Why Sourcing Research Participants Through Facebook is Better Than a Panel

That’s right, our market research recruitment company will come right out and say it – using Facebook to source research participants is better than using members of a research panel. Drive Research specializes in qualitative and quantitative market research services and have relied on both Facebook and panel lists through our hunt to recruit qualified participants.

While using a research panel has its own advantages and disadvantages, it simply does not provide the same quality of participants or respondents. In turn, the data and feedback collected from an online panel company is not as accurate or as reliable if sourced through Facebook.

When comparing the two, our recruitment firm has found Facebook is more likely to attract real consumers of any target demographic. No fake bots or professional survey takers – but real customers who use or are likely to use your product and service.

Recruit Participants With Facebook Not a Panel | Facebook logo

When comparing the two, our market research recruitment firm in New York has found Facebook is more likely to attract real consumers - no fake bots or professional survey takers that will negatively impact your data.

Find Real Consumers on Facebook – Not Professional Survey Takers

A common misconception in research is that it is better to recruit or target people who have participated in market research before. This is because people who have responded to an online survey or participated in a focus group before are “more experienced” and more likely understand what is required of them.

However by relying and recruiting only those who have participated in research prior to a study, you are already skewing your data. It is better to recruit participants who most accurately represent the everyday consumer than the panel member who participates in 6 focus groups a year and completes 30 surveys a month. This is what our quantitative and qualitative recruitment firm like to call “professional survey takers” and online panel lists are full of them.

For example, some businesses turn to an online panel company to recruit focus group participants. However, members of an online panel have taken plenty of screening surveys to understand what answers qualifies or disqualifies them from being selected to join the group discussion.

Where as with Facebook, recruiters are able to advertise to a much larger target audience who are not privy to what type of answers would lead them to be chosen for the focus group. Instead, Facebook users offer their real opinions and more honest answers because they are unaware of what the focus group will be about.

This leads businesses to finding the exact audience they are hoping to target as they are as close to the everyday consumer as possible.

Example of Facebook Sample vs. Panel Sample

An easy way to put this into perspective is by using an example of real consumers vs. professional survey takers. A car dealership is interested in running an online community survey about what buyers in their area feel are most important to them when buying a car. Is it gas mileage, safety, style, price, etc.?

In this example, recruiting respondents through an online panel is equivalent to only having race car drivers complete the survey. Race car drivers would in turn be way too knowledgeable about the topic and share nowhere near the same buying habits or behaviors of their real consumers.

If sourcing online survey respondents through Facebook however, the car dealership is able to cast a much larger net. They are able to see what is most important when buying a car for many different demographics of people.

With Facebook, researchers are able to attract all genders, all ages, and all incomes of people. This social media platform is also able to find respondents from different walks of life such as recent college grads, soccer moms, those who are retired, and so on.

These types of respondents are exactly who the car dealership should want to be talking to. They are closer to who is a legitimate consumer in their marketplace. The answers to these questions can help assist how the car dealership markets their vehicles to each different generation or customer persona.

Online Panel Lists are Limited to the Same People

If you were to do a quick Google search for, “Online panel company” you would find hundreds of thousands of companies to choose from. The issue with using a generic online panel firm is businesses are limited as to who they can collect feedback from.

Many people sign up for several online panels because they are promised incentives every time they take a survey. In fact, some panel members use this as their full-time job! Again these are the professional survey takers businesses should not be interested in speaking with.

With Facebook, recruiters are not limited to a smaller pool of potential respondents or participants. As of September 2019, Facebook estimated 2.7 billion people use their social media platform with 5 new profiles being created every second. This means your potential Facebook research audience is growing exponentially – no where near the growth of online research panels.

With Facebook, research recruitment firms like Drive Research are also assured they are speaking with legitimate people as they are clearly active on social media if they were to have seen an ad to take an online survey or participate in a research study. Panel lists on the other hand can include bots that people set up to automatically complete a survey for them just to earn the offered cash or gift card incentive.

Sourcing Qualitative Research Participants Through Facebook

Some qualitative recruitment firms fear that by using Facebook to source participants this will result in a low show rate. They most likely believe that because these people have not participated in a focus group, in-person interview, or other types of qualitative research before than they will not trust it is a legitimate study and bail.

Our national qualitative recruitment firm can assure our clients this is not the case. Drive Research follows a thorough and trusted recruitment process in which participants are able to establish a relationship with our team to feel comfortable in joining us at our focus group facility or other study locations.

The recruitment process followed by Drive Research involves a series of communication touch points with participants including a pre-screen online survey, a phone call to re-screen participants and lay out what is expected of them, a confirmation email, and a reminder text the day of the study. This process proves to be successful in validating our market research firm is a legitimate business and not a scam.

Don’t take our word for it! Here’s are a few client testimonials about the quality of our recruitment sample sourced through Facebook from recent recruitment projects.

Contact Drive Research

Drive Research is a national market research company located in Syracuse, NY. Our team specializes in quantitative and qualitative recruitment services including sourcing participants through Facebook and online panels should it be right for your project.

Interested in learning more about our market research services? Reach out through any of the four ways below.

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