social media

By Olga Ezzheva

Did you know there will be 2.77 billion social media users in 2019? This is almost a third of the global population—and a great opportunity for social media marketers.

The go-to place for promoting products and services, social media is a cost-effective yet powerful tool that helps companies better engage with customers, increase brand awareness, and foster loyalty.

But the growth of social networks usage creates an avalanche of unstructured data for marketers to deal with. Top it with the rising popularity of social media as a preferred customer service channel, and a marketer’s job seems no picnic.

But what if we tell you there is a way to smarten up your social media marketing and yield greater profits?

To support their marketing strategies, forward-thinking brands are successfully leveraging artificial intelligence, or AI. For example, AI-powered chatbots enable marketers to better serve their customers through dramatically decreased response time and round-the-clock support.

But chatbots are not the only application of AI in social media marketing. Let’s run through five more.

Customer Insights

Awash in customer data, companies are often struggling to derive true value from it. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems serve to help marketers better understand and streamline their client relationships. But to do that, CRM platforms use structured datasets, while 80 to 90 percent of the enterprise’s data is unstructured — think any social content, video and audio files, emails, and more.

And this is where AI and its subset machine learning (ML) shine. Superior processing capabilities enable machine learning solutions to easily sift through massive amounts of unstructured and underutilized data. Pre-trained ML algorithms harvest customer insights,  recognize hidden patterns and red flags, while intelligently analyzing the results for stakeholders.

Sourced from AI, these deep insights and predictions empower informed decision making and bring a new level of efficiency into business operations.

Granular Personalization

Touted as the Holy Grail of marketing, personalization has been high on the marketers’ agenda for a while now. Traditionally, companies segment their customers based on demographics like age, sex, location, and income, but AI opens a more efficient approach to personalization at scale.

Marketing pros rely on advanced AI tools that analyze customer behavior in real time across digital platforms and social media. Shared behavior patterns will help you better segment your audiences, understand their expectations and even predict future behavior. Armed with this knowledge, you can deliver personalized marketing messages that will better resonate with each of your consumers.

Another opportunity to up your personalization game lies in image recognition, the AI-powered tech that finds and identifies objects on images. Now, think of the myriads of pictures that users willingly post on social media every day. By analyzing this rich image-based content, AI will help you get granular details — a user’s unique style or favorite coffee places —  for you to tailor matching offers for each and every customer.

Social Listening

As part of their marketing initiatives, brands use social media to try and spark interesting and productive dialogs with potential prospects. The problem is, people do not always choose a brand’s official social channels to talk. And if you are not listening to these conversations wherever they are happening, you are missing out an opportunity to make the necessary improvements to your strategy.

With millions of such conversations going on, marketers need an effective monitoring tool that would filter out the noise and deliver intelligent reporting. And artificial intelligence is perfect for the job. Underpinned by ML, AI-based tools for social listening automatically track brand mentions, hashtags, and keywords across multiple sources, providing 360-degree insights into a brand’s performance on social media.

Brands that care about their reputation know how easily an unattended negative comment can damage it. AI social monitoring tools help with that, too. By leveraging Natural Language Processing (NLP) algorithms, these tools track sentiment around brand mentions in real time and help marketers reach unsatisfied and frustrated customers with timely apologies or special offers to spin the online conversation around.

Content Creation and Optimization

Content creation has traditionally been considered a human prerogative but AI is making significant strides in that direction. In 2016, artificial intelligence co-authored a novel that made it through the first round of a prestigious literary competition. News agencies are using AI to create stats-heavy sports articles, paving the way to AI-supported journalism.

While high-quality content still needs active human involvement, AI-powered editing services can significantly enhance your writing. ML algorithms are trained to automatically proofread your text, check for grammar and spelling mistakes, and even recommend a word choice and tone depending on your message and target audience.

Creating relevant and engaging content, which is the ultimate goal of content marketing, is never easy. Machine learning is aiding content marketers by identifying and analyzing a brand’s top performing content, surfacing the most engaging elements. Knowing what makes your audience tick will help you optimize your content to match your customers’ expectations.

Competitive Intelligence

With brands vying for customers’ attention, the social media landscape becomes a highly competitive place. To stay ahead, companies need to understand how their marketing strategies compare to those of their rivals. And without a powerful ML analytics tool in place, gathering competitive intelligence is a grueling job.

Underpinned by AI, machine learning algorithms churn through massive sets of data and analyze the results by the metrics that count — engagement, influence, social reach. You can also perform sentiment analysis to find out how users feel about your competitors. This AI-driven visibility into your competition will allow you to better measure your business success and adapt your current marketing strategy.

Does AI Power Your Social Media Marketing?

Savvy marketers harness the technology to supercharge their marketing initiatives and drive better customer engagement. Artificial intelligence uses NLP and pre-trained ML tools to comb through colossal amounts of data and surface customer insights, find patterns, and derive the sentiment behind brand-related conversations on social.

So the question is: where are you in this picture?

Olga Ezzheva is a technology writer at Oxagile, a provider of software engineering and IT consulting services. You can reach Olga at [email protected] or connect via LinkedIn.

Social media stock photo by Lenka Horavova/Shutterstock