So you want to use a poll on your Facebook Page?
To spark fan engagement, to get feedback, to promote your products — whatever the reason — Facebook polls are an effective and popular method for attracting fans and gathering information.
But what is the best way to host and present a poll? You should be judging the various polling options by the following criteria:
- Is the application customizable?
- Will the poll itself, as well as the poll results, be easy to find and visible to your fans?
- Are there built-in Share features to spread the poll virally among Facebook users?
Below, I will explore the different Facebook Poll resources available.
FREE Facebook Poll Apps
From my research, it seems like many of the available free poll apps are lacking in either one or all of the aforementioned criteria.
Here is the best option that I found among apps built specifically for use on Facebook:
This app has a very simple interface, and the poll appears on your Facebook Page as a separate tab. However:
- there are ads that appear on your tab. The ads are for Kremsa, the company that created the app.
- Page Admins have no control over the poll’s appearance.
There are premium features available for a fee. You can pay to hide ads, advertise your poll, and keep the poll users on your Page tab rather than sending them to a canvas app.
Takeaway: While I think that the British Sub Aqua Club did the best that they could with the poll, I think this poll app is lacking in the design department:
- The tab feels really cluttered with lots of options and links;
- The questions themselves are not prominent enough;
- The Sharing feature (“Publish my Vote”) is not very enticing.
Facebook Polling Options that offer Facebook Integration
Check out this comprehensive list of 18 Web-poll platforms and apps, some of which also offer Facebook integration.
Facebook Questions — a Great Polling Option
We first wrote about Facebook Questions when it first appeared in early 2011.
Unlike other free poll apps, it does not have ads. The interface is clean, consistent with the Facebook look and feel, and is pretty intuitive. Of course, it’s not customizable at all, but it’s built right into your Page.
The best thing about Facebook Questions is its inherent viral nature. When your fans participate in a poll via Questions, their action will appear on their profile and in their friends’ News Feeds. Their friends can participate, as well, so you will draw attention to your Page through your Fans.
Personally, I think Facebook Questions is the best free poll option available on Facebook.
Paid Poll Options — Some Commercial Polling Apps for Facebook
If you want more features than Facebook Questions offers, you can pay for polls with more options for customization.
Here is a blog post that explains how to add a Polldaddy survey to your Facebook Page (with video).
Involver offers a poll app to users at their “Professional” subscription level and above. See their pricing options here.
One of the big Facebook app companies, Wildfire offers a wide variety of products, one of which they call “Trivia and Quizzes.” You do have to pay a daily fee on top of the flat rate for their promotion apps. You can see their pricing options here.
Custom Facebook Polling Apps
The other Facebook polling option, if you are willing to spend the money, is to hire an agency to build you a custom polling application. This would give you the maximum level of customization. You would want to include Share functionality so that participants could pass the poll along to friends, something any capable Facebook shop — like HyperArts! — could handle.
One of the best examples that I have seen is on the 2012 Matters Facebook Page.
The Poll lives on a custom tab where you can pick “the issues that matter most to you” by clicking and dragging icons into your map area:
Then users can share their poll/survey results on their Walls. In this case the poll was about meaningful topics, so users are probably much more likely to share their results with their friends. Making Sharing really easy is an important part of custom poll building. Make sure that you talk to your developer about this step when planning a custom poll app.
Takeaway: While it may be more expensive then the other options in the short term, paying for a custom app may actually be cheaper in the long run. The other paid-app services often charge a flat fee PLUS a daily or monthly fee for the length of your survey. Custom apps can often be re-used or re-purposed by your developer for future use.
Of course, if you don’t want to spend any money on a Facebook poll, you can just ask questions of your Fans on your Facebook Page Wall or via the Facebook Questions app!
Tell us, what is your favorite way to survey your Facebook Fans?