Blog Post

How to recruit research participants using LinkedIn

User research stirs images of keen UX and market researchers testing a new product or service with a person that matches the target user or customer.  In reality, the majority of a researcher’s time is actually taken up doing operational or admin based work. 

From managing user recruitment, to processing incentive payments, those of us who have had careers in research know the reality is a little less romantic. Ayda is a research operations platform that automates and streamlines 92% of the tasks typically carried out by researchers. Our mission is to give time and capacity to researchers to do what they love: gather business-shaping insight.

Recruiting users when time and budget is tight

When budgets are minimal and capacity is tight, you’ll want to recruit quality users quickly and with as little dent to your budget as possible. If you have no budget to work with a user-recruitment service, which can quickly become pricey, you could consider recruiting via LinkedIn. 

After all, LinkedIn has more than 875 million users in more than 200 countries so you’ve got plenty of opportunity to gain insight from your target user. 

Deciding your criteria for recruitment

No matter how or on which platform you’re planning on recruiting from, deciding on the users you need is an important first step in any recruitment journey. 

You might have a clear idea of your target users for the product based on age, gender or profession but you will also likely be considering factors like whether they have used a similar product in the past or have experience in the area you’re trying to target. 

For example, if your service was an online accounting software for small businesses in the UK, you might want to ensure your research participants were:

  • The decision makers of a small business based in the UK
  • Are directly responsible, or whose team was directly responsible, for filing accounts 
  • Use, or have used, an online business management product in the past

Once you know the criteria for the people you want to reach (we’d suggest three or four criterias in order to keep your study focused without making your potential pool too small), you’ll need to create a screener

A screener is a short questionnaire you can use to filter out any potential participants that don’t fit your criteria. There are plenty of user-friendly platforms that create online surveys for free and work well as screeners. We recommend SurveyMonkey, Google Forms or typeform. Ayda has just launched its own screener as part of our end-to-end research platform. Give it a try.

What should I write on a LinkedIn post?

LinkedIn posts have a strong organic reach compared to other social media platforms so you have the chance to reach a wide variety of people. It helps if your post is something that people are more likely to share. 

Including an incentive or reward will encourage people to apply, but LinkedIn is a platform that celebrates entrepreneurship and career progression so it might help to get personal. In your post, include a couple of sentences about why you’re doing user research and why it matters to you to hear what real people say. 

Authentic posts are far likely to cut through the noise. Reaching out to your close network and asking them to like and share as soon as you post it is a good hack for helping it gain momentum early on. Also, remember to include relevant hashtags (e.g. #userresearch #producttesting, #mysteryshopping) to get in front of the right audience.

twenty-minute

Not all requests have to be formal. We came across this post recently for the founder of an early-stage business idea

Always overshoot

Incentives help to increase retention and interest in user research but humans are inherently flaky! Make sure you’ve recruited more than you need for the actual research to allow for drop-outs and no-shows. 

Give your participants an excellent experience

Once you’ve got your research participants ready to interview, make sure you’ve planned ahead to ensure the rest of the research journey is seamless for both you and the participant. Ayda is a research operations platform that streamlines and automates 92% of the operational tasks and helps to build a long-lasting and scalable process for user research. 

Read more about Ayda and why not sign-up for a twenty minute call with a member of our team to get onboarded.