How To Overcome The Big Problem With Twitter Polls

How To Overcome The Big Problem With Twitter Polls

Twitter Polls are a wonderful new way to engage with your audience and gather helpful insight. They make it simple for your following to give you their opinion on all types of questions.

Getting the best results from Twitter Polls means knowing how they function and are seen by your followers. It also means knowing how they aren’t seen. Here’s one important item to consider when using Twitter Polls as part of your social media strategy.

An Important Twitter Polls Consideration

Twitter Polls are currently only available to post and view via the Twitter website and through the official mobile apps. They aren’t currently available through the Twitter API which means all 3rd party Twitter clients can’t take part in the fun.

Here’s what a Twitter Poll looks like on

Twitter Poll On Twitter Website

And here’s what they look like on a 3rd party client (in this case, Tweetbot 4.1 on iOS 9.1):

Twitter Poll Tweetbot

According to a 2012 study, Benjamin Mayo analyzed 1 million tweets to determine how people are accessing the social network. What he found was that 70.8% originated from a first-party source client ( or official Twitter app). 29.2% of all tweets posted were from third-party apps. The number of Twitter users that utilize a third-party app to access the network has likely increased over time, as the availability of such apps has also increased and many have grown in popularity.

This means that 1/3 of Twitter users are unable to see Twitter Polls. While 2/3 can see and participate in polls, the other 1/3 are removed right from the start. As you can see above, there is no indication to those using a third-party client that the message even is a poll.

Be sure to consider this smaller sample size when measuring response as 1/3 will be unable to participate, even if they wanted to.¬†This means your potential engagement can never be 100%. It also means making sure those that choose to use a third-party Twitter client aren’t left out.

Crafting Polls For Everyone

Polls don’t have to mean that a third of your audience is ignored. If you’re aware that many may be left out, you can make changes to be sure everyone is included.

Make sure your questions can be answered by anyone. It should be clear in your message what type of response you’re looking for. Rather than asking “Which option would you choose?”, ask your followers, “Would you pick apples or oranges?” Include the choices in your tweet, not just in the polling options.

By being aware that not everyone will be able to answer within the poll itself, we can ensure we still include everyone in our polls by crafting them with a bit of thought.

Inviting Everyone To The Polls

Until Twitter opens their new polls to the API they will remain available just to those using the official site and clients. But just because about 1/3 aren’t part of that group doesn’t mean they need to be left out. By keeping this limitation in mind, marketers can draft messages that include everyone in the discussion.

Think about how you can word your question the next time you’re posting a poll. With some subtle changes to your wording, you can ensure everyone has the opportunity to take part and increase engagement at the same time.

Author: Ben Brausen

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