Questions, questions – running questionnaires thro Twitter

Announcing partnerships seems like one of the must-do things in the world of technology at the moment, with Hootsuite’s announcement of a tie-up with SurveyMonkey catching our eye.  We use Hootsuite to help us manage different social media accounts, and have often used SurveyMonkey as it’s easy to construct questionnaires, and nearly as easy to analyse the results.  A perfect fit, then, so we thought we’d give it a go.

Our guinea pigs were the willing contributors to the vibrant #KingsLynnHour which is our closest #hour on Twitter, running between 8 and 9 on Tuesday evenings.  We wanted the questionnaire to be short and quick to complete, so went with just 3 questions, all pre-defined answers so people didn’t have to think too hard.  Social media was our topic; our survey asked:

·         How long have you been promoting your business through social media? Options were under 3 months, 3-6 and 6-12 months, and over a year

·         Do you get any business from using social media, with a yes/no/no idea option

·         Does using social media help build longterm relationships, again with a yes/no/not sure option

We got 11 answers, which doesn’t exactly give our survey a high degree of statistical significance, but does give some indication of current thinking in King’s Lynn, at least.  More importantly, it let us try the gadget out.

The results show a spread, with some new users, some established:

graph1

Asking if businesses generated any business from using social media gave a much more emphatic response, with over 90% giving social media a big thumbs up:

graph2

Our survey was split on the subject of whether long term relationships can be built through the use of social media, with a significant number (of our small sample!) unconvinced.

graph3

So what can we conclude?  From the survey, it’s always dangerous to draw too many concrete conclusions from a small sample, so we have to treat the figures with caution.  Most significant is that the vast majority secured more business as a direct result of social media activity.  If businesses aren’t engaged in social media, they are missing out on opportunities.  And conversely, those that do clearly have a competitive advantage.  Perhaps this internet thing isn’t a passing fad after all!

What did work really quite well for all concerned was the use of SurveyMonkey to run a questionnaire to Twitter followers.  It may have worked well for us as the questions were short and the answers well defined, so we may need to test more complicated questionnaires before we draw wider conclusions.  If what you’re surveying is short and sweet, and you can engage enough of your followers to join in, using SurveyMonkey through Twitter looks like a good way to get a snapshot from your followers.  This could be particularly valuable where instant feedback is needed.

What we’re not convinced by is whether it’s necessary to do this via the Hootsuite / SurveyMonkey link up.  It seems as easy to set the questionnaire up in SurveyMonkey, copy the link into Twitter, and then analyse the results in SurveyMonkey, leaving the need for Hootsuite unclear.  We are familiar with SurveyMonkey, so that may influence our perceptions: we remain to be convinced.  What Hootsuite did do well was promote the idea.

If you want to know more about how we did the survey, and to discuss how such questionnaires could help your business, give us a call on 01945 665088, or email us at socialeready@gmail.com .

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