When LinkedIn polls first came out, I was suspicious. OK well, maybe suspicious is a strong word but I was skeptical if they could really provide the same level of value as other content on LinkedIn.
So I decided to run my own LinkedIn poll to test out the feature and see how I could deploy this kind of content on LinkedIn and most importantly, whether it would be effective content or not.
On the LinkedIn Polls feature, you can create a question for members to answer, add in a few different choices for answers, and then set how long the poll will run. Other social media platforms like Instagram have similar options (It’s worth noting that Instagram’s poll option can be great for engaging with followers but it only exists for 24 hours as part of their Stories feature.)
As I was getting to run my first poll, I had some questions in mind. I would highly recommend thinking of these questions as you use different features on social media to keep track of what will work for your business practices and what doesn’t! My questions for LinkedIn Polls were:
- Could this poll reach a wide audience?
- How much engagement could this receive? Will people actually answer the questions?
- How quickly will engagement fall off? Will LinkedIn continue to push my poll for a week or, like most posts, will engagement drop off after a day?
- What are the analytics for LinkedIn polls?
So with those questions in mind, I ran the poll and collected my results. Here are my pros for LinkedIn Polls:
The Pros to LinkedIn Polls
- You can get a lot more engagement from 2nd / 3rd connections (i.e. more people voted who I’m not connected to than usually engage with my posts)
- It’s pretty easy to gather actual data (in contrast, I had run an informal “poll” as a LinkedIn post before and asked people to comment answers, and I got very little engagement)
- You can still write a full 1,300 character post, so you get MORE LinkedIn real estate in total
- Only I can see who voted for what which helps eliminate undue influence/bias
- Folks can only see the vote breakdown AFTER they vote which incentivizes voting!
That all sounds pretty good, right? While there were definitely more pros than cons for the LinkedIn poll that I ran, unfortunately, the few cons there were are pretty big ones when it comes to creating (and using) effective immigration content.
The Cons to LinkedIn Polls
I need to start with the biggest con to LinkedIn Polls:
There’s no viewer data! By that I mean, there is no view count or any kind of viewer breakdown provided (for example, saying 5 people voted for choice A vs. the 15 people who voted for choice B.)
In addition to this massive oversight, there are very few notifications when people voted, the poll duration doesn’t match engagement (what’s the point of a week-long poll if no one will see the post the following day?) and you’re limited to 4 answer options.
Without the data on the viewers, its’ really hard to see how the content you’ve created can be effective. If you can’t tell who you’re engaging with and who’s looking at your content then it’s really hard to learn more about prospective clients or figure out ways to market your business or firm that will actually work.
While there are definitely more pros than cons to LinkedIn polls, the lack of viewer data is a dealbreaker for me given the consequences. If you’re looking for ways to create content that will help boost engagement, check out my post on creating an effective LinkedIn content strategy.