Using this strategy, we were able to limit the amount of unqualified clicks on our ad and, in turn, lower our overall recruitment costs.
Targeting helped to pinpoint our audience, and the ad content grabbed their attention. It was, however, the qualifying questions on the survey that enabled us to cross-verify that respondents were who they said they were. Respondents had to qualify across a series of questions—questions that were not identified within the ad content that otherwise would have primed them. Logic was built into the survey to ensure that respondents were screened out dynamically if they did not qualify. On the back end, respondent IPs were checked to ensure that they had not repeated the study, in addition to the contact information they provided to receive their honorarium. As this study focused on one particular ethnic group, we were also able to further authenticate our respondents by identifying surnames that were common to that particular group.
The campaign was a big success, and we were we able to recruit a sample over and above our initial goal. Social recruiting yielded n=45 valid, completed surveys at a fraction of the cost of some more traditional recruiting methods. On top of that, although the sample size was relatively small, our early analysis actually showed that respondents recruited on social were more in line with some of the key demographic indicators of the target population when compared to respondents recruited through traditional means. For example, the Filipino respondents recruited on social were significantly more likely to speak Tagalog (the official national language of Philippines) at home, while the respondents recruited through traditional means were more likely to say they speak English. This, along with a variety of other indicators, could suggest that the respondents recruited on social are actually closer to what we expected from the average Filipino newcomer. There are also products like Environics Analytics’ OriginsCanada software that can help us analyze this data for greater validation.
While this type of social recruitment is by no means a replacement for traditional recruitment techniques, it can be an excellent option to consider for niche respondent groups. It’s just one more example of the rise of digital communications and interactions changing the research industry along with our clients’ needs. If we, as researchers, expect to keep up and truly provide our clients with the insights needed for data-driven decision-making, we must continue to innovate and take advantage of new platforms and technologies wherever possible.