Return on Behavior Magazine
Home for marketing and customer service professionals


April 28th, 2011

How to use surveys to power your social media campaigns

The question that needs to be on everyone’s minds when starting a social media campaign is “How well do you know your audience?” Do you understand the reason why they do business with you? What is the reason they come to you for information?

The sustained growth in social media leads us all to take part in one way or another – the problem becomes of how to interact. When you listen to your fans / followers, your ability to engage one-on-one becomes easy, and technically you should be able to provide them with what they want. The real time aspect of social media makes this communication possible. It’s the use of surveying however that can take your social media campaigns to a new dimension.


The benefits of asking

Do you recall the last time you asked what your audience is looking for? When it comes to social marketing, the thought of surveying to find out what people want is usually overlooked when it comes to creating a social media campaign.

You are in danger of missing the point of why your audience listens to you if you don’t take the simple step of engaging with them – you could run the risk of losing people without even knowing why!

Benefit #1 – Focus
Understanding your audience enables you to focus on the things that they want more of, and less of what doesn’t interest them. It sounds simple, because it is! If you create content with your audience in mind, you will be able to attract more traffic and increase your activity.

Benefit #2 – Engage with your audience
The general audience will have the same challenges and thoughts – when you understand the reasoning behind it, you are able to break down those challenges with solutions that support their needs. It is easy to break down challenges when you understand what they are.

Benefit #3 – Know their slang
When you find out more about your listeners, you will be able to understand the key words and phrases that are used. This in turn will enable you to increase your engagement with your audience as you will be communicating with them on the same level.

Benefit #4 – Get to understand
If you listen to the wants of your customers, you will start to understand the reasons why they interact. The more you can understand them, the more you are able to provide for their needs.

Benefit #5 – Become the expert
When you know what the audience wants, you are able to deliver relevant and informative content. This will then position you as the expert in what they are looking for, and soon you will become the source for the relevant type of information.

What should you ask?

You need not be a survey master in order to ask the right questions, but you have to ask yourself what is it that you would like to gain from your social media campaign? This will help you define your overall strategy, and thereby allow you to define the right questions to ask. The main thought however should be “what information do you need in order to build better relationships in order to support your audience better?”

IMPORTANT -> The longer the survey, the less responses you will achieve! Keep it short and sweet and to the point.

Use social media to promote
Don’t be afraid of using social media to promote your survey – after all, this is your target audience. These are the people you are looking to get insights for, so go straight to the source!

Before you start creating your survey, you should decide on what sort of responses you want to obtain – is it general information from a large user base, or is it specific information from a niche group? (This will also allow you to also determine what sort of questions you want to ask.) Of course, the usual answer will be the more the better, but if people from outside your target audience is responding to the survey, you might not get the right information – so be clear on who you are looking to target, and plan ahead of how you will target them.

Post a message on your page and personal profiles – your audience understands that there is someone behind the avatar, so use the resources you have! Liking your post will get that important first step to getting the word out there.

This is a great medium for getting the word out there – you should always ask for a Retweet, as then it will get the word out further than just your own followers

Key influencers
If you have people within your network that you know are influencers, ask them to spread the word about the surveys. Things such as creating sample tweets or posts for them to copy / paste makes it easy for them to help you out.


Use your business network as well to spread the word – there are actually two places within LinkedIn you can do this. Your status box and also within the ‘Answers’ section.

Groups and Associations
If you belong to any relevant groups either on LinkedIn or the general web, reach out to those networks as well. Look for things such as forums and online groups that will enable you to get the responses you are looking for.

Your Website / blog or newsletter
Don’t forget to use this great resource that is at your fingertips – promote your survey through the mediums that you already own, and you will get even more of the responses that you are looking for.


Use the power
When you talk about the topics that your audience is looking for, you cannot lose! By creating the content they ask for, or answering the questions they have answers for you are engaging with them on a level that makes you instantly an expert as you have the answers they are seeking. This allows you to also build up trust and engagement as you build value and insight into the communications you produce.

By taking the time to ask your customers what they really want, you will be able to communicate with them on a higher level than anyone else within your market. By taking the time to gather this valuable information you will be surprised with the level of insight that is provided back to you. I strongly urge you to take time out to create a survey for your own business.

About the Author

James Digby

For several years James has been involved in startup and entrepreneurship throughout the world. James ever growing network amongst marketing wizard’s, VC’s and startup gurus is invaluable. James is a thought after keynote speaker with strong opinions on all things startup related with recent events with Athens, Moscow, Amsterdam and London. 


web satisfaction

The one measure of customer satisfaction on the Web

Task completion has by far the biggest impact on customer satisfaction on the Web. Everything else is just noise. Being customer centric on the Web is all about helping your customers complete top tasks quickly and easily. The ...
by Gerry McGovern


5 Steps to Keeping Your Customers

Financial turmoil, economic crisis, credit crunch – haven’t we heard enough? The CEO of TeleFaction looks at ways you can find ways of keeping your customers. It is evident, however,that in these times customers are more ca...
by Fredrik Abildtrup


Prerequisites for cross and up-sales

In many companies contact center employees are very often its customer’s primary touch point, and thus the most important vehicle in serving the customers. But unfortunately most of the time these important employees have bec...
by Fredrik Abildtrup



Opinion: Why customer satisfaction surveys don’t work

Your customers are irrational. You may think you already knew that, but — as recent research suggests — it’s true. In fact, we’re all irrational. By that I mean that we all perceive the world around us, and make decis...
by William Cusick


Customer Expectations vs. Customer Needs

The first rule of stellar service delivery is: Service is all about expectations.. You buy a product; you expect it to work the first time. You go to a discount supplier, you expect the quality to be less than the high end deal...
by Ray Miller



Customer Focus in a Slow Economy

In these tough and challenging times, getting the customer experience right is critical… I wanted to call this article “Sharpen Your Customer Focus You Will Lose Customers!” but a few of my colleagues thought this was...
by Ray Miller


Word of Mouth Versus Traditional Marketing. Friend or Foe?

Social marketing is fast becoming a steady fixture for the majority of marketers. By social marketing, I mean marketing by c2c, often enabled by internet and increasingly, by mobile internet technology. As both the Economist In...
by Graham Hill



Neglect Your Contact Center and You’ll Neglect Your Customers

Do you fully recognize the critical role that the contact center has within your organization? Far too few companies realize that the contact center is the company to your customers. The contact center can be a strategic weapon...
by Jodie Monger



Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Anti-Spam Quiz: