This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog

If you thought your brand couldn't afford traditional market research, social media is here to help. From focus groups to interviews to surveys, social media is your readily-available, real-time market research shop. Here are 30 ways to do it.

  1. Find out which of your promotions/offers are shareable
  2. Analyze sentiment of blog posts
  3. Find the competition
  4. Learn what that competition is doing
  5. Determine brand awareness
  6. Track keyword mentions around your products/services
  7. Determine customer satisfaction or loyalty
  8. Understand market demographics to determine your best target audience
  9. Determine your brand ambassadors
  10. Uncover your industry influencers
  11. Get feedback on new packaging or pricing
  12. Determine how saturated your market may be
  13. Find relevant hashtags
  14. Find relevant Twitter chats
  15. Determine the best social media channel(s) for future launches
  16. Test ads on Facebook before they launch
  17. Create surveys and polls
  18. Let users vote on different design options or TV ads
  19. DM (Direct Message) a customer on Twitter to ask a question
  20. Start a discussion on LinkedIn to source feedback
  21. Determine key phrases to add to your SEO strategy
  22. Join a relevant forum and conduct a quick focus group
  23. Determine consumer ratings with review sites like Epinions or Yelp
  24. Use Pinterest to find out what consumers are pinning from your website
  25. Use Google Analytics to uncover the top keywords used to find your website
  26. Find out which social media channel sends you the most web traffic
  27. Optimize your campaign based on what's working or not working
  28. Segment and test different ads on Facebook
  29. Create a Pinterest board of different images and see what gets repinned the most
  30. Find customer stories about your product/service
With the right social media tools and approach, you'll derive deep, meaningful, real-time insights across numerous consumer segments and topics far more cost-effectively than ever before. What other tips would you add for conducing research using social media? Add your ideas here.

Learn more about using social media for market research in our new ebook, Agile Market Research with Social Media