You’ve heard it and you know it: social media is huge. How huge? Well, there are 7.7 billion people in the world. At least 3.5 billion have access to and the privilege of leading digital lives. And two-thirds of all those digital users, 2.3 billion of them, are on social media. This activity increased from 5% in 2005 to 79% in 2019. Yikes. So essentially, if you’re not using your social media in a smart way, you’re pretty much guaranteed to be very, very lost in the noise.

Many brands are now embracing the technological advances of artificial intelligence, or AI, to smarten up their social media marketing. AI is essentially the science of programming machines to be smarter than we are. AI enables machines to make accurate predictions based on large sets of data, it offers us product recommendations on Netflix based on past viewing history, it acts as our voice assistant, it provides us that very handy safety net of real-time GPS navigation when we’re driving in the car, and it offers us a nifty selection of pre-written email responses in our Gmail accounts.

The best part about AI is that as it gathers more and more data, it can improve itself and become smarter without needing the programming of a human. So essentially, AI is a predictive machine, a fortune-teller based on real data, if you will ““ and those predictions can be used to superpower your social media marketing.

How Social Media Companies Use AI

  • Facebook uses AI to identify your face in photos and targets you with advertising that is relevant to your behavior.
  • Instagram uses AI to identify visual cues and optically scans visuals to detect bullying.
  • LinkedIn uses AI to offer job recommendations, suggest other professionals that are relevant to the work you do that you may want to connect with, and sends pertinent articles and posts to your feed.
  • Snapchat uses a specific type of AI technology called computer vision to track your features and overlay their famous filters that move with your face in real-time.

Across all platforms, AI is regulating how you as a business owner are creating content and buying ads. There are plenty of ways you can start making use of AI tools for your own social media marketing.

Let’s explore a few examples of how AI is used in social media.

Creating Simple Content

The first rule of social media for local businesses is this: Don’t postpone. Try to make it a habit to follow the unspoken frequency rules of social media. As a general rule, try to hit up Facebook 2-3x per week, Instagram 1x per day, Twitter 3x per day, LinkedIn 1x per day and, if applicable, Pinterest 1x per day. That is a lot of content to create. (I shake my head, overwhelmed, just now as I write this, realizing how many days it’s been since I posted to our company Twitter account!)

In general, when curating content to use on your pages, try to follow the 80/20 rule:

  • 80% non-promotional content like industry trends, holidays, and fun group photos and gifs.
  • 20% promotional content like sales, product information and updates, service updates, and corporate events.

This content creation can be a full-time job; this is where a summer intern comes in handy! Or”¦you can use AI software to create basic content. While machines can’t write a full LinkedIn blog article quite yet, AI can help you craft a tweet! Using natural language generation, or NLG, AI can look at data (simple data like a sheet of facts or a modest report) and create a narrative from it. So for instance, if your team just released a large six-month data-driven project, AI can pull it apart, recognize the high-impact items, and create short and sweet social shares from it. (Companies who do this type of AI social media posting include Lately, which provides a very enticing “Generate Content” button.)

Engaging with Your Followers

But now, remember after you post all that content that you’re not finished just yet! You’re making this content for an audience ““ and you want that audience to stick around. That means engaging with their posts, liking their comments, and answering their questions about your products and services ““ or”¦gulp”¦their complaints.

When responding to followers, the best practice is to do so within 24-48 hours. But you don’t have to do this part yourself; that’s where AI comes in. Automated AI exists that helps you to generate tweets to respond to fans and customers. It won’t have a full conversation with your customers on its own, so you’re still in control, but it will analyze the sentiment of the customer’s voice and suggest an auto-response for you.

And don’t forget about those handy chatbots. Chatbots can interact with your customers in a conversational way. You’re familiar with these on Amtrak when you need to change your train time, Whole Foods to search for recipes while you’re shopping at the store, or Lyft to request a ride. It almost feels”¦dare I say”¦human? Plus, because they’re available all day and all night, you can focus your customer service on more complicated matters.

Optimizing & Managing Your Paid Social Media

Using predictive analytics, just as AI can recommend content for your social shares, it can also optimize ad copy to garner your business the highest possible views and clicks. Another AI tool for social media is made by companies like Phrasee, who pull data from previous marketing materials (emails, social media copy, blog posts, etc.) to determine which copy-related aspects are weak or strong. That helps to craft your next ad copy and test it within the software.

At LOCALiQ, we’re implementing data-informed design in our ad creative all the time. It’s an effort to bring the AI opportunities used by big national brands to local businesses by using deep machine learning to find the optimal typography, hierarchy, use of images and messaging. From that knowledge, we can recommend how best to adjust a business’s spend and audience targeting in order to help increase performance.

We’re only scratching the surface here of the use of how AI is used in social media, but these simple steps and software recommendations to look into further can help you dip your business’s toe in the AI water.

If you’re looking for some help with your social media, we’re here for you. Reach out today.

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