How to Use Twitter for Crowdsourcing and Simple Market Research

Jasonmillerca
Jason Miller Senior Manager, Content Marketing , LinkedIn

Posted on April 27th 2011

Having a social media presence can be an invaluable resource for providing insights into consumer needs, sentiment, and opinions towards a business, service or brand. Social media is by no means a replacement for traditional market research, but it can be used in a broader sense. That broader sense is becoming a widely adopted trend referred to as Crowdsourcing. 

Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks to an undefined, large group of people or community (a "crowd"), through an open call. Twitter is the perfect platform for implementing such a tactic and will often yield insightful, and sometimes surprising, results. . 

Using Twitter to openly ask your followers and the community as a whole has additional benefits. By listening, organizations gain first-hand insight on their customers' desires.You have the option to follow up with your respondents in real time. Plus, because participants are not being led by moderators or necessarily thinking about the expectations for responses, the answers they give can be more genuine and revealing.

With that being said, here are 7 tips to help you successfully launch a quick survey or poll into Twitter for crowdsourcing.

  • Include a short personal message about the survey / poll within the tweet.
  • Include an incentive such as “win a gift card” etc. 
  • Use popular hashtags related to your survey/poll. Take a look at the third party site, hashtag.org, to get an idea of popular hashtags used on Twitter.
  • Try to send the tweet at peak Twitter times for maximum exposure.
  • Don’t be afraid to Tweet your survey more than once. By simply updating the messaging, you can tweet it again later on that day or over the weekend. Use a link shortening service such at bit.ly to shorten your survey/ poll link and track the clicks.
  • Ask for a Retweet from your followers.
  • Send a final reminder tweet such as, “poll ends today, results to follow”.

Here is a quick graphic illustrating some of the suggestions implemented on a Tweet:

Technology is a beautiful thing especially when it comes to gathering feedback. Online survey tools such as Zoomerang make it easy and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations to conduct simple market research within the most popular social media platforms.

Have you used Twitter or any other social platforms for crowdsourcing? Have you found greater insight from doing so? Please share your comments below. 

 

Jasonmillerca

Jason Miller

Senior Manager, Content Marketing , LinkedIn

Jason Miller is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Linkedin leading the content marketing and social media strategy for LinkedIn Marketing Solutions. 

Previously he was the Senior Manager, Social Media Strategy at Marketo. He led the company's social media efforts by increasing engagement, optimizing for lead generation, and driving revenue. He also played a key role in developing Marketo’s content strategy by developing many of the top performing resources and most viral visual content pieces.  

Before Marketo, Jason spent more than ten years at Sony Music entertainment developing and executing marketing campaigns around the biggest names in music. 

When he is not building campaigns, creating remarkable content, and tracking the ROI of social, he is winning awards as a concert photographer, singing 80's metal Karaoke, and winning at Seinfeld trivia.

See Full Profile >

Comments

Posted on April 28th 2011 at 11:09AM

I have been using Twitter to connect with people a.s.a.p and I get instant replies I normally wouldn't get in sending out emails.  Linkedin worked for me better when it comes to market research though, but I'll try to make it work in Twitter using your suggestions. Thanks for these awesome tips!

Posted on April 28th 2011 at 9:50PM

Your example did not follow one of your tips! Zoomerang did not offer an incentive. I point this out because I would have no motivation to participate in a survey like that without added value (contest, discount, etc.)

Jasonmillerca
Posted on April 30th 2011 at 12:48AM

Hi Trey,

Thanks for the comment. The example shown is not meant to be all encompassing by any means, it's meant to show the flexibility of Twitter and how you can apply tips based on what you are trying to accomplish. I understand your point that you would not be motivated to participate in a survey or poll from a brand you many not be following. On the other hand, if I am a fan of a person, product, or service and they asked me to take a survey, I would not necessarily need an incentive to do so. It all depends on your goals, expectations, and how loyal/ engaged your Twitter community is. 

Jason 

Jasonmillerca
Posted on April 30th 2011 at 12:49AM

Hi Trey,

Thanks for the comment. The example shown is not meant to be all encompassing by any means, it's meant to show the flexibility of Twitter and how you can apply tips based on what you are trying to accomplish. I understand your point that you would not be motivated to participate in a survey or poll from a brand you many not be following. On the other hand, if I am a fan of a person, product, or service and they asked me to take a survey, I would not necessarily need an incentive to do so. It all depends on your goals, expectations, and how loyal/ engaged your Twitter community is. 

Jason 

Posted on April 29th 2011 at 12:31AM

Thanks Jason. I think Twitter is phenomenal for the purposes of crowdsourcing. I started a service which recently went global that does the same thing. It's called www.thesourcebottle.com and helps crowdsource sources for journalists, but the queries/call outs are filtered via topic and location. And while this is great for people signed up to the free service, those that aren't miss out. So, by tweeting every call out/query as well, Twitter helps disseminate the message well beyond our subscriber base, and sources for more obscure things are often found. It's not rocket science, but lots of our journalists are very grateful for the help.

Thanks

Rebecca Derrington
Founder
www.thesourcebottle.com

 

 

Jasonmillerca
Posted on April 30th 2011 at 12:50AM

Hi Rebecca,

Thanks for your comment, that sounds like an interesting service. I will definitely check it out. 

All the best,


Jason