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Online Surveys & Social Media

Posted on Aug 10th, 2010
Written by Lee Odden
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    Social Cycle of InteractionOne of the many ways companies have engaged their customers, gained insight into a marketplace and conducted research for a variety of purposes has been through surveys.  If you think that list of activities almost sounds like the reasons many companies engage in social media monitoring, you’d be right.

    It’s a fundamental question that many marketers who use surveys have: How can social media can play an important part of an online marketing strategy?

    Companies incorporate social media into their marketing mix for a variety of reasons:

    • Website Traffic
    • Brand Awareness
    • Engagement with Prospects
    • Engagement with Customers
    • Brand Reputation
    • Prospect Lead Quality
    • Revenue
    • Prospect Lead Volume
    • Useful Product Feedback

    Social media communities like Twitter with over 100 million accounts and Facebook with over 500 million present an attractive opportunity for research, engagement and marketing.   When incorporating surveys into a social media marketing mix, there’s an opportunity to make that intersection a part of your social cycle of interaction as pictured above.

    For example here is how a company leveraging a survey for marketing purposes might incorporate their social networks with online surveys:

    Put a listening program in place using social media monitoring software to get a handle on topics of interest to your community.  There could be a variety of reasons to use a survey, from product research to identifying trends or for profiling customers.

    Grow your network, grow your survey panel. In the context of online surveys, growing a strong social network across different channels is a bit like developing your own survey panel.  As you grow your networks through participation and interaction, trust is earned.

    Crowdsource ideas like survey questions.  Ping your network with different topics of questions to see what people respond to. Leverage that feedback to construct the flow of your online survey and even some of the questions.

    Ask for help. Those same, topically relevant communities can be tapped to help promote the survey at large, in situations where respondents don’t need to be a specifically defined list.

    Social Media Online SurveysRecognize those in your network that helped come up with question ideas as well as those that help promote taking the survey. That public recognition is priceless, especially when it’s a genuine reflection of their contribution to a successful survey.

    Promote. Being invested through participation and recognition, there’s a great chance many of those same network connections will help promote the survey results. Offer a first look at the survey report, an incentive for promotion and communicate the outcome of everyone’s efforts. Give feedback on what’s working and if you can, offer tools to make it easier to promote.

    Have you successfully incorporated social media into some aspect of your online surveys? Did you find some uses more effective than others?