SurveyMonkey today launched a new Facebook Page tab application that helps admins collect surveys from their fans. Once the free app has been added to a Page, admins can select to display any of their pre-made SurveyMonkey along with a Facebook Share button for getting users to distribute a questionnaire to friends. Though its display to existing fans means those using the app will be collecting biased data, it can still be useful for attaining user feedback and market research.
Facebook’s own Questions product offers Pages the ability to query their fans. However, admins can only ask one question at a time, there are no advanced answer analysis tools like the those provided by SurveyMonkey. Businesses and marketers looking to identify the best and worst parts of their product or service, and those wanting a deep look at what attracts their fans to competitors may find significant value in the SurveyMonkey Page tab app.
A basic, free plan gives Page admins access to survey templates, and distribution via weblink, Facebook, Twitter, email, and website embed. The are limits on the number of survey questions that can be asked, the number of responses that can be collected, and branding, though, which are waived with SurveyMonkey’s premium plans.
The popular online survey platform helps clients collect responses from 25 million users a month. It has 8.5 million registered users who create roughly 280,000 surveys a month, and it is rumored to pull in $50 million a year in revenue.
Helmed by CEO David Goldberg, husband of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, SurveyMonkey closed a $100 million round of senior debt financing last year to pay off old debt and fund acquisitions. With feedback crucial to business success, the space has heated up as Techlightenment launched a service for quickly attaining survey responses through Facebook ads in April.
SurveyMonkey already offered an option to share a specially formatted news feed link to survey in order to solicit responses, but this directed users away from Facebook to SurveyMonkey’s website. Page admins may be able to use the new app to attain a higher completion rate on their surveys by keeping respondents within the social network’s chrome.
Oddly, the Facebook Share button within the Page tab app sends users to the SurveyMonkey website rather than back to the app itself. [Update 9/21/2011: This bug has been fixed and the in-app Share button now publishes a link back to the app.] There’s also no easy way for admins to share the app the news feed, as copy and pasting its URL into the Facebook publisher creates an awkward feed story that doesn’t preview the survey or app.
SurveyMonkey needs to redirect the Share button to the app (which it now has) and add an app publishing function so admins can take advantage of the reduced friction of on-site response collection. If it does, it could use the app’s ability to turn fans into focus groups to sell businesses on premium plans.