For market researchers, finding new customers or gaining new leads has been a challenge since the beginning of business itself. The same can be true for finding new panel members for online community research groups. The members of these groups combine social media with market research to aid modern businesses with their responses.
Online community panels are more popular than ever, estimated to have grown 30-40% over the last few years. Assembling and managing these platforms can be difficult at times, but thankfully there are some tips on building and controlling them. According to Survey Magazine, the foundation, creation and management of a social panel begins with a four-step process. We’ve elaborated on this approach to create a community panel acquisition best practice list or simply put, tips on how to find and get new customers.
Invitation & Acquisition [Tip 1]First, you’ll want to build your panel. You can reach out to potential members through social media and confirm their participation with an email that allows them to opt into the private group. Once acquired, request they give key demographic information such as gender, age, location, and other critical data.
Management & Maintenance [Tip 2]Keep track of metrics on the panel such as:
a) how many surveys the subjects are completing,
b) and the length of time it takes to finish them.
Maintaining this type of information can be analyzed to help with future surveys. For example, overly lengthy questionnaires could show panelists leaving the arena while shorter ones get more engagement. Find out more on how to get the most out of your survey. Or if you think you're ready to start a new survey project click the button below.
Rewards & Incentives [Tip 3]Participants expect to be compensated for their time and efforts so be sure to offer incentives for their continued participation such as cash or gift cards. It is easier and cheaper to keep existing panelists happy rather than having to continue acquiring new ones.
Retention & Engagement [Tip 4]Reach out to panelists that have become stagnant and invite them back to the group. Inspire and engage continuously with your existing members and keep them in the loop of what’s happening not only in the community but with your brand, company and products/services.
Social Significance [Tip 5]Another great avenue for engaging with panelists is aboard the many social media networks. One of the many perks about going social is that users have the ability to communicate with other members of the panel on a different channel. When they are commenting on each other’s concerns and opinions, these reactions give the moderator a deeper level of consumer insight outside of the constraints of the community panel.
Build your panel of consumers online and they will continue to give relevant and important statistical data and information for your market research. With the proper maintenance and incentives in place, these panelists will continue to offer invaluable feedback to your organization.
Do you have a client acquisition success story? If so, tell us about it in the comments section below.