Conducting Research on Social Networks

January 12, 2009
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Fun Surveys, Widgets and Conducting Research on Social Networks – Market Researchers Underutilize SNS
There’s been a lot of talk lately about making surveys more ‘entertaining’. This is important to some degree in regular research, but when conducting research on social networks it is CRITICAL!
A lot of market researchers including Anderson Analytics are recruiting from sites […]

Fun Surveys, Widgets and Conducting Research on Social Networks – Market Researchers Underutilize SNS

There’s been a lot of talk lately about making surveys more ‘entertaining’. This is important to some degree in regular research, but when conducting research on social networks it is CRITICAL!

A lot of market researchers including Anderson Analytics are recruiting from sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. But usually these are simple surveys utilizing ‘River’ sample, and sometimes more targeted (pre-selects) if we are purchasing sample and not running an ad campaign.

However, especially on SNS sites like Facebook, everything has to be fun/interesting.

The problem with using traditional surveys is that they don’t take advantage of the social component of SNS. While in our recent Segmentation study of LinkedIn users, we were able to get this level of data via LinkedIn, in a normal study, if the SNS provider is not involved/the end client, then the connection level data is not available.

Anderson Analytics has recently developed several applications to run on SNS sites like Facebook. Here is an earlier beta attempt: http://apps.facebook.com/happinessexp/ and fan page here: http://www.facebook.com/apps/application.php?id=39398607408

The celebrity component was added to make the survey more fun. However we quickly realized we were asking respondents to do too many things (at least 3 different things), and the connection was not clear enough. Though we did collect some interesting data with this app. we have moved on to a couple of others now that are simpler and still fun.

Is anyone else using applications/widgets such as this one to research social networks? Would love to hear some feedback and see some other examples. I’ll share more of our applications in the near future.

-Tom

Link to original postTom H. C. Anderson – Anderson Analytics