How to Recruit Research Respondents through Facebook

Rafael Roxas
Oct 14, 2021


Aside from being a great way to pass the time and connect with people you don’t get to meet regularly, social media has become the playground for a lot of businesses and professional fields looking to make actionable improvements in their return of investment. One of the biggest benefits of platforms like Facebook is their ability to segment their users for companies looking to target specific audiences. As professionals in the market research field, it’s hard to ignore the importance of good respondent segmentation, especially since a poor one can negatively affect a research outcome.

Here’s how you can leverage Facebook ads and segmentation to your advantage when recruiting specific participant demographics for your qualitative research.

Why Facebook Ads?

Facebook ads, which are also called paid or promoted posts, are efficient if you’re aiming to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. As researchers, it can be difficult to work in a specific industry or niche, especially when it comes to respondent recruitment where recruiting at a local scale can lead to dealing with the same participants over and over again. While local recruitment is a great way to build rapport with your respondents, using a minute sample research size like that would rarely dictate the thoughts and feelings of your average consumer.

But with Facebook ads, you can target specific demographics for your recruitment based on information such as age, gender, profession, past user behavior, and so on. This ensures that whoever you find on the internet will be exactly who you’re looking for. And the best part, you can reach people on a global scale that you wouldn’t have had the opportunity to connect with through local recruitment means.

How Do You Get Started with Facebook Ads?

Now that we’ve broken down how Facebook ads can be beneficial to respondent recruitment, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of making Facebook ads work for you. Before you dive right in, it’s important to layout ground rules that will help you create a successful Facebook ad campaign.

Here are a few questions you should answer before you get started:

  1. •    How many people do you want to reach out to?

Facebook will take care of the segmentation for you so all you have to do is decide how many people you want to recruit. While this seems simple in practice, you’ll quickly realize that Facebook will target anyone who fits into the criteria of your demographic, which could result in an overwhelming number of candidates to sort through once your campaign gets going. The question is, how many potential candidates do you need for your research? Will you only end your campaign once you’ve had the chance to screen all those respondents? Keep in mind that the longer your campaign is running, the more expensive the Facebook ad cost.

  1. •    How much is your budget?

Facebook ads have daily costs associated with them. Your budget will determine how frequently an ad is run during your campaign duration dates. Your budget will also determine how long your campaign can be run. While it’s tempting to go all out to receive the greatest number of candidates, screening candidates regardless of number is still the best way to obtain quality respondents for your research.

  1. •    What is your call to action?

Your potential respondents want to engage with your ad but don’t know how to because your ad is confusing. This is the importance of a good call to action. Will your ad lead them to a landing page asking them to fill out the information so that you can contact them for screening? Or will your ad lead them automatically to a survey so that they can be screened before you make further contact? These are small details that can save you a lot of effort in the long run so it’s best to consider them beforehand. For more information, check out our 7 essential demographic survey questions that every researcher should know.

Steps to Creating a Facebook Ad

You are now ready to create your Facebook ad. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting you started.

  1. 1.    Select the campaign objective (traffic, engagement, conversions, etc.).
  2. 2.    Choose where you want to drive traffic (website, app, etc.).
  3. 3.    Identify the daily budget.
  4. 4.    Identify the start and end date.
  5. 5.    Set the location
  6. 6.    Add detailed criteria and demographics
  7. 7.    Select optimization for ad delivery (link clicks, landing page views, impressions, etc.).
  8. 8.    Include a link to the recruitment screener as the call-to-action of the ad.
  9. Once your ad is operational, you can then use Facebook ad analytics to further refine your campaign as it remains ongoing. Some of the metrics Facebook tracks are link clicks, impressions, frequency, cost per link click, and reach. If you’re interested in learning more about these metrics, be on the lookout for a future blog that will go into these in greater detail. But while you wait, read on 7 free tools that you can use to research your target market to help you optimize your Facebook ad campaigns.

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Not keen to spend on a Facebook ad campaign to recruit global respondents? We can recruit respondents from around the world for you. Make the most of your qualitative research by conducting your projects with Civicom MRS.

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