HOW TO MASTER INSTAGRAM POLLS

This past fall Instagram came out with a cool new feature to add to your Instagram Story. Along with the many fun stickers you can place on a picture or video, Instagram also lets you have the option to add a poll sticker. I’ve mostly seen this sticker used on personal profiles to ask followers “which ice cream flavor should I get”, but businesses can also take advantage of the poll feature to help gage a better read on the audience they are reaching.

What is the hype over Instagram Polls?

Instagram polls are strictly available on the Instagram app when you make an Instagram story. They encourage followers to be more interactive and can provide important feedback no matter what the question is. This direct feedback can help you learn specific things about your audience and can even assist in making future decisions.

How does it work?

Setting up a poll on Instagram is extremely easy and quick.

  1. First, you take a video or picture of something you would like to put onto your story.
  2. Once you are happy with your photo or video footage, you can tap the sticker button on the top of the screen (Photo 1, Above) and add any text, drawings or stickers, including the “Poll” sticker. (Photo 2, Above)
  3. Now you can type any question you’d like and edit the two different choices to vote on. You are unfortunately limited to only two choices but you have up to 26 characters per choice box to craft some witty answers. (Photo 3, Above)
  4. Once you have finished writing your question and answers you can drag the poll anywhere on the picture and resize it however you’d like, just like any other sticker.
  5. Then all you have to do is post it and wait for the results!

To look at your results simply tap the viewers listed at the bottom of the story and then swipe up to see the post analytics. The poll will be available for 24 hours along with your story so make sure you set a timer right before it expires so you can see all of the responses.

How can businesses take advantage of Instagram Polls?

Gain audience insight and feedback

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Although these polls do not provide the most in depth consumer analytics, they definitely can shed some light on important topics that you want to get a general consensus on. You also get the answers quickly (within 24 hours). About to i ntroduce a new product? Ask your followers which color they would prefer, or ask which feature from an old product they would change. You won’t know unless you ask!

Ask the right kinds of questions

To gain the best results, make sure your questions on the poll are clear and not biased towards one answer. The best kinds of questions to ask are “yes or no” questions, and “this or that” questions.

Check out how engaged your followers are

This feature is also a great way to see how engaged your followers actually are on social media. If you have 300 followers, but only 100 of them are watching your story and voting, then maybe you need to switch up your content or find a way to appeal to the other followers who might not be as engaged.

Youth culture. Four young people sitting close to each other and looking at their gadgets

Grow your mailing list

Another way to utilize this sticker is by adding people to your mailing list and seeing how many people are interested in learning more about your company. Try positing a Yes or No poll asking “Would you like to receive emails to learn more about our business?” For the people who vote yes, you can then direct message them on Instagram asking for their email.

Polls can help plan events

Polls work great for any event that you may be having including a major sale or an opening party for a new store location. Add some hype to the upcoming event by asking if people will attend or not. Clicking “yes” might give them a sense of accomplishment and clicking “no” might make them feel like they are missing an awesome event. Let your followers help plan your event by asking simple choices like color theme or what flavor cake to have at the event. When the event is over you can post a poll that gages feedback to make the next one even better.

Make it fun and personal

Your polls do not always have to be strictly business related. Adding polls every now and then that show a more personal and fun side of your business can make your audience feel like they have a sneak peek behind the scenes, which can strengthen your relationship. Ask them “Who in the office wore it better” or “Which team in the super bowl are you routing for”.

It is important to make sure your customers feel like they have a voice that gets heard. These Instagram polls are the perfect way to get to know your consumers and help improve future choices by incorporating their feedback.

If you feel like Instagram might be beyond your skill set, we’re here to help you! Contact us at www.maxexposuresocialmedia.com or email us at support@maxexpoemail.com 

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Creating a Company Personality using Social Media

Social Media is a great way to reach consumers and inform them of new sales, products, and company involvement in the community. This day and age, it is extremely important to the success of your company that you are active and involved in social media. Social media allows for easy communication between company and consumer.

Consumers contact companies with complaints or comments and questions on products and so on, and the companies can directly respond to their concerns, improving their customer service. Responding to consumer comments and complaints on social media allows the customer to feel heard and valued by the company.

Some companies have also used social media to create personalities for their company, mostly through Twitter and Facebook. This has allowed not only for more contact between consumer and company but has also provided customer entertainment and has increased the social media following of many companies today. Wendys for example, has famous Twitter “roasts” where they respond to customers’ tweets with funny responses which gains them a lot of social media attention.

Wendy1

After posting their responses to customers, a lot of people retweet or favorite their tweets, expanding their Twitter network and encouraging more consumers to follow their Twitter because their Tweets are entertaining.

The reason why Wendy’s Twitter roasts has gained so much consumer attention is because they have an awareness of what people use their social media platforms for. Twitter for example is mainly used for comedic entertainment or political opinions and comments. Seeing as it is not a good idea to share a company’s political stance as it may cause a loss of consumer support and create backlash, comedic entertainment is a great way to connect with consumers.

Wendy2

Most funny company tweets are responses to customer complaints and questions. Turning customer complaints, which could potentially give the company a bad reputation, into something funny and entertaining for their followers actually gives the company positive attention in the end.

Wendy3

Tips for Joining the Trend

If you think your company would benefit from posting these comical tweets to its consumers, it is important that the company abide by these tips, especially if the company does not already have a reputation for posting funny tweets. You want your consumers to actually find your tweets funny and insure that you do not offend people with risky humor.

Twitter

To get a head-start on your funny tweeting, your company could create a false consumer account to tweet back at. This avoids risking offending an actual consumer seeing as they may think your company is not taking them seriously or making fun of them. Once you get a couple funny tweets out, consumers will recognize the trend and start coming up with tweets for your company to respond to.

Once you start responding to real consumer’s tweets, evaluate and think through the possible interpretation of your tweets prior to posting them. Having multiple people within your company look at your tweets prior to posting them and getting their opinion on them is a good way to double check and insure minimal backlash and maximum humor.

Creating a Personality

Creating a personality for your company and connecting with consumers on a more personal level will allow them to trust you and support you on a business level. Maintaining easy, efficient online communication with consumers is a great way to improve your customer service and show your customers how valued they are by your company.

Businessman holding cellphone with opened applications

Utilizing your company’s social media account not only for traditional customer service communication but finding innovative ways to provide customers with entertaining social media posts will not only build more positive relationships with you current consumer following, but will grow your consumer following on social media as well.

Every company is different and contains different types of consumers, challenge your company to not only maintain constant involvement on social media, but innovate how you use your social media. By focusing not only on responding to and communicating with your current customers, but attracting new customer attention on social media, your company will maximize the success of its social media involvement and improve its communication with current and future consumers.
Source: https://www.buzzfeed.com/christinajhuynh/15-times-wendys-twitter-was-more-shameless-than-y-2tfa4?utm_term=.ugAMyD12a#.rgmwjgD2v 

Is “Un-Plugging” Really Possible?

Aly here! As the Director of Client Services and Communications, I usually don’t get the chance very often to contribute content on the MaxExposure Blog, however I recently took a short vacation and learned what a little relaxation can to for a person!

When it comes to relaxing, I don’t know too much about the word. I try to employ what I think the meaning of the word is, but I can never truly grasp the concept.

 

 

  • Watching TV with your Laptop, while answering emails or working on a project… NOT Relaxation
  • Adding a glass of wine to the mix, while watching TV and working on a project… NOT Relaxation
  • Checking your email while watching a movie with your family… NOT Relaxation
  • Going out to dinner with friends or family, but checking emails  & work texts and responding… NOT Relaxation

When you are an integral part of running a company, manage a staff, support customers, oversee Accounting & HR departments and manage the website, it can be difficult to un-plug and relax a little. Especially in todays world of instant & constant communication.

While I am permanently glued to my iPhone and thank the technology gods daily that I can pretty much do every job I have from it, it can be difficult to put it down especially when your goal is to provide the absolute highest customer service physically possible.

While on vacation, in Florida, this past week, I took some time to partially un-plug and even that little bit did absolute wonders. To help out my fellow Boss Babes (and Boss Dudes) out there who also want to keep up with work and be the best at their job but want to keep their sanity intact; I made note of the things I did, and will be repeating ONE day each month, to recharge that battery I too often use to the last drop before charging back up!

  1. I found my SMILE – Working non-stop, even doing something you love can wear you out. Its crucial to both your mental & physical health, as well as the health of your company, to take some time for yourself and find your smile if you feel you’ve lost it!
  2. I stayed connected but…One thing I’ve always struggled with is the need to get things done IMMEDIATELY which I know my clients are very grateful for that. However once in a while its important to remember that you can take an afternoon here and there to yourself. Still answer your phone, but let your customers know it will be taken care of ASAP, but might be tomorrow.
  3. I tried to NOT talk as much business – Working in a family business, like I do, this one is VERY tricky. As family vacations often double as business planing sessions and executive meeting time. Its important to make it clear to your family (& business partners) which times during the day you are “working” and which times you are “on vacation”. The beauty of being an entrepreneur is you can do BOTH in the same day!
  4. I enjoyed happy hour... Every day
  5. I Laughed… A LOT
  6. I shut down EVERY evening –not taking my work with me to watch TV with my family. I often find myself working most evenings as its a time when I can get other work done, that I didn’t have time to do during the day. But I’ve learned that working from your couch with a glass of wine, may LOOK like relaxing, but its still working!
  7. I was PRESENT – I often keep my phone on silent vibrate and have it on me at all times, but while on vacation I left it on ringer, inside the house and more often than not I lost track of it. This meant I wasn’t checking my email 85 times a minute, I wasn’t on Facebook or Instagram constantly refreshing or reading the news and I wasn’t texting with clients or friends. I was truly present, in the moment, and enjoyed EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE of it!

By implementing these 7 things into my vacation, for the first time in YEARS, I was actually able to relax while on vacation. I hope these tips can help you too find some relaxation this holiday season and let you begin the New Year fully recharged and focused on your company goals!

Wishing you a wonderful holiday season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year FULL of RELAXING vacations!

Aly Grushkin

Director of Client Services & Communications

 

Small Business… is BIG Business

Sat. Nov. 25, 2017 is Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is a day created by American Express to commemorate and promote Small Businesses and remind consumers that small businesses are the true back bone of America.

Did you know that according to the 2014 census, there are 29 million registered businesses in America, of which 25 million have “less than” 10 employees, of the 25 million, 22 million claim to have 0 -1 employee (meaning “self-employed”).

Small Business Owner at Restaurant

Small businesses account for 99.7% of all employers (source: SBA.gov), which means that if small businesses “went away”, it would devastate the economy. Supporting local, small and privately owned businesses is critical to our economy, our communities and our nation and not to mention the families they support.

Sure, you can get virtually anything on Amazon (or online), delivered the next day (and soon within hours). However, you can’t get a haircut, a slice of pizza served hot and fresh, gas in your car, a way to fix that knitting mistake or your lawn cut on Amazon. There are many goods and services that you can only get from a local business and it doesn’t take much to support your local business! You can support your local business by just taking a little bit of time out of your day and that effort will always rewarded with a smile from the business owner.

Small Business Owner at Hair Salon

So this Saturday, go out and see how many businesses you can support, but make it your personal challenge to shop local every week, throughout the year. When you engage with the local business owners, you will find them welcoming, informative and grateful.

Shop Small and do BIG things for your local businesses, community and your country.

 

About the Author:

JGJoe Grushkin is a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. Currently, as the CEO, President and Founder of MaxExposure Social Media, the premier Social Media & Reputation Management Firm on North America, he is growing the business with effective leadership skills and developing a management team to lead in the future. MaxExposure assists small and media sized local businesses in over 80 industries. More information is available at www.MaxExposureSocialMedia.com

 

 

Entrepreneurs, what is your exit strategy?

As a Serial entrepreneur, for over 35 years, I have been involved in many different products, services and businesses; with one common factor, ”if it was meant to be successful, it was up to me”.

Being the driving force in sales, business development, product deployment and organizational structure is an all-consuming endeavor, however doing it with dedicated people makes it somewhat easier and more rewarding. Having the right people in your business will provide your customers with better (more accessible) service and attention, provide you with time & freedom while running your business and potentially an “exit strategy”.

Many entrepreneurs fail to see the “forest through the trees” when it comes to an exit strategy, thinking they need to do it all themselves. Then one day they wake up and realize that their business isn’t as “valuable” on resale, or there isn’t anyone qualified to take it over; leaving them nothing to show, for a lifetime of work.

My experience has been a fortunate one, in which I had family who chose to join my business, offering me a “built in” exit strategy. Even if you don’t have family involvement in your business, you can achieve this by focusing on your exit strategy and making it a priority. Hiring experienced industry personnel, recruiting from colleges and or developing leaders from “scratch” are great starting points to be able to develop the right person to take over your company. Additionally, letting family friends know about your desire to create an exit strategy and that you are looking for a “protégée”, puts it out to your network.

There are always ways to find people looking for advancement and opportunity. Be willing to pay well to start, then when earned, even better as they evolve into a leadership role. It’s not an overnight process, be committed to the long haul for your benefit and theirs!

Group of Multiethnic Busy People Working in an Office

What follows are 5 simple ways entrepreneurs can develop an exit strategy:

Offer equity to key staff

Equity can be given in many forms, some of which including common stock, preferred stock, phantom stock or simple profit sharing. It can be earned over 5 years (e.g. 1% a year over 5 years and only vested after 5 years.) Check with your accounting professional to determine the best route for you. Keep in mind, it’s not just about money, it’s about how people feel and how they see themselves in the future.

Talk about your future plans with your key staff often

Make them aware of your exit strategy, set obtainable and achievable goals to initiate the plan. The vision has to be clear, exciting and lead to a viable business. The people you are developing are probably not “entrepreneurs” like you, therefore, it up to you to show them what the future holds in your business or industry for them.

Develop a culture, with guidelines that can run without you engaged

Operation manuals, policies, procedures and philosophical understanding needs to be part of your future development plan. By letting your staff learn by doing, over time they will know it as well as you do, and handle situations the same way you would.

Take more time off, over time

Allow your people to “take the helm” while you are away. It’s been said that “nothing grows in the shadow of the mighty oak”. Let the sun shine on your team, trust their decisions and accept that they will make mistakes, they can always be corrected (if not, that is a very are powerful learning experience.)

Let your staff know, when you do eventually leave, you will still be collecting a check and their first job each week is to “deposit that check into your account”.

When you want to “retire” you don’t have to sell the business, which of course you can do, if thats your strategy. Some businesses provide for the owner, by keeping them on the payroll, and the future growth income/profits go to the new management team. Your exit strategy can share in that growth or just keep your income for your life or as part of your estate.

The key is to have a plan, it can be 2 years, 5 years, 10 year or even 20 years away, but the plan needs to be in place. Running a race without a finish line can be exhausting, especially as we get older. When you are 30, you might think you will work forever, when you turn 50, that view point changes fast!

Again, I am fortunate to have trusted, dedicated and very capable family (and some very strong, trusted “key people” who have earned their way to the top) by engaging in my business. Once my “exit strategy” was set, it all came together.

 

About the Author:

JGJoe Grushkin is a serial entrepreneur for over 35 years. Currently, as the CEO, President and Founder of MaxExposure Social Media, the premier Social Media & Reputation Management Firm on North America, he is growing the business with effective leadership skills and developing a management team to lead in the future. MaxExposure assists small and media sized local businesses in over 80 industries. More information is available at www.MaxExposureSocialMedia.com