Recently Twitter released a new feature – known as the Twitter poll. The idea is that you can now pose a question to the Twitter-verse and they will give their opinion by selecting from one of the options you provide. In theory this sounds great, but in reality, is it all that it could be?
How Does The Twitter Poll Work?
The first stage of the Twitter poll is to create a question. Something like: Who will win in tonight’s game? Select your answers, then simply tweet the question to your followers and they can select an answer of their choosing.
It is that simple and that is what makes it appealing. Users around the world are already using the feature to ask what they should have to eat or watch on television at night.
The Advantages Of The Twitter Poll
The biggest advantage of the twitter poll is that it saves time compared to holding a poll on Twitter previously. In the past you would have to assign a hashtag to each answer and then count the number of responses with the hashtag. This could be lengthy or require sophisticated software, something that only large brands had the time and money to afford.
Now the Twitter poll opens up the same opportunities for everyone. Not only does the Twitter poll provide the outlet for the user to run these polls, but it also counts the answers and shows the winning results.
The poll also stops users from voting twice. This is particularly good as with many online polls there are ways you can get around features to stop this. Therefore, you can be assured that the polls are an accurate reflection of the opinion of your audience.
Also, anyone can respond to your poll, it doesn’t have to be just your followers. This can therefore expand your brand’s reach to new audiences and greater options for success.
The Disadvantages Of The Twitter Poll
While it looks good on paper, there are significant problems for the Twitter poll. Namely that you can only have two options in the answers. This makes running some polls impossible. Imagine running a poll for who you think might win the next Football tournament or reality television contest? With more than a dozen options, you have simply no way to offer all those options.
The length of time of the Twitter poll is also disappointing. It only lasts for 24 hours, while many brands want polls that last for a week or two at a time.
Another disadvantage is that your Twitter poll is only visible once you’ve first tweeted it. To keep it visible, you need to get other users to share it or you need to pin it to the top of your account (which doesn’t pin it to the top of your follower’s feed). Therefore, it can quickly disappear if you’re unlucky.
Then there is its visibility. A key attribute of sharing and interaction on Twitter is the image. Yet there is no feature to include an image with your Twitter poll. This is infuriating and will only add to the number of polls that will disappear and never be answered.
Finally, the results aren’t emailed to you. When we ran a test, we had to go and find the results after 24 hours and they took awhile to find. So if you are an active brand on Twitter, then you might find your Twitter poll is missing amongst a mash of other tweets.
While the Twitter poll looks great on paper, it does little to inspire us to use the feature. Having only two possible answers, a limited operating time, difficulty in finding the results and the lack of imagery – the feature seems almost pointless. Unless you are looking to find out where you should order pizza from or what soap to watch, the Twitter poll is certainly not for business.
Have you used the Twitter poll yet? What is your opinion?
Let us know in the comments below.