To be honest, when I first saw the Linked In Polls gaining traction on posts, I was not really impressed with the concept or the content. On top of that, I felt the polls themselves offered very little insight into anything. Until I actually created one myself.
While I am generally pessimistic about most social media tools or gimmicks that are initially launched like TikTok, Clubhouse, etc., I have found that if you take a deeper look into them, you will find out their value as well as their shortcomings and be able to determine if they can be useful for your purposes or not. For me, that was the case with LinkedIn Polls.
I could not really figure out why they were so popular and why they were gaining so much traction. So below are my limited findings on how they might help you find insight into your followers or even gain new ones whether you are trying to build your personal brand, employer brand or just want to know what people think.
Be Strategic, Genuine and Creative
Don’t create a poll just to create a poll. Have a purpose and a reason to pose a question to your network and potential audience. Think of a question that can help you solve a problem or expand your knowledge.
For example, if you are a student and graduating soon and looking to land a job or internship, post a question like,
“What do companies look for when they hire new grads?”
- Energy and Enthusiasm
- Academic Achievement
- Personality andIntegrity
- All ofthe Above
Think about how your question will be viewed and where it can channel discussions and new leads. People in your network will most likely reply but it will also reach beyond your network so track the likes, shares and comments to see who you might be able to reach out to for a job or internship. It will give you an idea and input into what might help you get that job. If anything, you will be surprised what comes back and how you can re-engage your network with the right poll. The same concept can be applied to sales people, recruiters, artists, etc.
Understand the Power of the Algorithm
I’m not a programmer or engineer but it is pretty obvious that whatever algorithm they are using for the polls is very different from the one in standard posts.
This post reached 1,000 people more than my entire network in less than 3 days. So in very technical terms… that’s insane.
That means that it reached more people organically than with paid advertising!! I have no idea how that works (happy to receive comments from anyone who does) but it tells me that LI wants these polls to be used and is developing codes in order to reach a wider audience. While Microsoft does own LinkedIn, I can only imagine what kind of data they are collecting (conspiracy theorists are all over this I’m sure) but in all honesty, I don’t care. I only really care what content I can organically share and the information I can gain from engaging with my followers and new ones.
Comments Are The Key
To me, LIKES and SHARES are nice but a COMMENT means engagement. It means that you have touched a nerve (either positively or negatively) with your followers or someone who has seen your posts and is enticed to share their view.
To me, that is what LinkedIn is good for; sharing your opinion, viewpoint or experience with others on a public platform (for good or bad.) and getting engagement and insight from that person.
Some people confuse and abuse this point by posting political debates or just pure trash talk towards a particular group, person or organization, but overall, if you are posting questions that genuinely seek professional insight, spur healthy debate over work-related issues or shares your professionally viewpoint to agree or disagree with, you will engage with and grow your target audience.
Share Your Thoughts
So I’m curious to see who responds and engages to this post and what people have experienced with polls and branding yourself on LinkedIn. I look forward to your comments below.
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