11 Ways to Use Twitter Polls for Marketing (with Examples)

11 Ways to Use Twitter Polls for Marketing (with Examples)

If you’re on LinkedIn, you’re probably seeing a lot of polls in your newsfeed and the engagement that they can bring when done right. This isn’t surprising, especially since the labor market is very tight right now. Companies want to know what they can do to attract and retain workers well into the future. And that doesn’t even take B2B sales into account.

However, LinkedIn isn’t the best place for all polls. Did you know that Twitter has the same functionality which can also provide impressive results? With a Twitter poll, you can gain a lot of important insight into your social media audience. These can include product preferences and a sense of what promotions can make a difference. In addition, engagement is a great way to spread the word about your brand.

What are Twitter Polls?

Twitter polls were launched by Twitter back in 2015. You can create a poll from either type of mobile app or from the desktop website, so there are options no matter what kind of devices you use. In turn, these polls give people a way to find out what their audience thinks, so they can plan ahead for marketing or policy purposes. On the other side of the equation, being able to respond to the Twitter poll gives people a way to make their voices heard.

No matter what topic you choose for a poll, you can have up to 4 options to choose from in terms of response. For that reason, there’s more flexibility for information gathering than simply “yes” or “no.” Finally, a Twitter poll can be live for up to 7 days. This gives plenty of time to get responses from your regular followers as well as people who stumble on the poll by other means.

How Do You Create a Twitter Poll?

Social media dashboards don’t support Twitter poll creation, so you need to create a Twitter Poll directly on Twitter. Before you begin, think about what question you want to ask, and what responses will best get you the information you want. A well-composed Twitter poll will be more effective, both in terms of information gathered and the number of people who respond.

You can easily create a poll on Twitter.com or the mobile app simply by choosing the poll icon when composing a tweet, which will appear in the same area that uploading media will. The process beyond that is as simple as any by just following the prompts on the screen and then creating your tweet introducing the poll. Similarly, people will see the Twitter poll pop up anywhere that they’d see your normal Tweet.

11 Ways How to Use Twitter Polls for Marketing

Here are the benefits your business can receive by creating polls with 11 actual examples to consider. Twitter poll results can extend far beyond simple market research. For instance, you can build a relationship between your brand and its followers, or increase brand awareness. This is in addition to the research benefits of knowing what people think and having them feel you care about them.

Generate Buzz Around a New Product

H.J. Heinz & Co.

What do you do when your brand is best known for a certain product, and you release a related product that’s new? Heinz, the company best known for Ketchup and steak sauce, decided to market their new mayonnaise. Mayo is dominated by one or two companies here in the US, so this wasn’t an easy task.

Enter the related product. In the Middle East, Heinz was already marketing a product called “mayochup,” a mix of mayo and ketchup. Furthermore, the idea was catching on in some European countries. So, Heinz decided to create a Twitter poll marketing the Mayochup idea to American consumers. Of course, they mentioned the new Heinz mayo in the process.

The bottom line is that Heinz racked up a billion impressions in 48 hours. They also got a million Twitter poll responses and many customer-generated naming suggestions for Mayochup. Mayonnaise soared, and Mayochup was introduced in the US. Some limited edition bottles even have user-generated product names on them.

Here’s the lesson: a Twitter poll can easily make your new product go viral. But more than that, polls can make your product seem like something familiar. After all, lots of people put both ketchup and mayo on their sandwiches long before Mayochup.

(Indirectly) Promote Your Products


Diner chain Denny’s constructed a Twitter poll that both learned about what people like and had a little fun. The poll asked a simple question: What would you prefer at this time in your life. Two options were Denny’s menu items. The third was what most people want at some point: their father’s approval. Denny’s got a lot of engagement from this post: over 27,000 votes, and plenty of ReTweets.

Arguably, the combination of “approval” and Denny’s menu options seems offbeat. And it is since the third option isn’t food. But compare it to the food items: both are comfort food, like what our parents often serve when we are young. The combination in general transports viewers to their childhood, and (hopefully) makes them want to go to Denny’s for some comfort food. This is especially effective for people who are parents since Denny’s serves a lot of food that’s friendly for picky young diners.

Get Product Feedback

Twitter Design

This Twitter poll is from Twitter itself. When they first released the poll feature, they decided to determine which typeface people preferred for polls. The idea here was to identify the more readable font since unlike regular Tweets you can’t change it with a Twitter font generator. Although there weren’t a lot of responses (after all, it was a new phenomenon), viewers preferred one font by a 2:1 margin.

Here’s the lesson: a lot of people have relatively strong opinions about products. While not every Twitter poll of this type will show large divides like a 2:1 preference, you can get some awesome insights about your products and services if you just ask.

Get Content Feedback


In this Twitter poll, Amazon wanted to know what content to present during an industry convention back in 2017. The options presented included some very high-tech content, especially for the time. However, they also presented an option that a lot of people love: gaming. This option was preferred by a significant margin.

Lesson learned: sometimes what you think is cool, isn’t what your audience would prefer. IN this case, gaming represents something that’s both technologically dependent and mass-market. The other options were much more niche at the time. As a result of this Twitter poll, Amazon put out content with the widest appeal to their consumer base. 

Test How Your Audience Feels About a Topic

Incrementors Web Solutions

Sometimes it’s hard to tell how audiences feel about a topic. This is especially true with topics that aren’t particularly divisive, such as the best day to put out a Twitter poll. One IT firm recently decided to ask people what their favorite day for polls was. Monday and Tuesday were chosen as options. Ironically, even though people say they hate Monday it turned out to be the better option for polls. Maybe that’s because a poll makes Monday more interesting. Either way, it’s good insight for marketers. 

Further Reading: 13 Best AI Twitter Generators for Tweeting

Test How Well Your Audience Knows Your Product

According to the Bible

This one’s interesting because the product is knowledge of the Bible. Here, people are polled on their Bible knowledge, and the majority answer is typically correct. It’s an interesting way to do religious education on Twitter.

Here’s the thing: you can make a similar Twitter poll for just about any kind of product. For instance, I could do a poll asking what kind of marketing The Age of Influence is about. The answer is influencer marketing, but I could put some partial truths (internet marketing, social media marketing) as options. This lets me know how well the book is marketed and gives me a sense of my readership. Depending on your goals, this Twitter poll type is quite valuable.

This Twitter poll example was just plain fun: which Halloween movie do people like the best. And surprisingly, there was a clear favorite. But that isn’t the point of studying this particular poll. The company that put this out is in the entertainment industry, so Halloween movies are relevant to them and their followers. Here, the brand was building rapport with their followers and fostering conversation about favorite movies. If your brand is one where relationships are important, you should try this.

Better Understand How to Serve Your Audience


In this case, the company wants to know about consumer preferences. This is important because building websites and managing IT infrastructure can be relatively personalized. There isn’t a one size fits all solution in most cases. By finding out what framework works best for their customers, this firm was able to learn where they should invest the most resources.

Of course, this doesn’t just work for IT. Any time you have a service or knowledge-based business your customer’s opinion will be very important.

Gain Invaluable Market Information

Varuna Marine Services

Sometimes it’s hard to know what products and services people use. Or in this case, what policies other businesses might have that impact your business or customers. Here, the poll owner learned that almost everyone trains employees on cybersecurity. From a marketing standpoint, this means that those companies may also be looking for better ways to secure their computer networks. Or it might indicate that there’s little room for new entrants to the market.

Stay Top of Mind

Sub-K IMPACT Solutions Limited

Let’s face it, some industries have crowded marketplaces and stiff competition. Online financial services are one of them, so this company did a poll on applying for loans. While it’s hard to know how effective this Twitter poll was, if someone needed a loan and saw the poll, they might consider that company. Especially considering that this company isn’t a household name, showing people that they exist (and keep themselves top of mind) is very valuable. If you’re a small business, this is an especially good technique.

Learn from Your Followers


The company behind this poll is in the eCommerce space. In particular, the back-end infrastructure. For that reason, sales and marketing strategies are very important for most of their followers. So, this company asked everyone what they thought was the most effective Black Friday sales technique, and the favorite was overwhelming. To top it off, the results are widely applicable to eCommerce brands. It’s a great example of people learning from each other and benefitting from that knowledge.

No matter what goal you choose for a Twitter poll, you’re sure to gain benefits. Brand awareness and relationship building are important for any business. In service industries, shared knowledge is also critical. And finally, polls can reap rewards for anyone’s marketing strategy. You should try one!

Photo by Ravi Sharma on Unsplash

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Neal Schaffer
Neal Schaffer

Neal Schaffer is a leading authority on helping businesses through their digital transformation of sales and marketing through consulting, training, and helping enterprises large and small develop and execute on social media marketing strategy, influencer marketing, and social selling initiatives. President of the social media agency PDCA Social, Neal also teaches digital media to executives at Rutgers University, the Irish Management Institute (Ireland), and the University of Jyvaskyla (Finland). Fluent in Japanese and Mandarin Chinese, Neal is a popular keynote speaker and has been invited to speak about digital media on four continents in a dozen countries. He is also the author of 3 books on social media, including Maximize Your Social (Wiley), and in late 2019 will publish his 4th book, The Business of Influence (HarperCollins), on educating the market on the why and how every business should leverage the potential of influencer marketing. Neal resides in Irvine, California but also frequently travels to Japan.

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