In October 2017, Instagram added a compelling new ability to it’s Stories: the power to ask followers a question. As Neil Patrick Harris’ Barney Stinson would say, this was basically leg-en… wait for it… DARY for brands.
See, now, users (including the all-important brand pages) can ask a question directly to their followers via the “Question Sticker” available for Story posts. For a company, these followers are more often than not their CUSTOMERS. So businesses of all sizes have the ability to form a massive focus group on their phone, for anything, for free??? YUP.
Now, you can engage with your customers and keep track of their answers all within the free Instagram app. Asking a quick question can garner an on-the-spot pulse from the marketplace, which is pretty much a new superpower: the amazing ability to know what a target audience values about a specific issue at any given moment. WOW.
So, now that Instagram has started offering superhero capes in the form of Question Stickers, what are the most effective ways to use this power for the good of the economy? Well…
Want To Innovate?
Post an experimental item that is not on your menu, and see what your followers say. The ones that voted yes get a discount if they come in that same day to buy it.
Keep the Brand on Customer’s Minds
Try asking users to vote between two of the company’s present offerings. A restaurant could post a vote between two of it’s most popular desserts, for instance. The data isn’t so important here, its engaging your followers with your brand. I don’t know about you, but seeing a picture of my favorite dish definitely keeps my mouth watering all day.
Gain Insight to Your Customer’s Palette
Using the same “vote between these options” style, post a couple of choices for users to vote between to gather information about their taste. A fashion designer might put up two of the same jacket in different colors, and ask users which shade they prefer. The superpower at work here provides the brand with data for product development. Tantalizing.
Fuel My FOMO for Not Coming to Your Party
Ask voters if they’re at a company event. A bar would do this to pump up their Friday night, for example. By allowing viewers to say they’re there, the bar gives a sense of community. By forcing the sad sacks who didn’t show up to vote “no,” (or, more likely, skip the story ASAP in ultimate shame) it makes them feel like they’re missing out. This might be a bit more on the evil side, but effective, nonetheless.