How to Create an Upbeat Online Community through Polls - dummies

How to Create an Upbeat Online Community through Polls

By Deborah Ng

An online community doesn’t have to be a perpetually serious place. Cerebral topics and daily debates get old after a while. Wouldn’t it be better if your members walked away each day smiling or inspired to take action?

Not everyone has the talent to make people interact and even laugh, and that’s where you come in. With some creativity, you can take your community from a place to leave comments to a lively haven that folks don’t want to leave. It’s human nature to want to have fun.

If you’re active on Facebook, you may notice that many of your friends and relatives enjoy asking fun questions and posting polls. They’re not necessarily into the answers; they’re just looking for some lively interaction.

You can create a poll about anything, thanks to the assortment of polling tools available. It’s not difficult to find an app that’s easy to install and easy to use, with easy-to-see results.

Polls don’t have to all be about your brand, either. Sure, you can fire them up now and then for feedback, but your members don’t want to feel like guinea pigs. Instead, find some poll topics that everyone will enjoy talking about. For example:

  • Personal (but not too personal) habits

  • Favorite types of music, TV shows, or movies

  • Hobbies

  • Sports

  • Summer pastimes

  • Books

  • Current events (but avoid heated topics unless you’re looking for a heated discussion)

Offering polls is a good way to let members share interests and tell a little something about themselves, and the information gathered in polls is invaluable to you as community manager. Every bit of information, no matter how trivial, is important.

You can do something with this stuff. If you work for a lemonade company, for example, and you find out that your community is made up of heavy readers, you can start a summer book club and offer a recipe featuring your brand to accompany a book discussion.