Listening to your community, part one create a survey…


Listening to your community is one of the most important tasks of a community manager. If you had asked me at the beginning of the year, “do you listen to your community?” I would have said, “yes, we have plenty of places for people to feedback and we’ve had surveys and polls, we talk to people all the time”. Of course the truth is all those activities are part and parcel of the role, they are not listening.

Our objectives this year focus around being insights driven, we are looking at our data and re-evaluating how we measure success. We’re also embarking on a community improvement project and we wanted to make sure the decisions we are making to improve our community are insights driven too.

A survey is a great place to start if you have a global organisation and a very large community. We pulled together a survey

I’ve attached an example of the survey questions we used, you may what to consider adding more demographic questions, for example what role do your perform…sales, marketing, finance etc. Example Survey. Note we used an NPS score question, you can find out more about NPS here: Net Promoter Score.

We promoted our survey through our community and our Corporate Affairs executive invited colleagues to take part via email too. We had a 20% response rate, with over 13,000 comments. Top Tip: The more free text fields you add the more comments you will need to wade through, which isn’t necessarily of value.

  • Keep your survey open long enough to catch people on leave, but not too long that people grow tired of seeing the button on the homepage.
  • You will get the majority of your responses early on very few people actually go back and complete the survey after the first week
  • Incentives can work for getting people to share their details (helpful for follow up) but be careful to not trivialise the survey, your survey isn’t a gimmick, you are gathering useful insights.

Our survey provided us with so much data and so many comments, we decided to theme the responses and host focus groups to dig deeper into some of the challenges and opportunities…this is where we were able to REALLY listen. More on that in the next post.

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