A Simple Guide to Using Google+ Polls

 

Which way should we go?

Which way should we go?

Imagine this: You run a sporting club and want to try out a few new items for sale, but you’d prefer to know if there’s any interest from customers first.

You could run a survey in-house, asking customers to vote on their preferred choices. You could put out each option for a few days to see how well they sell.

And you could also ask customers on Google+ for their opinion using the Google+ Polls feature.

Screenshot of Carlton Football club asking a question on Google+ that could have been asked via Polls

This is a case where the Carlton Football Club could have used Polls to ask their question.

How to create a poll

Creating a Poll is very easy:

  1. From the status update select the Poll option and type in your question (e.g Which jersey would you like to see us wear next year?)
  2. Select images for each response (optional). You can use your own images or search for images via Google Image search.
  3. Type a description of each response (e.g. The elongated C; The traditional version; Neither of these). You can have up to 5 responses.
  4. Select who you want to share the poll with (Public; some or all of your circles).
  5. Publish.

Things you should know

  • Just like a regular update, whenever anyone votes on an option you’ll get a notification. All votes are viewable by anyone who can see the update. So if you’re running a poll where anonymity in answering is important, this is not the tool to use.
  • At the moment there’s no way to close off the poll. So, if knowing how many people voted for a certain item at a certain point in time is important to you, then it is a good idea to take a screenshot of the results so you have a record.
  • If you use Google Image Search these images have been preselected as “available for commercial use with modification” but if you have any concerns at all about copyright issues then you should use your own images.
  • There’s no way to store the responses – if this is something that is important to you, then consider using the Google Forms option instead and embedding the link in your Google+ post.
  • If people share your poll, anyone who views that share can also vote on your poll. So if you only want your customers or a limited number of people to vote on the poll, consider “Disabling Reshares” on your poll.

Not just for sporting clubs!

These polls can work for Communities; local shops; even service type businesses – maybe you’re an Accounting firm and you’d like to change your opening hours, why not ask your Google+ contacts for their thoughts?

Can you see yourself using Google+ Polls as a small business owner?

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