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How to use Q&A and polls to increase audience engagement for your podcast

October 27, 2021
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If you’ve ever thought that podcasting can sometimes feel like a one-sided conversation, Spotify for Podcasters’ Q&A and polls features bring your listeners to the party.

These interactive features open up the line of communication between creators and listeners like never before. Q&A and polls elevate your audience engagement and help build interest in your show, spark inspiration, and even shape the content and forward trajectory of your podcast. We’ve asked some creators who have already been using Q&A and polls to share how it’s helped them build community on Spotify and tips for how to best use them to engage your audience.

Why audience engagement is important for you and your listeners

The opportunity for listeners to engage with you strengthens their connection, leading to greater loyalty, which contributes to overall listener growth. That community you build will spread your podcast around by word-of-mouth and through discussion on social media.

Q&A and polls are a great way to let listeners participate in the development of your podcast and allow them to become collaborators. Their feedback can help you shape your content, give you ideas and inspiration, and provide insight into what they like and want to hear from you. 

Poll results and  Q&A responses  also create content for you to discuss on your podcast and sharing some of your favorite responses across your social channels is an easy way to engage your fans after you’ve published an episode. That will only help generate excitement within your community and enticing your listeners with the chance to have their responses featured can keep them interested and inspire others to participate.

Do keep in mind that Q&A responses are private by default, so make sure you publish your favorite responses so that your fans keep coming back to reply to your Q&As.

Another incentive for increasing audience engagement is that it helps make your podcast a well-oiled machine. The influx of listener feedback all funnels into your Spotify for Podcasters dashboard for easy access. The Interact tab on your dashboard is your one stop shop to create, edit, and manage fan engagement across your entire show.

“Having the Q&A and polls features built right into Spotify for Podcasters makes it so quick and simple to hear from your audience—something that has been historically challenging in the podcast space,” says Michael Tucker of “Beyond the Screenplay.” How’s that for efficiency?

Michael Tucker

Audience engagement best practices with Q&A and polls

Get the most out of these interactive features to mutually benefit you and your listeners. These tactics will increase your audience engagement and accelerate your podcast’s evolution.

Build a rapport with your audience

Q&A and polls give you access to your audience and the opportunity to get to know them. This will establish a connection with them.

One way to do this is to ask fun, interactive discussion questions to your listeners related to each episode. Tucker uses this approach with Q&As that accompany Beyond the Screenplay, his podcast that explores the stories behind films. “For each episode we release, we include a question related to the film or the topics of discussion. For example, for our episode on the film ‘Whiplash,’ we asked listeners what are their favorite movie about obsessed artists. It’s a fun, quick way to learn more about our listeners,” says Tucker.

This is equally effective for getting to know your listeners as individuals. Beyond the realm of the podcast space, also ask listeners to share stories, experiences, or details about themselves. Questions like how their day is going, their favorite travel destination, what their first concert was, etc., can inspire them to engage.

If you’re struggling to think of what to ask your audience, Scott Lynch of “The Motivated Mind” podcast has insight from his own first-hand experience. “Think about the podcasts you listen to; what questions would you want from the creator? How would you like to interact with the creator? By placing ourselves in the shoes of others we can start to develop a framework of what our Q&A and polls may look like.”

Scott Lynch

Finally, don’t just create your Q&A or poll and call it a day, make sure to make it a habit to promote it to your audience. That means actively calling it out in your show’s intro and outro, promoting it across your social channels, and adding a call to action in your show notes!  

Discover your listeners’ needs

To help provide the highest value possible for your listeners, find out their pain points, struggles, unrequited desires, and any other unmet needs.

“‘What’s been holding you back recently?' These types of questions allow you to be a fly on the wall. Sometimes it can be challenging to articulate what someone may want to hear for future episodes. By asking a question framed like this, it can provide a perfect painting of the needs of listeners,” says Lynch.

Another example in the same vein is to ask more direct questions about what listeners want out of your show they haven’t yet received, like “what’s a topic you want to learn about we haven’t covered?” or “what can we teach you about or answer for you in a future episode?”

Source inspiration from your listeners

Poll results and Q&A responses can steer segments or entire episodes based on input about episode topics, discussion questions, and guest recommendations, among other content-related components. During episodes, you can choose to reveal results and responses and spend time discussing them in detail. On a higher level, this could even be fodder for an entire podcast concept. What if your podcast was solely based on the questions you ask your audience and their responses? Get creative and have fun with it. The possibilities are vast.

One way you can add variety to the Q&A experience is to pass the mic to your listeners. Let them ask the questions that you can answer on air. This can include an ask-me-anything (AMA) series, questions about the podcast production process, or questions specifically related to your podcast theme, niche, or specialty.

If you find that you’re in a creative rut or are simply curious about the potential of an idea, use Q&As and polls as a workshop space to explore further and test the waters. “We’ve used polls to help us make decisions about the future of our show. When we’re weighing options (like which movie trilogy should we cover next), it’s been great to let our listeners share what they are most excited about via polls,” says Tucker.

This can also be a way to gauge the impact of previous episodes and their concepts. “Each of my episodes offers lessons around mindset and self-growth. I use the Q&A feature to understand if my audience has applied those lessons to their lives and to what success. This insight allows me to understand how effective the lessons were and if my listeners have a more effective approach,” says Lynch. This type of feedback gives you the opportunity to learn from your listeners and how they might use a different tactic.

Use Q&As for open-ended questions, polls for close-ended

Both Q&A and polls have their unique advantages and purpose. Q&As are for exploring and learning. Polls have parameters and can help with the selection process.

“Q&As are a great way to let a listener express themself,” says Tucker. Q&As give listeners a prompt, then puts the ball in their court to respond with their own thoughts.

On the other hand, Polls allow you to guide your listeners towards specific multiple-choice options of your selection. “Polls are a great way to discover where your personal excitement and your listeners’ excitement overlap. Polls allows you to maintain some control over the content you create by offering specific options you’re already excited about, yet still involve your audience in the decision-making process,” says Tucker.

And don’t underestimate the fact that it’s easier for your audience to engage with a poll using a single tap of their finger, so if you are looking for a quick way to gather feedback, polls are the way to go.

“Polls are better at helping you, as a creator, gather feedback when deciding between specific options. For example, if we know we want to talk about a scary movie for Halloween, but we can’t decide which our audience will enjoy most, a poll is a quick and easy way to make a decision.”

Share listeners’ input

The next step after you receive responses is to share them. This is key to promoting these features for your podcast and inspiring listener participation.

There are a variety of ways to share responses and poll results, starting with discussing them in your episodes. Specifically, with Q&As, you can share the full response and shout out the listener it came from. This will encourage them to tune in to hear if their response will be mentioned and talked about on the podcast.

Tucker leads with this early on in his episodes to hook listeners quickly. This is also an opportunity to promote the next round of Q&As and polls you have planned. “To encourage listener participation, make sure to mention any questions or polls in the podcast episode itself. For example, we try to mention the questions at the top of our episodes: ‘And for all of our listeners using the Spotify app, our question for you guys is…’

In addition to the episodes themselves, share notable responses on the online channels where you actively promote your podcast, including social media and email.

How Q&A and polls work

Now that you understand how and why creators have been using interactivity on Spotify, let’s show you how to set it up in Spotify for Podcasters. ‍In the web app, the Interact tab is the place to create, edit, and manage listener feedback across your show. You can select an episode to add a Q&A or poll to, then simply press the plus icon (+) to draft it. Once you’re done writing your Q&A or poll, tap ‘Save’ to make it live.

Remember that Q&A responses are private by default. When you have responses you’d like to be public on Spotify make sure to publish them! Just navigate to any Q&A to see your replies and tap the “publish” button so they are visible on your episode page.

Creating polls is also simple. Just add your question and create up to seven options for your listeners to choose from (you can even choose between single select or allow listeners to select multiple options). You can control how long the poll runs for; the real-time responses will display during that time frame, and the final results will appear on your episode page after it closes.

You can choose one or both features to add to any episode you want. Q&A and polls give you the flexibility to use them however you’d like, and experiment with what works best for your podcast.

Audience engagement makes podcasting a two-way street

Audience engagement tears down the limitations placed on the podcast format since its inception. Whereas before, podcasting was mostly output and little input, now creators can have a real exchange with their audience.

“Creating a podcast is rewarding because you’re building a community. A community of like-minded individuals. These interactions provide a podium for those on the other side of the microphone. Being a podcaster isn’t always about talking; it’s just as much about listening. This gives us inspiration to hear how our words have impacted the listener’s life and how they’re passing along that knowledge,” says Lynch.

“These features allow you to hear from—and show your appreciation for—the people who care the most about the work you’re doing,” says Tucker.

Q&A and polls: Question inspiration


  • On average, would you say you listen to your favorite podcasts at home or on the go? [poll]
  • Where do you most often listen to podcasts? [Q&A]
  • Since the start of the pandemic, do you find that you’re listening to podcasts more, less, or about the same? [poll]
  • What’s your social media platform of choice? [poll]
  • How long is the ideal episode? [Q&A]
  • Besides my show, of course, what’s your go-to podcast? [Q&A]
  • What could I be doing better? [Q&A]
  • Are you a podcaster yourself? [poll]
  • What’s your favorite podcast genre? [Q&A]
  • Which type of podcast do you prefer: topical commentary, nonfiction narrative, scripted fiction, self-help, interview, or freeform/hybrid? [poll]
  • How did you first find out about my show? [Q&A]
  • What’s the ideal day of the week for a new episode to drop? [poll]
  • Have you ever recommended my podcast to a friend? [poll]
  • How would you describe my content to someone who’s never listened? [Q&A]
  • What are y’all up to while listening? Cooking breakfast? Lounging around? Going for a run? [Q&A]

Podcast Subscriptions

  • Would you pay a monthly fee for bonus content? [poll]
  • How much would you pay if your favorite podcast offered exclusive content, extra segments, and early releases to subscribers only? [Q&A]
  • Which type of bonus content would you most like to see? [poll]
  • How are you liking my Podcast Subscriptions content so far? [Q&A]
  • What would you expect from a Podcast Subscriptions offering? [Q&A]


  • What do you predict will happen in the next episode/season? [Q&A]
  • How would you grade this episode, honestly? [poll]
  • We dropped a subtle-but-noticeable Easter egg in this episode. What was it?! [Q&A]
  • If I could have any guest—who’s never been on the show!—in a future episode, who would you pick? [Q&A]
  • Who’s been your favorite guest so far this season? [Q&A]


  • You pick the winner! Who made the best argument on today’s show? [poll]
  • The 50th response joins us for a segment on our next episode! [Q&A]
  • Let’s turn the tables: What would you like to ask ME?! I’ll pin my five favorite questions and answer them in the next episode. [Q&A]
  • If you were to timestamp any moment from this episode and share it with a friend, what would it be? [Q&A]
  • Hit me with it: Is there anything I could be doing better? [Q&A]
  • What’s your biggest critique of my content? No holding back. [Q&A]
  • Okay, who would I collab with on your dream podcast crossover episode? [Q&A]
Feeling inspired?