Savvy Speaks: Tips for Crowdsourcing

Savvy Speaks: Tips for Crowdsourcing
Savvy Sisters - Wed Feb 08, 2012 @ 04:54AM
Comments: 17

The rise of social media has made crowdsourcing all the rage. Why read the opinions of just one person when you can get the 4-1-1 from a whole host of experts all in one place? But wrangling all those opinions can be a bit tricky. This week the Savvy Sisters share their best tips for crowdsourcing the pros - like a pro!



Ask for a little - Get A Lot!

In my other job as Content Director for DemandCon I coordinate with all our conference speakers to contribute to the blog, resource section, webinars, Funnel Facts newsletter, etc.  The closer we get to conference time the less time each presenter has to balance their presentation prep and my content demands.  So crowdsourcing has helped give me the content I need along with balancing perspectives.  I have found that asking a presenter to write a 700 word article can be daunting but asking them to answer 5 questions with a few sentences to a paragraph each is more realistic.  Then I can take the answers of a few different people and create a post.  I have been doing this with the "Meet the Speakers" series on the DemandCon blog and it has been a lot of fun to get to know the conference participants not only by their body of work but also by their favorite TV character and sports team.


The Great and Powerful Internet


Crowdsourcing is the new and improved surveys of days gone by. Where in the past, we used to hand out paper surveys with questions like “In what ways could our Customer Service be improved?” and then compile the results, we can now almost instantly tap into the collective mindset of that powerful man behind the curtain – internet users who represent our audience.


What to know hands down what the favorite Superbowl commercial was? Pitch that question on Twitter, Facebook, or on your blog – you'll soon find out.


Want to know possible topics for blog posts? Ask and you shall receive, you'll soon have enough topics for weeks worth of posts. And here's the neat thing, often the people who respond have a vested interest in the subject being discussed making them not only the ideal contributors, but part of your targeted audience as well.


Crowdsourcing is a unique and effective way to tap into the ongoing cocktail party conversation of the internet. When used effectively (appropriate questions that serve a purpose and are not just “asking about the weather,” you and your company can benefit greatly from this method of information collection  



Manners Matter

When you're requesting contributions to a crowd-sourced piece it's important to remember that everyone is busy. Whether the group you're soliciting is the general public of a select list of individuals - respect their time:

  • Prepare well: Know what you're asking and why. Be clear about the purpose of your research so its easy for contributors to understand the assignment.
  • Do your homework: Research the people you're approaching and be sure that they are a good fit for your topic.
  • Keep it short: Time is of the essence. Don't ask for too much. Be concise in your communications and to-the-point in your requests. 
  • Be specific: Give clear and simple instructions so people can handle the request quickly (and so you don't have to go back and follow-up).
  • Be thankful: Say thank you. If you're compiling a report, offer contributors a free copy. If you're publishing quotes and such - make sure you attribute them properly, including links to people's sites and Twitter pages, etc.


Most of the time, people will want to help you. With some good manners, you will make a good impression and keep your pool of contributors squarely on your side and happy to be in the mix.   


Have you ever written a crowdsourced article?

How did you get folks interested?

Comments: 17


1. dawn groves  |  my website   |   Wed Feb 08, 2012 @ 06:58AM

Great article on the basics of crowdsourcing. I'll tweet it!
Best, dawn

2. Cathy Bishop  |  my website   |   Fri Feb 10, 2012 @ 12:31AM

Hello Savvy Sisters, love this blog and all your informative posts. Indeed! Why settle for just a single opinion from a person if you can gather several from other gurus or expert? Three (or more) heads are still better than one.

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