How To Get 3,242,283 People To Want To Be Your Friend On Facebook

by Robb Sutton

I was looking through my timeline on Facebook yesterday when I noticed something interesting.

Within my timeline, there was a poll by a friend of a friend of a friend on Facebook that read, “I am cleaning up my Facebook friends…let me know if you would like to stay?” Seems simple enough. This girl just wanted to clean up her Facebook account like many of us do from time to time. She saw the poll feature, thought it would be an efficient way to get the job done making sure she didn’t de-friend anyone she wasn’t supposed to…and she put up the poll.

However, she forgot the most powerful aspect of the new polling feature in Facebook…people that are not friends with you see if one of their friends answered the poll.

Facebook Polls - How To Use Them

Every time one of her 247 friends answered the poll, it showed up in their timeline to all of their friends who could also answer. Her one innocent poll went viral on Facebook to get over 3,242,283 votes, 136,650 followers of the poll and over 199,200 comments. I don’t think that is what she had in mind when she asked the simple question!

The Power Of Facebook Polls

Now…while this example provides a bit of humor, it does illustrate a very important point. The Facebook polling feature can be very powerful when growing your brand for your Facebook fan page.

Inviting user opinion and interaction is an incredible tool for building a following. Luckily, with the Facebook polling feature, you can get in front of the eyes of new, potential Facebook fans by asking your current followers to check a simple box to a simple question.

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been testing out the polling feature within Facebook on the Bike198 Facebook fan page and I have noticed several things that will help you gain more followers and get more people to interact with your questions.

4 Facebook Poll Tips For Success
  1. Ask Polarizing Questions – You need to ask questions that people within your niche have a definite and passionate answer about. What are things that people argue about most in forums and to each other within your niche? Those are prime questions to ask on Facebook polls as your potential voters will be passionate about answering. If you ask bland, boring questions…expect terrible results.
  2. Invite Your Friends To Answer – Once you are finished making the poll within Facebook, you can invite your friends to answer the question. Only invite those friends that would actually care to answer (I don’t ask my friends that don’t ride bikes as an example). That will get the ball rolling and get you on their timeline for exposure to people that you might not have been in front of before. Just like with the girl’s example above…it gets the ball rolling.
  3. Respond To Comments Left On Your Poll – If you are having people comment on the poll, respond to the comments to show you are approachable and to start the dialog that turns into long time readers and followers. You want these people to like your fan page and visit your blog. Like most things in online community building, that process does not stop after you hit publish. Interact with these new people just as if they left a comment on your blog.
  4. Don’t Allow For User Generated Answers – I have seen polls go wrong when the voters are able to submit their own answers. What you end up with is a bunch of 1 vote answers that are pretty much the same and that discourages people from voting due to the massive amount of choices. Put up the available answers and lock it from there.

As long as you keep those key suggestions in mind, you can grow your fan base and bring more readers to your blog.

In my opinion, the Facebook poll feature is one of the most powerful tools available to fan page owners as we continue to try to grow that following. The viral nature built into the feature is the easiest way to get your brand in front of your fan base’s friends without being a spamming pain in the ass.


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Angie June 15, 2011 - 12:13 pm

Robb, I have seen this poll show up in my timeline quite a few times over the last week. I had a feeling it hadn’t originated from any of my friends. But, as you said, this is great news for Pages using polls…maybe not so much for personal profiles. 😉

Robb Sutton June 15, 2011 - 12:23 pm

It will be interesting to see how it shakes out for personal profiles. It could be fun, but I don’t see a real benefit other than having to ignore a bunch of friend requests from people you don’t know.

For pages it will be a very powerful tool. I would expect to see more large companies using it in the near future.

Best Blog Posts - June 23 | June 23, 2011 - 11:40 am

[…] How to Get 3,242,283 People to Want to Be Your Friend on Facebook by Robb Sutton – I love this post not only because I kept seeing this poll repeatedly in my News Feed, but also because it shows the power of those new Facebook polls. If you aren’t yet using them, do! (Only for your Page, please. Not your Personal Profile. lol) […]

Janett Brown August 24, 2011 - 9:16 am

Sometimes, big discoveries start with an innocent thing we do.
Thank you so much for sharing this 🙂

web design london August 26, 2011 - 4:32 pm

It is very interesting post.And this is very much powerful tool.Thanks for sharing this…..


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