NEWS18 December 2009

Social networks ‘hold hope’ for b2b sample, but remain immature

North America Trends

US— A new report from Forrester says that social network sample offers hope for b2b researchers struggling to find quality sample, but remains “hard to rely on” because suppliers are still going through growing pains.

The report, by a team led by Brad Bortner, says that online research is “addictive”, but tough among b2b audiences because potential participants are few and hard to reach.

“If people join communities for professional reasons, and only later are harvested for sample, there is much less chance of them misrepresenting themselves to participate in a survey,” writes Bortner. “This is especially true because social media sampling is not yet common, so the chances of successfully committing fraud by lurking in an online community are much lower.”

The two main approaches to using social networks for b2b sample are identifying potential targets in open online communities, and tapping “highly profiled” communities such as LinkedIn.

However, Bortner warns that most social networks are not optimised for market research because it is not their core business, and that even LinkedIn, the “largest source of social b2b sample”, is still not large enough.

“The bottom line is that social media sample, such as that provided by LinkedIn, is highly promising,” writes Bortner. “It is worth working through some growing pains to make use of it… if you can get enough of it.”


1 Comment

12 years ago

The expertise shines through. Thanks for tkaing the time to answer.

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