Yesterday LinkedIn announced an important new feature for LinkedIn groups: polls. In groups where the moderator has polling turned on, members of groups can easily create user-friendly polls with multiple choice options. The new LinkedIn group polling feature promises to be an excellent new way to engage with other members of your LinkedIn groups.
Users join LinkedIn groups for all kinds of reasons: professional networking, to get tips, to learn how to do something, to request feedback, etc… However, one big reason is to solicit input about a product, service, trend, or data point. The new poll feature should allow for more structured data and concrete stats about the views of members. The polls are still treated as discussions, so members can use the polls to spark conversation and/or heated debates.
LinkedIn Polls have been around for a long time and have enjoyed very strong use. This is the first time, however, that a polling function has been embedded inside LinkedIn groups. LinkedIn groups have proved to be an incredibly successful feature of LinkedIn, with more than a million groups created by users. As an example, our own Recruiter group on LinkedIn has over 250,000 members and over 3,000 new members joined just last week!
If you’re recruiting for professionals in a particular segment or looking for feedback of any kind, polls are a great way to engage with a group and get some serious exposure. If history is any indicator, polls will prove to be highly commented on and popular, so they will probably become the best way to create a stimulating discussions. Polls will likely be often hijacked by promoters who will ask incendiary questions to gain notoriety and exposure for themselves. However, even if you are in marketing, recruiting, or just outside the industry of the group, there is nothing wrong with asking an intelligent question, if it is highly relevant to the group and follows the guidelines of management.
Here are a few quick tips on creating engaging LinkedIn polls:
- Ask clear questions with definitive answers.
- Make sure your responses are entirely distinct and easy to understand.
- Always target the exact issues/topics that the particular LinkedIn group is about.
- Be small and specific. Asking “What are your predictions for 2020?” is too vague.
- Participate in the discussion and comment on your own poll to jump-start debate.
- Polls shouldn’t be apples of discord: asking deliberately incendiary questions is an invitation to get banned from the group.
- Ask real questions of your own interest. Are you polling out of a real desire to learn something or just to introduce yourself to the group? For example, a recruiter should ask about market trends and the importance of skills that they actually want to know, not a general industry question just to gain exposure with the community.
LinkedIn group polling should be a fun and popular addition to the groups service. And of course, remember that these polls are public. As with anything on the web, it’s not the place to air your grievances or talk about specific people, companies, or products in a negative way. Have fun!