5 Rules of Engagement: How to Get More from Bulletin Board Participants
Want to ensure active involvement from bulletin board participants? Here are 5 practical ways to plan for maximum engagement.
While bulletin boards are increasingly popular, it can be a challenge to keep participants involved over the course of a typical bulletin board project. Try these 5 planning tips for boosting participant engagement.
Select for high involvement. It’s true for in-person methods and essential for bulletin boards—high involvement topics result in more productive bulletin board discussions. The more involved consumers are, the more they have to say about brands and choices and the more they will want to learn from other participants. That means you’ll also want to screen for participants who are very involved in the category.
Hire experienced recruiters. Recruiting for online projects requires specialized knowledge, so it’s best to work with recruiters who understand online methods. Make sure they understand bulletin boards well enough to set appropriate expectations for participants.
Get the incentives right. The key here is to match what participants are expecting, and that will vary with the type of participant and their source. Participants from a large sample vendor may be happy to earn points, while those from a qualitative recruiter’s database will expect incentives similar to focus groups. And be creative—B2B participants value information in the form of a general summary of non-proprietary findings.
Limit the number of questions. One of the fastest ways to lose participant interest is to overwhelm them with too many questions. The math is simple. It takes about 2 to 3 minutes to respond to a question in text, so if you are aiming for the typical 30 to 45 minutes per day, the “sweet spot” is about 10 to 12 questions per day.
Break up the “wall of text.” We are all used to seeing sophisticated visuals online, so livening up all that text with visuals and color helps sustain participant interest and involvement. One of my favorite tricks is to embed links to popup windows containing instructions, concepts, or websites.
A bit of careful planning will help set the stage for more engaged participants—and better research insights.