Almost 18 months ago we began to communicate with our panellists through facebook: an experiment for which we are now able to draw a conclusion- with interesting results.
In the future, we are convinced that people will only get involved in market and opinion research, if they can be motivated by idealistic motives. For this reason we launched the new respondi panel mingle site last year. Our aim was to establish an attractive panel brand, to which the panellists could build an emotional loyalty. The concept has been a success, we have already reported on how the involvement of our panellists has been particularly high since the relaunch. mingle Trend, our blog, upon which we present the results of surveys in which they have participated fulfil both an important social function and it has established a kind of instrument of loyalty.
The mingle facebook fan page experiment
Our facebook fan page is a further instrument for panel loyalty, which we have introduced with mingle. With this experiment we, firstly, want to answer some important questions:
• Which kind of people become fans of a panel in facebook? Will this proposal be taken into consideration?
• Is facebook a channel through which we can reach our panellists? And with whom exactly are we in contact?
• And finally: Could we construct a real multiple channel communication with our panellists? Will you participate actively?
A year experience – and several convincing answers
17 months ago we started to communicate intensively with our panellists through facebook: in English, French and German. Currently, we have more than 9.000 fans. The number is continually increasing – it doubles almost every six months. This development continues to be influenced by the strong growth of facebook. In the meantime we can observe that we can communicate especially well with our older panellists. Only 30% of our fans are under 24, more than a third are older than 44%, 17% are even older than 55.
We didn’t expect to be able to reach out so well to the people with our topics through facebook. During the last eight months, we were able to record 1.4 million gross contacts through our facebook page (currently: 250.000 monthly). Above all, the gross contacts represent the number of times the editorial contents of our fan page are consulted. It is important to mention that the statistics do not only encompass contacts with our fans, but also all the members of facebook. We assume that we reach far more panellists through our facebook page than the number of fans we have already.
The degree of interaction has surpassed our expectations. In the last eight months we have generated almost 16 000 likes (clicks on the „Like“ button), mentions, commentaries on the wall and the discussion forum. Currently, we achieve almost 3 000 personal interactions per month. A pleasant side-effect is that every interaction has multiplier effect in the personal network of every fan who has participated.
Conclusion: Our facebook activities contribute to panel loyalty
facebook in the form of a communication platform, provides us with an elegant solution for a single problem: the user is anonymous and completely alone in panel. This makes loyalty difficult. On the other hand, the panel members can be actively or passively in contact with the mingle employees and other panellists on facebook. The panel and the people who get involved in it are given a face. Herewith, mingle gains credibility, without having to give up the important and necessary anonymity of panel members.
The keen interest of the panellists for our facebook page also reveals that many people from a broad spectrum of society are interested in the market research themes and want to get actively involved. For these people, our facebook page provides another side to our role as a panel provider. The personal side and the possibility to participate on our facebook page are essential tools in panellist loyalty.