NEWS13 April 2012

Facebook meets survey data: SocialQ launches

North America Technology

US— SocialQ launched this week, offering a way to marry user data from Facebook with the results of surveys.

The company has developed an online survey authoring and publication tool that allows researchers to ask their panellists to connect via Facebook, giving them access to demographic and psychographic information about likes, dislikes, activities and interests.

SocialQ says this does away with the need to ask certain questions of the panellists themselves, while allowing researchers to find commonalities of interest between those in their sample and those who fit a specified response pattern.

We asked CEO Troy Woolley (pictured) to explain.

Research: Is it correct to describe SocialQ as a Facebook app?
It’s not an app as most people would understand it because it is not integrated into the Facebook environment. What we do is place a Facebook Connect button on a standard survey landing page. That button generates a Facebook permissions screen as a pop-up that asks for a respondent’s authorisation. They then proceed through the survey via a website like any other survey authoring tool.

One thing to note here is that if respondents opt out of Facebook Connect (assuming the researcher has made it optional, which is a setting within our platform) we can automatically append basic demographic questions for those respondents. If a user does respond by connecting via Facebook we get that information from their profile so they don’t have to answer those questions.

How do you find and recruit people to connect with? Through Facebook, online ads, email invites – a combination of all of those?
Our product is distribution-agnostic. We work with panel providers (e-Rewards, uSamp, etc.) or our customers can generate unique URLs to merge into email campaigns, or generate a single URL to place in ads on their own websites.

Once respondents have connected with you via Facebook, does this effectively give you a pool of respondents to go back to for further surveys or is it a one-time-only thing?
We maintain access to the anonymous parts of their profiles but don’t have access to contact them via Facebook or get their contact information. We’re simply a technology and analytics platform and look for partnerships with others to recruit and maintain communities. Lots of folks do that well so there’s no need for us to compete.

How do you fuse the Facebook and survey data?
Our base offering simply allows our customers (via a results interface) to highlight a particular response pattern and demographic profile and then view the aggregate social profiles of people who match that filter. So you can select males, aged 18-24, who picked response B to question 7, and view their clothing likes, movie preferences, or community and non-profit interests. These data points are reported with counts attached, so you can see that if 69 respondents met your filter requirements, 23 of them had a common affinity for a particular clothing brand, say. Later product versions will include measures of signal strength to note whether something is common to people with similar demographic profiles or is somehow unique.

Can you talk us through a typical client engagement?
The product we just released is completely self-service. So our client engagement will ultimately be limited to customers signing up and using our service and us collecting payment for them doing so. But we’re an early stage company and are staying really close to our users to gain feedback. So we’re more engaged today than perhaps even our customers would like us to be.

That said, while our online offering is self-service, we do have full-service capabilities and can run projects as consultants to our clients. As you know, larger clients are accustomed to scoping a project and reviewing results some weeks later. We do that, too, as client demands require, and as we are doing now with NBC Universal. They actually aren’t ever exposed to our technology and we dig deeper into the data manually than we can currently offer in our online platform, so the nature of the project dictates what the engagement would be.

1 Comment

9 years ago

Companies have been paying people money to participate in research and review surveys for a LONG time. They used to hang out in malls and other places with lots of pedestrian traffic, offering free pizza and a $50 gift card or something to shoppers as they walked by. That sort of information is valuable to companies, and they are willing to pay you for it. The internet makes that sort of thing way easier, but there are a number of scams out there. Just be smart and don't give them any personal information unless you're sure they're legit.

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