5 Reasons to Consider Facebook for Online Surveys

Digital marketing on Facebook (particularly mobile) has grown leaps and bounds over the past few years. It was reported in Q1 that Facebook mobile accounted for 86% of its quarterly advertising revenue.

Advertising agencies and digital marketing companies have realized the tremendous value offered by the platform for clients. The benefits include increased brand awareness, engagement, and even conversions for many advertisers.

These conversions include website visits, form fills, and even purchases, all because of simple advertisements on the largest social platform.In the case of this post, we'll be defining a conversion as a survey complete.

Although platforms like Snapchat and Instagram have shown accelerated growth over the past year or so, they still do not compete with the number of daily active users (DAUs) and monthly active users (MAUs) offered by Facebook as a whole.

Nearly 2 in 3 MAUs are DAUs which means? Lots of signing-in and scrolling news feeds on a regular basis for Facebook users. Here you thought Facebook was dying.

But what about using this mega social platform for surveys?

We've found quite a bit of success in this channel over the past few years. We were one of the earliest innovators of using Facebook advertisements for market research purposes at a prior firm of mine years ago. We began using it for both online surveys and focus group recruitment and saw tremendous success for the value.

Facebook offers us a way to showcase our surveys, acquire engagement, and completes rather than using an online panel.

One of the cautions of using a panel, particularly with tracking or benchmarking studies, is you run the risk of using the same panel members over, and over, and over again. Depending on the rigor and monitoring applied to panel management (which is unfortunately lacking in the industry) companies end up building a group of professional survey takers. That's not good for the market research firm or the client.

The panel members learn how to answer screener questions, what they need to say to qualify, and all of which create untrustworthy data. Market research needs to be credible and trustworthy. The entire industry stands on this single notion, so if panel members are overused, it completely wipes out this standard we are all held to.

Before we get into specific benefits of using Facebook for market research, one key benefit of Facebook is the ability to reach a wide array of audiences. Because the user base is so large, these are typically audiences that you won't run into if you were to conduct a Wave 2.

For example, if you are running an image and awareness survey tracker study and you inquire about awareness in Company ABC this year, it's dangerous to ask that same person the same question next year. Having taken the survey, their awareness of the company has already been vetted. So of course your awareness figures would increase, but by 30%? That's seems fishy.

Thinking about using Facebook for your online survey data collection?

Here are 5 reasons for doing so.

Reason 1: Targeting Capabilities

Oh, how we love the ability to target our audience on Facebook. Have a highly specific consumer or business audience you need to target? Facebook likely has some data to help you.

Think about the free data Facebook users offer up knowingly (or unknowingly). Things like age, locations visited, likes, interests, job titles, etc. The list goes on and on. Scary isn't it?

This all comes in handy for digital marketers and market research companies. Have quotas for specific age groups or geographies? No problem.

Need to target specific job titles or roles in Central New York? Not a problem either.

In Facebook you can customize several advertisements to focus on your audiences.

Facebook gives you the ability to pinpoint your audience for your survey. Or in some cases pinpoint many of your audiences using separate messaging for each.

Reason 2: Placement Options

Whether you are aware or not, Facebook also owns Instagram. So when you run an ad on Facebook you are presented with an option to place an ad to a matching set of Instagram users.

Remember, Instagram is much more visual platform than Facebook which can help or hurt you when it comes to advertising your survey invite. We typically steer clear of Instagram, however it does add to your targeted pool especially if you are looking to attract users under the age of 35.

Here is your guide to the top 5 social media platforms from our Research Analyst, Emily Palermo.

Reason 3: Capturing Users During Their Free Time

When people use Facebook, they are most likely leisurely scrolling their newsfeed or pictures. The benefit here is they are most likely using up some free time. What better way to spend that free time than to participate in a short survey for a chance to win a reward?

Because it's so easy to click on the survey and users are more likely to be open to taking it, this can benefit a market research company. Catching them while they're on Facebook, it's hard for a user to think "I'm too busy for that." Are you really?

Like I've always said, how powerful is a survey invitation or advertisement when it's placed directly between your wife's posted pictures of your kids and pictures of your friends? Smack dab right in the middle. Talk about impactful ad space and getting attention, even for surveys.

Reason 4: Cost Effectiveness

This is one of the major benefits of utilizing Facebook for survey completes. Particularly when you are trying to find a laser-focused audience. We recently worked on a market research study targeting nurses in Upstate New York and the online panel companies quoted us $40 per completed survey. We were able to get the survey completes we needed on Facebook for about $5 per complete.

These cost savings can be passed along to our client to make market research more affordable.

Outside of the survey conversions, Facebook builds awareness and engagement in our client's brands. If the survey isn't masked, our clients benefit from increased awareness and website visits regardless of whether the person has taken the survey or not. It's a nice value-added. It's almost like an advertisement but you also receive bonus data and feedback.

Reason 5: A/B Testing

This has been a growing trend not only on Facebook, but with our online survey tools as well. Our survey software allows us to splice invitations and send 2 separate invites for testing. Maybe we find out one subject line works better than the other. Or 1 reward increases the number of completes over another reward. Options are endless.

Similar, in Facebook, you can A/B test specific ads to the same audience. During your soft-launch you can monitor 2 ads and see which one performs best. You can swap out text or imagery. Then you use the best performing advertisement going forward.

This makes the entire survey process on Facebook more optimized and affordable.

A/B test your survey advertisements on Facebook to ensure you use the optimum ad for placement.


River sampling through Facebook does create some concerns. If you complete all of your fieldwork through social media you must be willing to accept the limitations and sample bias. Let's face it. There are sample limitations with any sample methodology you choose. These limitations with Facebook include sampling online-users only, sampling audiences who use social media, etc.

A simple example here is understanding that if you ask a question about "What is the best way to market Company ABC services?" You're likely to see Facebook and social media overstated because your survey is being answered by its users.

As long as you are willing to accept and address these limitations, we say Facebook is an excellent and inexpensive tool to collect survey data. If you haven't considered it or if your market research firm is recommending it, it's time to embrace it just like advertising agencies and digital marketing companies already have.

The advertisements are still extremely affordable on Facebook for the amount of engagement and conversions it offers. We all know a good thing can't last forever.

Contact Us

Drive Research is a market research company in Upstate New York. Our market research services include online surveys, focus groups, voice of customer (VoC), and customer experience (CX).

Interested in conducting an online survey for your company? Call us at 315-303-2040 or send us some information on the following contact form.

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Online Surveys