Question your audience

Tue, 24/07/2018 - 15:15

If you’ve been on social media lately, you will have noticed some features that weren’t there a while ago. Whether it’s Facebook polls or Instagram questions, it seems as though big social media platforms are trying to tell us something. 

While businesses are all about telling their clients and customers about their service offerings or products and marketers are the vessel for that message, new trends in social media tools show that we should be taking a different approach.

Asking questions is the common thread through all these new features on social media. So it seems that asking your potential customers what they want, like and do is a good way to approach your marketing strategy. Who knew? 

Although surveys and focus groups are nothing new in terms of market research, major social platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter are making it easier than ever to communicate with your users and gain useful insights into their behaviours.

But how does a digital marketing agency in South Africa utilise these new tools to learn about our users and tailor our message to what they need?


Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all offer pages the opportunity to post polls and ask their users questions. The polls have predetermined multiple choice answers for users to choose from and each poll usually shows the answers ranked once it’s closed. 

When creating a poll, there are a few things to remember. First, ask the right questions. Making a poll simply for engagement won’t have a lasting effect. Use the opportunity to ask something useful. Second, think the answers through carefully. Recognise that your audience is made up of people with varying interests and personalities so your answer options should cater to this. And finally, make sure to take the time and analyse the poll results. You’ll usually gain some useful insights that can dictate your next marketing tactic.

Instagram questions

Instagram has launched a new feature where pages can ask open-ended questions in their stories. The question takes the form of a customisable sticker you add to an existing story. Users can tap the sticker and answer the question. You’ll then see the responses in the list of people who viewed the story (a slight snag in the usability). 
What makes this feature interesting is that the questions are completely open-ended so users can each supply a unique response. While this means more work in sorting through the answers and drawing usable data from it, it also means that users aren’t simply selecting the answer closest to how they feel. 

This makes the task of deciding on a question even more crucial. Try to make the question as specific as possible so the responses still adhere to the same topic. For example, avoid questions like “what do you enjoy?” as the responses will likely have no common thread. 

Calls to action

We all know how important a call to action is in marketing and especially on social media. But the recent question trend could be an opportunity to add more question-based calls to action. While informing a user of what they should do after reading a social post is necessary, sometimes asking a question instead can be beneficial. 

For example, instead of saying “Tell us your favourite product in the new range”, ask users “Which new product are you amped to try?” to urge them to respond.

These tools make it easier but, ultimately, the best approach may require a few tries. Have a go at some of these tools and use them in different ways each time to discern which approach delivers the best results. 

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