facebook polls

Facebook polls can increase engagement and collect supporter email

Facebook is a powerful platform for communities and the sharing of ideas. Here’s how one nonprofit tapped into that power through the use of a poll campaign, while collecting supporters’ names and email addresses.

Start Empathy

Meet Start Empathy! An initiative of Ashoka, Start Empathy is a community of individuals and institutions dedicated to building a future in which every child masters empathy. Recently, they launched a campaign on Facebook to ask folks in the business field if it was necessary to prioritize skills like empathy in a 21st-century workplace.

Campaign Goals

Start Empathy wanted to understand how many people felt that it is necessary for schools and workplaces to prioritize new skills such as empathy, leadership and innovative thinking. Was the way people saw the 21st-century workplace changing? Were people seeing the need for a new set of skills to be prioritized and practiced in schools? To answer these questions and more, they launched the #StartEmpathy campaign in October 2015 to raise awareness about the importance of empathy in education.


“It was relatively successful in terms of comments. Many people commented and shared their thoughts on what are important skills, so we do see it as a success.”

  • One Facebook post
  • 2,778 shares on Facebook
  • 10,760 total views
  • 381 total poll completions


The campaign was targeted toward educators and parents who live in the United States. As part of the campaign, they also targeted business leaders and social entrepreneurs. The poll was posted to Facebook and boosted using Facebook advertising. Particularly successful posts were learned from and repurposed.

Campaign Creative

The following is a breakdown of the Facebook post and poll used on Facebook. Each includes why the asset led to a successful campaign overall.

The Facebook post:

  • Takes advantage of appropriate hashtags for further organic reach and engagement on Facebook.
  • Includes a clear request for feedback.
  • The organization can be seen engaging supporters in the comments and taking part in the larger conversation.

The poll:

  • The poll itself was Facebook and mobile-optimized, making it fast and easy to complete the poll from any device.
  • The description that was provided on the poll landing page clearly communicated the issue using the “problem, solution, action” format:
  1. Problem: The modern workplace is evolving but our students are not prepared to enter it.
  2. Solution (in the form of a hypothesis): If workplaces hired differently, would schools impart education differently?
  3. Action: As someone in the field weighs in and help us reach this solution.

Campaign Lessons and Takeaways

“I think what we would have done differently is changed the target audience for this poll. We targeted education influencers but not enough people in the business field. I think that would have helped in getting an idea of the trend.”

  1. Asking questions and soliciting feedback has been a long-held best practice in fostering engagement and community on Facebook.
  2. Learn from your past Facebook posts and reuse what works. This is the best way to increase your organic reach and engagement.
  3. Make sure that your polls are Facebook and mobile-optimized. Through the use of an ActionSprout poll action, Start Empathy made weighing in from any device fast and easy.
  4. Putting a little ad money behind a campaign can lead to great success on Facebook.