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Recruiting Text Message Survey Panels Through Social Media

By Elyse Desmarais on March 15, 2016

SMS Survey Panel Recruiting through social media

If appropriate for your survey or study, social media can be a powerful recruiting tool. Our customers have seen great results using Facebook and Twitter to recruit new survey participants by sharing survey phone numbers and opt-in instructions in posts. Social media offers several advantages, the most valuable being the ability to reach large audiences in a short amount of time, post as many recruiting messages as you need at any time or day, and achieve all of this for little to no cost.

1. Twitter

Tweeting recruiting messages with the survey phone number, study details, participant demographic details and text-in instructions is a great way to recruit sizable audiences in a short period of time. Depending on the type of study you’re running, the content of your tweets may mimic the following:

Tell us what you think of tonight’s GOP debate! Text “DEBATE” to 617 500 1323


Text “COFFEE” to 617 500 1323 to vote for which new coffee flavor you want in stores!


Mobile phone user? Text “MOBILE” to 617 500 1323 to give feedback on your wireless service.

The downside of this method is messages are limited by Twitter’s character limit. Text-in instructions and the survey phone number should always be included, but if this means you cannot include survey participant preferred demographics or study details, there are ways to get around this. By asking demographic questions before the start of the actual survey, you can weed out unqualified candidates. Similarly, you can include messages regarding study details prior to getting into the start of your survey.

While demographic questions, in this case, suffice for the absence of respondent demographic preferences in recruiting messages, we suggest most surveys begin with these questions. This helps ensure appropriate participants are included in your survey panels and that survey data won’t be tainted by unqualified respondents.

2. Facebook

Similar to Twitter, Facebook is another way to reach a large audiences in a short period of time, for little to no cost. Crafting Facebook posts is a great strategy to recruit participants. Like tweets, posts should include the survey phone number, text-in instructions, participant demographic preferences, images, and study details. You should also plan to distribute your posts at optimal days/times for best viewership.

In addition to Facebook posts, Facebook Event pages are another effective way to promote surveys and studies. By creating event pages that advertise necessary study/survey information and by inviting your Facebook audiences to join these event pages, you can target messages more effectively than traditional posts allow. Also, unlike Twitter, posts and information sections on event pages are not bound to a character limit. This gives more freedom in regards to the amount of information you can include in recruiting messages. However, you should be mindful to include the most important pieces of the recruiting message (text-in instructions and survey phone number) in the first 2 lines of the post.

If using Facebook posts, your messages may look something like this:

Facebook post screenshot

3. Instagram

Using graphics and images to catch your audiences’ attention is nothing new, which is why Instagram offers an effective and creative way to recruit participants. If your company or brand has a large Instagram following and the platform is an integral part of your Social Media strategy, you should consider posting recruiting images and messages as a part of your recruiting process.

Like Facebook and Twitter, you’ll want posts and images to include the survey phone number, text-in instructions, participant demographic preferences, images, and study details. Instagram posts also don’t have a character limit, but, like Facebook, you should include text-in instructions and the survey phone number in the first 2 lines of the post for optimal exposure.

Posts could look like this:

Instagram screenshot

While all these mediums can be used on their own, we suggest employing multiple platforms at once to achieve optimal results. It’s also best to post recurring recruiting messages and ensure posts go out at certain days/times that are best for your audiences.

Want to learn more about recruiting text message survey panels through social media? Get in touch!

Results not guaranteed. © 2016 Zagaran, Inc.

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