How are survey participants typically found? Well, it’s not a child’s play, but a long and time-consuming process. It usually involves sharing your survey on social media or distributing it by e-mail. However, both of those methods have limitations: your social media will most likely only reach your friends and relatives, while e-mail distribution is quite random and have a low response rate.
The question of which medium is most successful depends on which target group you need. Below, we will walk you through which medium to choose while sharing your survey.
If your target group consists of members of some specific group (e.g. association, profession or company), sending e-mails directly to them will be the most effective strategy.
If you need a broad target group, sharing your survey on social media will be reasonable. Firstly, you will have access to your friends, family and acquaintances. Secondly, you can join Facebook survey-swap groups, which concern research projects and finding participants - such as those here, here and here. Survey-exchange Facebook groups work to a mutual benefit - when someone answers your survey, you answer theirs in return, although it’s not obligatory.
Social media join people from different parts of the world, professions and ages, so it’s easy to collect a wide variety of participants. However, you may also fall prey to an unproportionate amount of trolls, speeders and unfit participants - a price you pay for sharing your survey in a space open to anyone.
Survey networks / online panels
A simpler and often more effective way to get responses is a survey network such as PollPool. PollPool is based on a simple sharing-economy concept: ‘do some, get some’, which makes finding participants very time-efficient and self-determined. Although it works similarly to survey-exchange Facebook groups, it leads to better results in terms of quality and statistical accuracy. PollPool works very simply: you answer existing surveys on the platform and in return, receive answers to your own survey.
If a person came across survey network, they are most likely a survey creator themselves and they are committed to answering surveys accurately. Moreover, the platform counteracts the typical statistical distortions through its structure.
Tip: Offering a 10/20 Euro voucher to win while answering your survey may be an extra push for some people to take it. At the same time, it comes with a minimal cost from your side.
Still not sure? Check our other posts on the topic -- 3 Easy Ways to Recruit Survey Participants and I need survey participants.
Click for the next part of the guide --> The big challenge: your data quality