6 ways you can maximise your engagement


So you’ve got a great poll and it’s ready to go. Well done! What next? How do you engage your audience?

It’s not always easy to get people to participate and so we’ve put together a list of different ways that you can get people to engage with your poll.

Here’s just a few ideas.

1. Build a mailing list

A mailing list can be an incredible tool for you to share your poll. If you’ve got a good subscriber base on a service like Mailchimp or a good old fashioned excel spreadsheet, you’ve got a great head start. You can just fire it up and write a simple e-mail asking people to take part in your poll.

Be sure to explain exactly why you’re polling. Do you want to provide a better service for clients? Tell them that. Do you want to know which new design your customers would buy? Explain it to them.

No mailing list yet? Well, that’s going to require a little more work. But everyone had to start somewhere. Begin by signing up to Mailchimp which is free to use. Then you can create a form that will allow people to sign up.

Here are some great ideas for building that brand new list:


Pros of this approach
If you’ve got a list already, it’s simple to get people to interact with you

Cons of this approach
Without a list, you’ve got some legwork to do before you can leverage your audience

2. Promote a post on social media

I would place a healthy sized wager on you already being a social media user. You’re probably sharing a lot of useful links and interacting with people already, but maybe it’s time to ask them for something too.

Create a quick status update that explains in simple terms what you’re trying to achieve with your poll. Then paste a link into the update and press ‘post.’

Twitter and Facebook both allow you to promote your post with a small budget – and even if you’re not into spending your marketing budget on it, there are a lot of ways that you can increase visibility of your poll for free.

A couple of resources on how to do this effectively


Pros of this approach
Social media creates opportunities for content to spread fast – adding a little money to a post can create a much larger reach

Cons of this approach
You’re never guaranteed interaction on a post – be sure to use a tool like Buffer to find the best time to post your updates

3. E-mail your old clients

Sometimes, the people who really matter to you are right under your nose. Old clients, stakeholders or supporters have already invested time or money in supporting you and you already have a relationship with them.

Perhaps it’s time to start a new conversation with them?

Consider dropping them an individual e-mail asking for their help. Give them clear calls to action such as:

Hey Sheenagh,

It’s been a while. I hope that you’re doing well.

Listen, we’re currently trying to find out what the biggest problem our visitors have with the ticket ordering system we use. I was wondering if you could help me.

Firstly, it would be really useful if you could complete this really simple poll I’ve made [PASTE A LINK TO YOUR POLL HERE].

Secondly, I would be very grateful if you would forward this link to people you know who might have had a problem ordering from us before.

Thirdly, if you’re willing, please consider sharing the link via your social media links. I know that your connections would provide really valuable insight for us.

Let’s catch up soon,

Pros of this approach
People you have engaged with before are already in the know about what you do. They’ll also be able to good give insight on their experience of working with you or using your service.

Cons of this approach
If you’ve got a small list of previous clients/customers/users, then you are likely to get a small amount of data back from this method

4. Ask influencers for a hand

Every arena in life has them: people with an above average following. They’re not necessarily on social media but these days that’s less likely to be the case than ever before. These people are able to leverage a large supply of social capital to help you if you get your pitch right.

A study by McKinsey found that “word of mouth is the primary factor behind 20 to 50 percent of all purchasing decisions.” While much of the information about influencers available online is primarily related to sales, it’s easy transferrable into a more participatory context. If you get the right people to share your poll, you’ll get drastically increase your visibility. And with more visibility, there’s more chance that people will participate with your poll.

Check this guide out for more information:


Pros of this approach
Catching a big fish isn’t easy – but if you can do it, you might find you’re blown away by the response

Cons of this approach
There’s either a lot of luck or a lot of hard work involved in reaching the creme de la creme. Better get smart about approaching the right people with the right ask.

5. Write an article

Can you poll speak for itself and stand alone? Or would it be more effective if there was a detailed, entertaining and illuminating article to go along side it?

The latter may take you a lot longer but it’s likely to yield some really good results. In fact, according to HubSpot, people who do this are 3x more likely to see a good result than those who don’t.

Let’s say you’re polling people about where your industry is likely to go in the next five years. Your poll contains a few suggestions about where you think it might go? Well, why not use those options as the sub headers for a post entitled Here’s where our industry is going in the next five years.

You could even ask some of those influencers you identified above to give you a quote for the article.

Nowhere to publish it? No problem. Medium allows you to create standalone articles and use the existing size and power of its own network to promote your content. It takes less than a minute to sign up and is really easy to use.

When you’re done writing, make sure you post a link to your poll at the bottom of the article and ask people what they think.


Pros of this approach
You’ve already got an outline of the article. It’s free to publish online. It’s a great chance to engage with influencers

Cons of this approach
Writing is a skill – but you ought to learn some time!

6. Mix owned, earned and paid

A diagram of owned, earned and paid media from Buffer's blog
A diagram of owned, earned and paid media from Buffer’s blog

While the above tips are all pretty useful, they’re best when you come up with a strategy that embraces a few or all of them. The good thing is that a strategy like this can be repurposed for your marketing and communications efforts outside of this one poll you’re trying to get respondents for.

It’s well worth your time to create such a strategy.

Do you have some good ideas about how to get your poll out there? How do you use your network to create engagement? Let us know in the comments.