We’ve just completed our initial (ad)venture into the public domain through our microsite “The EU Referendum by Pollstation”.
The UK’s EU referendum was a historic public vote that we simply had to get involved in. It was the perfect topic with which to test out some of our theories, test our software, and prove our concept.
We set up a comparatively simple wordpress site. It hosted a UK-only poll, a comprehensive 20,000 word neutral briefing, a lively debating section, a blog – as well as a ‘predictions’ and a news section. Over the site’s lifetime of 14 weeks we generated:
- 148,281 UK votes
- 648,687 page views
- 386,359 user sessions
- 251,042 users
- 19,638 subscribers
- 2,031 site comments
We had lots of positive feedback over the period, commending the site on its neutrality, depth of analysis and the poll itself.
It became clear quite quickly that the poll would become an outlet for expression reflecting the heightened passion that supporters of the UK leaving the EU felt during the campaign period. This was probably felt less strongly by the ‘remain’ supporters which explains why they were under-represented.
One of the key differentiators of our poll was its live sharing capability. We designed this to share a ‘live’ snapshot image of the poll results graph at the time of sharing. This proved very effective, giving our users the power to broadcast the live poll result to their own social networks in an interesting and visually appealing way. This established a ‘viral loop’ which sent a solid stream of visitors to the site over the period, and brought the need for our own promotional marketing down to almost zero.
We received some criticism on the perceived accuracy of the poll, due its self-selecting methodology. While we made it very clear that this was an ‘open poll’ and not intended to represent a scientific study, it would have been preferable to record percentages nearer the end result. As it so happens we did predict the right outcome!
Moving forward we have a clear strategy for allowing (& encouraging) the high levels of participation in our polls, whilst simultaneously implementing measures to increase the scientific validity of our results.
Our next steps
Over the last 8 months the company has been building our social network and content platform. The “full” multi-issue version of Pollstation will launch as a website, iPhone and android app. The platforms are nearing their completion and we intend to launch Pollstation’s full offering to the British public in 2017. We are now actively looking to strike up relationships with content writers who are interested in playing a role in the journey – see here.
Not just another blog and social polling app
What sets us apart from the plethora of niche blogs, publishing platforms and social polling apps is that Pollstation is a social network in its own right – and a data generator. It is a publisher, market researcher, and social network rolled into one. It is a marriage of professionally produced content and user-generated content. Our goal is to become the nation’s polling app, a trusted source of neutral engaging content, and a major source of consumer behaviour & opinion data.
Thanks for your interest in our activities thus far and we hope you’ll join us on the main app next year.