Case Study:

How Angelfish utilised the power of social to recruit Gen Z respondents for an online community

Find out how Angelfish recruited 120 Generation Z respondents to take part in a three-month online community - and the top tricks and tips we used to keep everyone engaged throughout!

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The Client

A social impact research consultancy working with a collaboration of charities

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The Objective

To explore the lives of young people, with a focus on their attitudes to charities and doing good

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The Methodology

A market research online community

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The Duration

A three-month online community

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The Incentive

£120 via bank transfer that was split as £40 per month, plus bonus incentives for the best responses

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Our Participants

120 for 100 people aged 16-25 years old, including a variety of ethnicities, cultures, and values


Discover how Angelfish helped a social impact research consultancy to secure high-quality Generation Z respondents for a three-month online community.

Utilising our expert knowledge of social campaigns combined with a variety of recruitment techniques, we were able to nail the brief and find the best possible participants. Read on to find out how we did it - and discover how we successfully maximised engagement with this notoriously tricky target audience to keep them engaged and motivated throughout.  


So, who was our client for this project? 

Our client, a social impact research consultancy, was working with several worldwide charities including overseas development and relief, the elderly, vulnerable children, visual impairment, disability, and homelessness.

What was their end goal? 

The end goal of this study was to understand Generation Z’s attitudes towards charities and doing good.

Who were the participants?

Online methodologies are essential for engaging with Generation Z so we a focal point of this project. Luckily, with plenty of expertise in online qual, we couldn’t wait to get started!  

In order to keep the respondents motivated, we kicked the research off with three activities per week, before cutting it down to two tasks per week for the final weeks of the project. We also ensured we set a variety of different tasks to ensure our respondents remained engaged: 

  • For the first 10 weeks participants completed 3 x activities a week (10-15 mins per activity for a maximum of 45 mins per week)
  • For the last 2 weeks, they completed two tasks per week
  • A range of different tasks including photo and video tasks, written answers, and spider diagrams

What challenges did we face? 

Rather than being a challenge, this project presented us with a fantastic opportunity to get stuck in with a variety of recruitment techniques.

Because of the sheer number of respondents we needed to recruit, we needed to embrace lots of new and different recruitment techniques, including utilising our Instagram account to roll out paid social media campaigns targeting younger people specifically on Instagram.



We also needed to find young people who supported the charities in question. Due to the nature of some of the charities, such as supporting war veterans, this meant we had to leave no stone unturned in our search for high-quality respondents.

Finally, we had to find a way to keep the respondents engaged, too. A lot of the participants had GCSEs, A-levels, and university exams at the start of the research, so it was a bit of a tricky time for them - which meant it was essential to mix things up by offering a variety of small, achievable, and interesting tasks.    


The Angelfish twist...

As with every market research project we undertake here at Angelfish Fieldwork, we couldn’t wait to dive right in! There were a number of ways we used our experience and knowledge to ensure that the research went off without a hitch:

Regular communication

Relationships are super important to us here at Angelfish, so one of the key ways we ensured we kept on track and ensured that everyone remained engaged throughout the research was by having regular catch-up calls with the client so we could run through any problems together.

Utilising different recruitment techniques

As ever, we searched far and wide to ensure we found the very best participants - and crucially, due to the age of the target audience, this meant using paid social media campaigns to target younger people specifically on Instagram only. 

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Sending reminders to boost engagement

With many of the participants having GCSEs, A Levels, and university exams taking place at the start of the research, one way we boosted engagement was by sending regular text reminders to all of the participants to ensure they remained engaged.  

Offering bonus incentives  

We also offered participants the chance to double their incentives by completing two sets of tasks (by focusing on two types of charities rather than only one), and also offered bonus payments of up to £50 for the best responses to questions which was a big hit when it came to motivating the audience! 

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The results 

We were really pleased with the results of this project, especially considering the sample - and our client was really happy too! 70% of respondents completed all three months of tasks, which considering the tricky nature of the target audience and the time of year the research took place, was a big success. Well done, team!

Key takeaways 

Use different recruitment methods - When working with younger audiences, it’s really important to use a variety of different recruitment methods, with a big emphasis on social media!

Think about incentives - For longer projects, it’s a great idea to pay incentives in increments to boost motivation - and offering bonus prizes is a fab way to maintain engagement, too.  

Always over-recruit - If you need to find a large number of participants, it’s essential to always have an over-recruit to ensure that your clients get the insights they need.

Offer a variety of tasks - Without a doubt, one of the best ways to keep people engaged in longer online communities is by mixing things up and offering a good variety of tasks. 

Do you need to recruit awesome participants for your next project? 

If you’re getting ready to undertake a market research project, be sure to get in touch with the Angelfish team today to find out more about how we can help!

When you team up with us for your qualitative market research recruitment, our experienced and dedicated project management team will work together with you to ensure that every stage of your project is a resounding success.

Not only that, but we’ll also be on hand throughout the duration of the project to provide additional expert guidance and regular updates - so you can rest assured that everything runs as smoothly as possible.  

Sound good?