NEWS29 March 2010

Skopos still sees research potential of LinkedIn user base


UK— LinkedIn may have called time on its b2b survey sample service, but some researchers aren’t yet ready to give up on the research potential of the business networking site.

Research agency Skopos has been running moderated discussions via LinkedIn’s user forums and supplementing the qualitative findings with quant data using LinkedIn’s user poll application.

Scott Dodgson (pictured), the agency’s research and insight director, said the exercise is purely academic for the time being but shows promise as a way of engaging hard-to-reach professionals in key industry verticals.

The approach is by no means perfect, however. To date, Skopos has concerned itself with creating discussion threads within already established forums, but researchers looking to recruit specific types of people would have to rely on their own connections to find the right respondents – which could prove limiting. Meanwhile, Dodgson says it can be difficult to obtain a sufficiently robust sample for the poll app quant work.

Such issues could potentially be resolved with the participation of LinkedIn itself. Certainly, Dodgson says, Skopos would seek permission from the networking site’s managers before crafting a commercial offering out of its experiments.

Skopos calls the approach “co-created qual” and the findings of one of its discussions topics, ‘What is cutting edge market research?’, will be presented at the BIG Conference on 20 May.