The Power of Polls: Using Facebook to Reach, Engage with, and Learn from Local Pet Owners
By Judy Brown, Client Success Manager
Over the past few months, you have probably noticed some interesting changes on Facebook, including their reimagined polls. Whether you have used them before or not, using them now has some great benefits, including how creative you can get with them.
Why Facebook Polls Work
Let’s be real, who doesn’t love answering questions about themselves?!
Content with questions, especially when a choice is involved, can be some of the most liked and engaging content on Facebook. Add in gifs or photos paired with the possible choices, and you have grabbed the attention of users, encouraging them to vote.
Well Designed Polls = Powerful Marketing Tools
Useful in understanding customers and what they like or want, polls help you fill the information gap for what you don’t know about them. Want to find out if large or small breeds are more prominent in your service area? Looking for local cats who haven’t visited the vet in over a year? Wondering who regularly brushes their pets’ teeth (or who doesn’t)? Just ask!
Also with polls, you are now creating two potential points for engagement, within one post:
- The poll itself
- The results, which you can showcase once the poll is closed
Facebook polls can help increase your visibility not only as people vote, but also through how you choose to create content with the results you find.
Furthermore, within the poll itself, Facebook users have even MORE engagement options:
- Like (or React)
This means that polls pack the most punch in terms of Facebook content that’s easy for users to interact with, while still allowing you to promote important pet care messaging.
Benefits of Posting Polls
One of the most important benefits that you get from polls is community building. Through differences of opinion, shared interests, and likes, users will generally not only vote, but also express their answers in comments, giving you and other users a chance to reply. This is a unique way to create conversation and engagement, showing that the communication channel is not a one-way street.
Remember that People are Passionate about their Pets!
It’s important to note, however, that you need to be on alert for those differences of opinion. It is absolutely not difficult for pet owners to remain civil when answering polls about their amazing dogs and cats, but you should monitor the results and comments, just in case. As with anything you post on your practice’s social media, passion is great, but arguments are not. Since you’re specifically asking for opinions in polls, just keep an eye out so that you can steer conversations in the right direction, if needed. After all, it’s all about providing pets with the very best care!
What Kind of Polls Should I Post?
There are so many different ways you can approach this. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Gauging interest of a product: Want to know which pet accessory your clients favor most so you can stock it? This is a great place to find out!
- Helping choose the next promo: Are your clients more interested in grooming or doggie daycare? They can tell you here.
- Driving more people to your website: Ask a bit of trivia or for reactions regarding something on your site. Facebook users will need to head to your website to actually participate in the poll.
Pro Tip: On that website landing page, set it up so that site visitors have to click a button and go to a second page. This engagement is great for SEO!
Timing Your Facebook Polls
While you can choose how long you want your poll to stay active, be strategic! You don’t want your page visitors forgetting what they voted on, so close and share the results within a relevant timeframe.
For example, if you’re asking a question about an upcoming event, consider running the poll during the week before, with closure and a results announcement coming the day before the event. If you want to lead into a holiday, notable week, or even a month-long celebration, you need to keep your poll top of mind. You’ll need to share your poll as a post throughout that longer timeframe to encourage continued participation.
Learning about your social audience, meaning local pet owners in your service area, can be as easy as asking! Use Facebook polls to foster engagement, grow your audience, and gain important insights -- all at the same time.
Want to know more? Reach out to your GeniusVets team to learn more about Evidence-Based Veterinary Marketing, and don’t forget to join our Veterinary Marketing Professionals Facebook Group -- and maybe participate in a Facebook poll yourself!