now you have an idea of when your audience is online.

Wondering if you should invest your time in email marketing or messenger bots? Poll your audience!

Ask them something like: “What type of communication are you more likely to respond to, emails or Messenger?”

Asking your audience these questions through Instagram Story polls provides you with quick feedback and can reveal trends about your followers that Instagram analytics can’t even show you.


Vroom, vroom — more traffic!

Use an Instagram Story poll to direct people to your website (which is especially easy with the Link Sticker feature).

Here’s how this works live in action!

Post a poll and ask a simple question. Without providing the answer, direct them to your website to find out the answer for themselves!

Posted a new blog or started up a fancy new service? Poll time. Ask them if they’ve seen it yet then send them to your website telling them to check it out.


Responses to Instagram Story polls are a fantastic way to further engage with your audience. They’re warmed up, involved and ready to chit chat.

Instagram Story polls make for an epic conversation starter, especially when it comes to talking about your services and products!

By asking my followers a general question about their businesses, based on how they responded, I direct messaged a few accounts to talk more about my upcoming business retreat in Bali and to give them a personal invite.

See everyone’s responses on the left? And see that paper airplane symbol next to their votes? Tap that symbol to instantly start a direct message (DM) conversation with that person, based on their poll answer!

See everyone’s responses on the left? And see that paper airplane symbol next to their votes? Tap that symbol to instantly start a direct message (DM) conversation with that person, based on their poll answer!

Fun Instagram Story poll ideas for business owners

I’m not all business all the time. I like to have fun, too.

When I’m not using Instagram Story polls for my own market research, I’m also using them just to have fun! (And cracking jokes at my expense, too.)

Here are a few ways I’ve used Instagram Story polls for my own entertainment purposes:


When my clients or students are kicking butt and taking names, I like to brag on them a little, like a proud mama bear.

The slider poll allows my followers to celebrate in their success by sliding the poll to “maximum” level to show their support and excitement along with me!


They’re not laughing at you, they’re laughing with you!

Well, in some cases, they are laughing at me, and I’m perfectly fine with it. Take this totally awkward photo from a brand photoshoot, for example. 👇

Showing an awkward photo to break up the typical “perfectly polished” images you see on Instagram is just one way to show up on IG as a real person (and gives me a good chuckle, too.)

Don’t be afraid to be silly, awkward, and generally, to not take yourself too seriously in Instagram Stories.


Nothing like sparkin’ up a debate on social media.

I can get reeeeeeal deep and discuss the latest social media trend I don’t agree with, or just stay light-hearted and strike up a good ol’ discussion over chocolate vs. vanilla (chocolate, obviously).

By sharing my opinion, my audience gets to know me better, and it usually involves some good follow-up conversations in my DMs too!


Using Instagram Story polls to have your audience “choose your own adventure” is a popular and engaging way to interact and involve your followers!

Simple things like:

  • What should I eat for breakfast: pancakes or waffles?
  • Should I keep working today or take a nap instead?
  • Go to the beach or go to the jungle?

I’ve even used Instagram Story polls to have my audience help select the new bed frame for my room when I couldn’t decide!

Here are the results 👆and guess which bed frame I got? If you guessed the wood one, you *wood* be 100% correct!

How are you using Instagram Story polls to strengthen your online business?

Have any of these ideas worked for you? 

Let me know what business results you’ve been getting through Instagram Story polls down below in the comments!

Ready to Grow Your Business Using Instagram Stories?

Know you need to be showing up in your Instagram Stories, but not sure what to post that will actually make a difference in your business?

Story Vault is my answer to your question, What should I post today?

It’s time to stop wondering how others are locking in clients, leads and sales from social media. 💰

Imagine dramatically reducing the time you’re spending on social media, but seeing a 2x or even 5x return on your effort…

Story Vault is a curated collection of 800 strategic Instagram Story prompts covering the four seasons of business growth:

  • Get visible in your market… so you go from being invisible and unknown to “OMG I love watching your Stories!”
  • Boost your engagement… so you never get a “crickets only” response to your Stories again
  • ​Get qualified, ready-to-buy leads so you can build up your email list or book out your call calendar
  • ​Lock in chart-topping sales to your programs, products and offers (so you can STOP aimlessly posting on social media and actually see a return from it!)
POSTED January 10, 2019 BY Elise Darma
Hi, I’m Elise Darma!

I traded my 9-5 office cardigan for
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