I'll play both sides of the coin. One, I see a lot of influencers doing polls with their audience. "Do you want iPhone photos or DSLR photos? Do you want fashion posts or lifestyle posts?" I think that that's potentially interesting, but it's probably also too broad. If you were just DMing a single person to ask them what they want, and you've got 100,000 followers, not a lot of insight is going to be pulled out of that one person.
Also, I don't believe that you should be running your Instagram account based off of a consensus view of what your viewers voted on that they want to see. They followed you for your vision. That's what they want to see. I think that we talked about it a few shows ago, something that Kristie from Facebook Instagram said. Kristie Dash, she said that a lot of times when people's engagement falls, it's that they're overthinking what they're doing. There's no better example of overthinking what you're doing than constantly polling your audience to see what they want and reacting to that.
Again, that's not why they followed you. People probably followed you because you were doing something they hadn't seen before, they didn't know that they wanted. A lot of people when they hit "follow", they probably didn't follow you because they sat down that morning and said, "I feel like I really need to follow a new style influencer who has like a beachy but elevated vibe, who also doesn't live in LA," whatever. I don't know, I'm pulling shit on my ass, but what I'm saying is following you was probably serendipity. They probably saw something and said, "Oh, that's interesting. I'll follow that."
Again, I would go back to that as your North Star. It is important to speak to your audience at some points. Again, I don't think that Instagram polling is maybe the best way to do it, and I don't know if it's specific enough. If you really want some insights on your following, go to Type Form. It's free to sign up. Create an actual survey link to it, ask your followers. Get some real data. It will be anonymous as well so they probably feel more likely to be honest with you than they would in a poll.
I think a lot of times when people ask questions, the bias is also pretty clear. People just want to please other people, and so, they answer it alongside that bias instead of giving you real answers. I would question the usefulness of Instagram polling to help decide the direction of your account, but gathering data on what your following is interested in, what they like and don't like, can be useful. So, it's a yes and no answer to that question. Hopefully, in some ways, it's helpful.
- 2018 Lessons, Asking Followers About Content, Posting Times