Instagram Polls: 5 Lessons for Market Researchers

Last week Instagram launched its new “Polls” feature for stories and my nerd-heart skipped a beat. Instagram is my social-media drug-of-choice, and I love market research, so I just had to try it out. IMG_0694

Of course I was disappointed at the lack of functionality– I had a hard time even finding my data after a poll. You can only ask one question with two answer choices, and polls are only visible to your story’s audience. It’s obvious that Instagram’s Polls are more geared towards social interaction than research.

At first I was annoyed– then I began taking polls myself. I found it to be a fun and seamless way to engage with friends, corporations, and even celebrities. I started looking at Instagram polls from the respondent’s perspective, and I realized that this feature’s true value to market researchers isn’t the what– it’s the why.

Why have all of the major social media platforms (like twitter, Facebook, and now Instagram) all added polling functionality– and what can their features teach us about the future of online research?

Here are 5 Lessons for Market Researchers from my experience with Instagram Polls:

Do-It-Yourself Research

If you haven’t noticed, the internet has gone crazy for DIY.

Pinterest is full of life-hacks, like how to cook smores on a rake (yum?). With Youtube, you can become an expert on anything from roller-skating to building a house. Now we have the choice to tackle projects ourselves instead of using middlemen or opting for one-size-fits-all solutions.

Here at TapResearch, we welcome this can-do attitude. That’s why we are putting the power in your hands with our new Self-Service Tool and Survey Builder. Going DIY allows you to set-up, target, and manage your own research projects–on your schedule.

The Benefits of App-Based Mobile Research

Mobile Research: The Next Chapter


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Research has certainly come a long way. From in-person interviews, to mailers, to phone centers; researchers have always been quick to harness new technologies. Yes, we still get the occasional phone survey, but research has largely relocated to the internet.

In the past, joining an online survey panel became a great way to make a few extra bucks and researchers gained direct access to respondents. But, these traditional panels aren’t without issues–

  • They tend to have a shallow reach, and it is difficult to fill them with a truly representative sample.
  • Their panelist can be “professional” survey takers, who know they are taking part in research.
  • Clever respondents can game the system, and commit fraud which hurts the value of your data.

To avoid these issues, many researchers are turning to mobile research. Mobile is the next chapter; and what better way to reach people than with the apps they use everyday?