I’ve read a lot about how to use social media to gather market research – as a data person, something I cherish. So, in a rare moment of free time I decided to test out the Linked In poll feature. It is really cool – you should try it out. To find where to create a poll in Linked In, just go to the “More” navigation tab at the top of your page, click it and you will see a link to Polls. Linked In has done a great job with this tool as it is easy to use, flexible and very intuitive.
So I decided to test the viability of using a social media platform for market research and created two Linked In polls. The first was around use of the poll feature itself – seeking to get feedback from others about whether they even respond to polls on social media sites. The second was sort of a test poll. This was done just to compare results. It is important to note that I “don’t hide under a rock”. I am fairly well known in the community and perceive I have a positive personal brand image, and I have nearly 1,000 Linked In connections. I state this to support the fact that the social media (Linked In) polls I created were seen by a lot of people that know me fairly well.
The first poll asked the question “Do You Participate in Linked In Polls?”. This poll ran for about 30 days. I received 13 responses as follows:
- Very Frequently – 15% of respondents
- Somewhat Frequently – 31% of respondents
- Seldom – 46% of respondents
- Never – 8% of respondents
In summary, 54% of respondents seldom or never participate in a social media - Linked In poll. Additionally, only about 1% of my Linked In contacts even participated in the poll. One could extrapolate that to mean 0.6% of LinkedIn connections participate in social media polls, specifically Linked In polls.
Disappointed with these results, I decided to do another survey on a much timelier and lighter topic just to see if I got different results about overall social media poll participation on Linked In. A week before the Super Bowl I created another Linked In poll. This one asked the question “Who will win the Super Bowl?” In the seven days before the Super Bowl the poll only received 6 responses – 0.6% of my total Linked In connections. (BTW – the Pats were picked 4 times vs. the Giants).
The missing ingredient here might just be giving people an extra reason to participate in a Linked In poll. Perhaps if I gave a gift card to a nice restaurant or something, more people would participate. I’ll have to try that next time. The lesson though is if you are going to use social media to do market research and in particular Linked In polls, you’ll probably have to sweeten the deal and give something away in order to get enough respondents to make your poll results valid.