Having a social media presence can be an invaluable resource for providing insights into consumer needs, sentiment, and opinions towards a business, service or brand. Social media is by no means a replacement for traditional market research, but it can be used in a broader sense. That broader sense is becoming a widely adopted trend referred to as Crowdsourcing. 

Crowdsourcing is the act of outsourcing tasks to an undefined, large group of people or community (a "crowd"), through an open call. Twitter is the perfect platform for implementing such a tactic and will often yield insightful, and sometimes surprising, results. . 

Using Twitter to openly ask your followers and the community as a whole has additional benefits. By listening, organizations gain first-hand insight on their customers' desires.You have the option to follow up with your respondents in real time. Plus, because participants are not being led by moderators or necessarily thinking about the expectations for responses, the answers they give can be more genuine and revealing.

With that being said, here are 7 tips to help you successfully launch a quick survey or poll into Twitter for crowdsourcing.

  • Include a short personal message about the survey / poll within the tweet.
  • Include an incentive such as “win a gift card” etc. 
  • Use popular hashtags related to your survey/poll. Take a look at the third party site, hashtag.org, to get an idea of popular hashtags used on Twitter.
  • Try to send the tweet at peak Twitter times for maximum exposure.
  • Don’t be afraid to Tweet your survey more than once. By simply updating the messaging, you can tweet it again later on that day or over the weekend. Use a link shortening service such at bit.ly to shorten your survey/ poll link and track the clicks.
  • Ask for a Retweet from your followers.
  • Send a final reminder tweet such as, “poll ends today, results to follow”.

Here is a quick graphic illustrating some of the suggestions implemented on a Tweet:

Technology is a beautiful thing especially when it comes to gathering feedback. Online survey tools such as Zoomerang make it easy and affordable for small and medium-sized businesses and organizations to conduct simple market research within the most popular social media platforms.

Have you used Twitter or any other social platforms for crowdsourcing? Have you found greater insight from doing so? Please share your comments below.