Mario Sundar

LinkedIn's 2nd PR hire; I led their social media efforts from 2007 past their IPO. These are my thoughts on tomorrow's social products, today.

Facebook Polls | Market Research meets Social Networks?

Being a close observer of the emerging social networking phenomenon (Disclosure: I work at LinkedIn), I’m always intrigued by its impact on marketing as a whole. Just yesterday, when I logged onto my Facebook account (more on that later) I was greeted by a market research poll on my mini-feed, which asked me which Tech blog I read the most or something to that effect.

Today TechCrunch clarifies:

This is an advertising product that is designed to generate revenue. Users can able to create a poll question and up to five answer choices, and then target the poll based on gender, age, location or profile keyword.

Most importantly, these polls appear in users’ mini-feed, which is prime time online real-estate.

Why could this be of importance for marketers?

Targeted marketing research

Now, this valuable data, is gonna cost you:

The polls are not free – Facebook charges you a variable amount based on how quickly you want results. You tell Facebook how many results you want and how much you are wiling to pay per result. The more you offer, the more quickly results are returned to you. Prices currently range from $.10 to $1.00 per data point, plus an initial $5 insertion fee. Facebook will estimate the completion time for the poll based on how much you bid. (Source: TechCrunch)

So here are questions to you:

Do you think, the mix of marketing research conducted within a social network, would make a difference to the quality of data gathered? Is this data more valuable to you as a marketer?

Would you answer a question if someone within your social/professional network asks you a question. Have you tried LinkedIn Answers? (As I said above, I work for LinkedIn)

Feel free to leave a comment.

Filed under: Miscellaneous

6 Responses

  1. Hi Mario,

    Relative to your first question:
    “then target the poll based on gender, age, location or profile keyword.”
    Yes, this is valuable information. I think you have to have a benchmark for the polls to be somewhat accurate, however (such as 100 people replying vs.1000). As I don’t know enough about the product right now, I am just wondering what the incentive is for someone to respond to a poll.

    LinkedIn Answers has been very helpful (much better quality than Yahoo).

  2. Having access to this kind of research should be viewed as invaluable by most marketers. For marketers to know in advance what their social network communities want…. Wow! I hope this becomes the norm, not the rarity.

  3. Glenn Gow says:

    Mario, this is an interesting development. Within a network, it’s relatively easy to collect information from people, especially if you make it easy for them to do so.

    The challenge is collecting information from the right people. In our experience, it is very easy to focus on data collection (look at how many people responded!), rather than the quality of the respondents themselves.

    We advise our clients to carefully screen those who are interested in participating in surveys to ensure they are the people our clients are most interested in hearing from. Of course, you will want to know demographics, psychographics and more.

    We advise going a step further, and that’s to test the respondent to ensure they have the perspective, or experience, or knowledge, or aptitude our clients require. The test question should be designed so that it can’t be “faked”. Once the respondents are screened properly, then you can be much more confident in the results.

  4. There is now a new application on facebook which allows you to create questionnaires, surveys, polls, votes and petitions, answer them and invite your friends to answer them. You can display your answers to a questionnaire on your profile so people can get to know you better. We just launched it a couple of days ago, the questionnaires are up and running, polls votes and petitions will arrive in the next couple of days. In a few weeks time we hope to add commercial surveys where users get paid via paypal to answer surveys, but currently its all completely free, and you can view everyones answers to your surveys! We are adding more features all the time – it will soon be very powerful indeed. We are also willing to consider adding any feture you require on request!

    Check it out:
    http://apps.facebook.com/questionnaires

    Best wishes,
    Chris

  5. [...] Research Posted by Glenn Gow on 06/26/07 under Interactive Services Mario Sundar talks about Facebook Polls and asks questions about market research and social [...]

  6. [...] that each data entry was clocked and some amount was charged. With Facebook’s huge userbank, Polls certainly were a great way to record and tabulate demographic preferences for marketers.  However, the reason why Facebook [...]

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