The Social Student – Toss the Monkey!

I misled you. In a past article, I recommended using SurveyMonkey. Sadly, the survey beast costs $35 a month?that is, if you want a survey with more than ten questions or a hundred respondents. So, I’ve found a free alternative: Google Forms.

As a caveat, respondents need to sign-in to Google to fill out your Google Form survey. Although the sign-in poses a proprietary pitfall, the surveys are free. (I prefer to spend $35 a month on a dinner and show, not on surveys.)

I’m going to show you the steps for making surveys in Google Forms. In the end, you’ll wind up with a link to your survey that you can post and promote on social media. Here’s a link to a survey I threw together in two days:

Below are the nine steps for making a free survey:

Step 1: Sign in to your Gmail account and click on the six squares on the top-right of your account.

Step 2: Select Google Drive from the drop-down menu.

Step 3: In Google Drive, select “New” and then “More” and then “Google Forms” in the menu.

Step 4: Build your survey by adding questions, sections, and formatting.

Step 5: Go into Settings to add whether you require emails, whether respondents fill out surveys once only, or whether to turn the survey into a graded quiz:

Step 6: Preview your survey to capture the URL.

Step 7: Shorten your survey URL in

Step 8: Post the link on social media. In Facebook, boost (promote) your post. In Facebook, you can advertise your survey based on gender, age, interests, and location.

Step 9: View responses.

Once you have your responses, you can download them as a CSV file or Excel spreadsheet. Still not convinced? Well, you can add questions about demographics as well as numerical responses. And if you can upload a CSV or Excel file to SPSS, surely you can upload a Google Form’s Excel file?with some tweaking, of course.

On a final note, I promised some discussion of traditional surveys. Mail-outs, in-person surveys, mall kiosks, telephone surveys–these are all traditional options for passing around your survey. These traditional approaches take a great deal of time and money.

So, kick aside costly approaches (including SurveyMonkey). Instead, try out Google Forms. By doing so, you’ll get unlimited questions and responses?for free. With that said, go treat yourself to a dinner and show?on my advice.