Learning More About Your Community

Creating Surveys

When you need a simple or informal answer to a question, like “what genre of film should we watch on Movie Night,”  you can easily run a simple survey right there in your server. Just ask your question directly, then list a few different emoji members can react to your post with. This lets your members easily provide straightforward, actionable, up-to-the-minute feedback.

For in-depth surveys where you have more than just a simple question or two, Google Forms seems to have the best free solution. Keep in mind, the longer you make your survey, the more people will drop off before finishing it. Try to keep your survey under 5 minutes / 10 questions as a simple rule of thumb. In practice, this means about 7 or 8 multiple choice questions followed by up to 3 questions that allow open-ended responses.

Try to use neutral wording and avoid leading questions as much as possible. If you seem like you’re fishing for an answer, you might get less open or useful information from your members.

Some examples of what that could look like;

  • Good use of Neutral Wording - "Overall, how satisfied are you with the server?
  • Bad use of Neutral Wording - "Do you really love the server?"
  • Good use of Leading Questions - "What did you expect would happen at the event?"
  • Bad use of Leading Questions - "Were you shocked by how unique the event was?"

Getting Worthwhile Information

Most successful community survey cover these four key topics, either broadly or through more specific questions: 

  • Experience - Is your server a good use of their time? What are they getting out of being here?
  • Learning - Are they learning anything useful from your community? Are other members helpful or grouchy?
  • Engagement - How do they feel about your channels and events? Anything specific they want?
  • Future - What would they like to see added, changed, removed, or improved?

When you’ve collected a survey, make sure you share the results with admins helping run your server. If you decide to follow up with some feedback, make a note of what it is: your community will be much more likely to give useful answers and thoughtful feedback if they notice it’s having an impact on the server.

If you want to offer members more concrete incentives to answer, you’ll want to avoid any rewards that are too good to pass up—otherwise, you’ll get compelled answers that aren’t as sincere or useful. You might consider giving respondents a special role: not only is it a visible badge of participation, you can use it to easily mention and thank everyone once you’ve got your replies collected. You can even create an exclusive, hidden channel for their role, offering you a great place to ask your community off-the cuff questions.