Twitter is currently testing a new survey tool that will help marketers gauge consumer sentiment.

Companies using Twitter for social media marketing may soon have access to a polling tool to gauge consumer sentiment. According to Marketing Land, select partners will likely test the feature before it launches to all marketers. The surveys are entirely customizable, and companies pay for them much like Promoted Tweets.

Using Twitter to assess market interest in certain products or services directly on the platform can help companies collect data faster. Surveys are entirely interactive, so users can fill them out on Twitter. This may steal some traffic from sites, but increased awareness and the data from the surveys will help inform marketing strategies.

Marketing Land reported that the feature likely won’t be available to all brands until 2013.

Brafton has frequently discussed social listening as a benefit of using Twitter and other platforms for marketing. While marketers frequently under-utilize social listening, a formal polling tool could help improve the way companies learn from the social network.

Earlier this year, Brafton highlighted a report from social expert Jen DeTracey that found companies miss conversion opportunities by ignoring meaningful engagement from followers. While Twitter Surveys will be a straightforward tool for understanding social users’ needs, brands should remember responding to questions, complaints and other comments from followers can drive awareness and help marketers learn from their audiences.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.