In light of influencer marketing gaining widespread popularity, Instagram has been attentive to its use as one of the primary influencer marketing platforms. In their early stages, influencer marketing campaigns were one-directional and were meant as a means of promoting a single campaign. As the dynamics between brand to influencer to audience evolve to a more cyclical relationship so do the technologies that allow for a more efficient experience for all. In early October 2017, Instagram tested out an interactive polling sticker that was primarily meant to optimize engagement and content. After being put to the test over the past few months, it is evident that the new feature has been widely popular among brands, influencers and users alike.
As it becomes more popular, the tool continues to reform the idea of social media feedback. Likes, comments and views are seen as the baseline for measuring overall audience engagement and sentiment. This is the top way of gaging feedback from an audience on content after the fact, and, thus, it becomes a method for modifying content in the future. However, brands and influencers are using the polling feature to inform and strategize content before they even post to create an overall more customized, tailored content experience. Not only is this an effective market research tool, but it also fosters authentic communication between audience and influencer in which the audience is excited to contribute feedback and see it in play. Along with this, Instagram polls are not anonymous, which is not only useful for further market research but users are candidly appreciative about the transparency behind the votes as it breeds a response almost as organic as answering the question face to face.
Overall, the polling feature offers a win-win for all sides. Brands and influencers can create more efficient and favorable content or products that users actually want to see. In turn, users will breed higher engagement overall.