True or False: Community research starts with having conversations with your members?For Moly Milosovic, Head of Community for Jobber, this approach has contributed to success . Through research Jobber was able to improve initiatives such as their grant program which has resulted in a $150,000 boost for the company. Research also assisted Molly in identifying speakers that would add true value to events as well as understanding common pain-points that members were experiencing.During her presentation at CMX Summit 2021, Moly spoke about some of her best practices for conducting research, how to distribute surveys, and the benefits of simplifying the research process in order to maximize your time and resources. This article will discuss her tips for tactical research.
Call logistics for creating your 20 minute phone call template
A 20 minute call can give you valuable insights into the experience of your community members. These calls don’t require any fancy spreadsheets, but should include some type of method for tracking trends and recording feedback. Moly suggests that you start this research process with 3-6 questions with intention. She mentions that “the intentions are the most important part” because they will help you determine which questions are adding the most value to your research.Before starting your series of questions ask your interviewees if they are comfortable with the call being recorded. Recording the calls will give you a secondary source of information. Through her journalism background, Moly learned that “Your notes can fail you, so it's always good to record". Asking for permission to record also indicates to your interviewee that the information they are sharing is important.During the interview process you may notice that some questions are not producing the information you're looking for. To maximize your research, Moly states that taking breaks after a couple calls will give you the opportunity to regroup. After 2-3 calls, “You are going to have an idea of the questions that will give you the answers you want”.Prior to the interview process can be conducted you need a very important element. The people to interview! Moly identified that she has experienced a lot of success in finding participants through Facebook groups and personal emails. Spaces such as these give you the opportunity to connect with community members on a more personal level, which results in more engagement. Moly also suggests asking on Social media or directly from team members in your industry. If you decide to ask team members for suggestions, avoid sending it to an entire group message. Ask them in a way that makes them feel accountable for responding to the message.
These are the 3 question to consider while creating your survey
Moly provides some survey rules to consider before getting started:
For the best survey results determine what you are trying to learn. Surveys can be conducted as their own project or in collaboration with other research strategies such as the 20 minute phone calls. Moly states that it is wise to ask yourself “Are you asking the same questions as your calls? Are you trying to get into decision making?” in order to find clarity in your process.After determining what you are interested in learning, determine what to ask your interviewees. It is important to have a strong and precise list.Have you ever clicked the link to participate in a survey only to cringe at the large number of questions? As a preventative measure Moly keeps surveys under 10 ask total.Now that you have an objective learning objective and short, but impactful, list of questions you are ready to share your survey with the world. Placing your survey can consist of posting it in your facebook group, sharing it in your slack channel, or personally emailing it to your email list. Moly validates surveys as a good research tool and also mentions that “they can be great for engagement”.The survey should be concluded with a follow up process. Your community members took the time to complete your project, so show them you appreciate them.
The photo on the left illustrates a question that would receive low engagement. The photo on the right illustrates a fun question with a high engagement rate
Moly spoke on this research tactic very briefly, but the biggest takeaway was providing specificity in the questions you ask on social media. Your social media questions should be relative to your community experience and support a research goal.
Understanding the value of research will add tremendous value to your team and organization by providing insight into what matters most to the members of your community. Watch Don't Guess. Ask! An Easy Research Approach to Kick off Your Next Initiative to learn how to conduct your next research project!