Is artificial intelligence (AI) the next big thing for social media marketers?
With over 4.26bn social media users to serve, AI is set to transform targeting and improve content personalisation for a more focused marketing future.
AI is not a new phenomenon in the marketing world. When surveyed, over 56pc of chief marketing officers (CMOs) said they use automated assistants for content personalisation and tracking consumer insights. AI-driven social strategies are just the next step in a fast-approaching digital future of campaigning.
However, could a push for AI-infused social campaigns pose ethical concerns for future marketers? From breaching consumer privacy to decision system bias, with great technology comes great responsibility.
Here we look at AI’s impact on social media marketing and discuss some of the best AI-infused platforms that are tipped to lead social strategies in 2023.
How can AI improve your social media?
Using AI, you can quickly segment large demographics into targeted groups, track viral trends and schedule personalised content responses in seconds.
If you want to compete against commerce giants and industry leaders, your social content should be consistent, compelling and customised to each and every consumer. Here are some insights into how AI can help.
In 2023, 73pc of shoppers expect brands to offer them a personalised experience and content that speaks directly to their values. AI can enhance a brand’s personalisation potential in a number of ways.
Automatically harvesting behavioural and historical consumer data, AI-generated platforms can quickly learn about a user’s interests and predict what products or services they’d be most likely to interact with, resulting in a hyper-individualised experience that can boost engagement and increase the chances of conversion.
However, with 69pc of consumers now concerned about how their data is collected and used on mobile apps, it’s important to use content personalisation tools with caution.
“As consumers continue to learn and become more informed about their data rights and how their data is currently used, I expect we’ll see more and more calls from consumers to have their data protected,” claims Swish Goswami, CEO of browser extension platform Surf.
The key here is to keep your consumers in the loop. Give your followers a chance to choose what they share, and make sure the data you collect is transparent. Personalised ads, posts and targeting is a business game changer, as long as you have consent.
Automated content posting
Creating content for your brand is the driving force behind audience engagement.
While experts recommend that brands upload social media content daily, this process can be time-consuming. Using AI-driven social media tools, marketers can feel the pressure drain away, as automated assistants not only create original content formats but automatically schedule them too.
For example, AI-infused content planner Sprout Social can generate personalised tweets that reply to fans and followers in seconds. Instead of physically manning social channels and checking for replies, Sprout Social monitors a brand’s comment section before analysing the tone and sentiment of a reply. Sprout can then suggest an auto-response that aims to carry on the conversation between the brand and the consumer.
While automatic replies can pose ethical questions about a brand’s true identity, Sprout Social ensures that before an automatic reply is posted, the social media manager is able to review and edit the content. This guarantees that the brand’s voice still has a human tone when connecting with its audience.
Hubspot is also a nifty tool to have under your belt, especially if you’re struggling to develop new content ideas. By simply pasting a content link into Hubspot’s content generation feature, it uses AI to quickly analyse the metadata and create an original social post.
Social media advertising
Social platforms are the perfect vessels for advertising success. Whether you choose TikTok or Instagram, with the ability to post a pop-up on a user’s scroll-down feed, or a sponsored TikTok that blends seamlessly into a For You Page, social channels allow for a more organic future of ad placement.
However, with so many brands utilising social media, it can be hard to make your ad stand out from the crowd. Your ads must be full of compelling captions, quick links to your online store and contain a personalised hook for your target consumer.
Using AI, brands can optimise their ad performance on social channels. With the ability to analyse historic campaigns and current trends among industry leaders, AI-driven ad tools such as Sprinklr can make recommendations for smarter campaigns that drive better results.
Also, AI-infused ad strategies are more likely to be personalised to each user’s feed. AI tools like Phrase can generate customisable ad phrasing that adapts to target individual customers. This is a great way to ensure your ad captions remain fluid and speak directly to a diverse set of leads.
While it’s easier than ever to track social media performance, acting on your results can be tricky. AI-generated monitoring tools utilise the data harvested on content engagement, clicks and consumers, and turn these insights into predictions for new campaigns, content formats and new target groups to work on.
The key here is to take these predictions and turn them into content campaigns that frame the values of your brand. It’s also important to do your own research before jumping into an AI-generated content campaign, as just like humans, AI can have a decision system bias.
“AI is fallible and in a perfect world should be used critically, responsibly and democratically,” says Annie Brown, founder of the creative sharing platform Lips. “AI is only as fair and accurate as the algorithm, and the algorithm is only as fair or accurate as the human-generated information it gathers.”
For example, if the only data your AI tool collects is from a specific consumer group, it’s likely to inherit the same biases. Therefore, it’s important to perform your own content research if you want your brand voice to remain objective on social media.
However, with more data to inform their strategy, brands that use AI to influence their social campaigns are more likely to see higher conversion payoffs.
As social platforms continue to become more visual, AI can also enhance video and image analysis. For example, AI algorithms can now identify certain aspects of Instagram images and TikTok videos, making it easier to gather more data on a user’s interests and behaviours.
Visual analytics could help a brand improve its content styles as AI tools learn more about audience preferences and the formats going viral.
Could AI take social media marketing to the next level?
AI can enhance the experience a consumer has with a brand on social media. With predictive analytics at play, the content targeted users receive is more likely to speak directly to their values.
While there are still ethical concerns surrounding an AI-infused future of campaigning, there’s hope on the horizon for data-sharing transparency and the impact of algorithmic biases as both consumers and marketers take control of how data is gathered and shared.
As machine learning gets even smarter, the possibilities are endless for brands that want to get close to their leads. From automated responses to automatic content creation, the future of social media marketing is AI-driven.
Rebecca Barnatt-Smith is a freelance content writer and multi-media marketing executive at Solvid Digital, specialising in social media trends and widespread digitalisation in the marketing sector.