For many of us, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ still conjures up futuristic images of robots which do everything for us apart from some basic human functions. Far from the case, not only is AI already walking among us in industries such as mechanical engineering and healthcare but, it’s also powering our social media on to greater heights.
Man and machine
Artificial intelligence (also known as machine learning) is the term which refers to the act of teaching machines to not just perform functions but to employ human-like decision making and response processes in order to do so.
While I wouldn’t go as far as to say that social media artificial intelligence is now mainstream, there’s no doubt that it now has a hand in almost every aspect of our lives, including our social media.
What has AI got to do with Facebook?
Many people are unaware of the fact that a lot of our social media already uses AI to help to decrease costs and increase revenue.
If you use social media for your business, there’s a good chance that you take advantage of the insights feature which helps you to see what kind of reaction your posts and adverts are having on your audience.
You may also have used sentiment analysis or social listening to earn your social media followers to see what they’ve been saying about your product, service or brand. Both of these things rely on the crunching of data and, this data crunching is usually powered by an AI based tool.
That’s not all though; in the near future, it will be possible for business owners and marketers to connect AI with their social media platforms in much bigger and more profound ways as the technology becomes more advanced and more widely available.
The brains of the operation
So, what can we expect AI to do for us in terms of our social media use in the future? Quite a lot, actually. The technology is currently advancing at lightning speed and so, my prediction is that it won’t be too long before we see it changing the way we use social media as follows:
If you’re up to speed with marketing strategies for 2021, then you’ll already be beavering away on writing some great, long form, thought leadership content to bestow upon your social followers and website visitors.
If this is the case (and it should be) then you already know that this takes a fair bit of time and effort. I’m not suggesting that AI is going to start writing weighty tomes for you to publish online but it is certainly going to play a part.
AI can already help you to manage your social media content and to speed up the process of posting. In the not-so-distant future, AI will also be able to learn your brand voice in order to post on your behalf which will, of course, be a huge time saver.
Additionally, AI will be able to help supersize your content by comprehensively reporting on not just which pieces of content are working for you but, also, which specific sections of that content are the most effective.
In the post
Right now, you’ve probably got a social media calendar on the go, into which you place all of your ideas and plans for the next few months. For many people, this means researching major events and holidays and keeping an eye on the news in order to find relevant and engaging topics to post about.
Not in the age of AI. Sooner rather than later, AI will take this cumbersome task off your hands and will analyse all of your content – and that of your competition in order to find effective and interesting topics.
It will also scan the world’s entire news content each morning before you’ve even managed to get through your first cup of coffee. It will, of course, then present all of this information to you in an easy to digest way which will allow you to use it to create your world-beating social media posts.
In the picture
So, you’ve found a great topic and you’ve written a killer post with which to wow your followers. All you need now is a fantastic image to go with it………but they’re all unsuitable or hugely expensive. We’ve all been there. Imagery is an incredibly important part of any social media post and, without it, your content is likely to fall flat.
Have no fear, AI is here. Before too long, we’ll be able to get our hands on AI tools which will scour the internet on our behalf to find the perfect free or super cheap image to use with our social media posts.
If that’s not enough, these tools will also be able to generate images for us either from scratch or based on a photograph (super helpful for those who are selling physical products online).
For myself, this is a pretty interesting development as I’ve always pressed the point that imaging and video are essential when it comes to social media and, in fact, to any part of a digital presence.
For businesses and for individuals, this is pretty significant as nobody really wants to spend a huge amount of time playing around with their images to make them look pretty.
For businesses, this is likely to be a game changer – but more than that. I see imaging taking another leap forward using AI to find the perfect image and, to even create new and unique images for use in social media advertising. Absolutely none of this is futuristic, it’s technology which is already being used and will be used much more widely in the very near future.
Spread the word
In 2020, social media advertising was big news and is set to get even bigger in the future due to its low cost and high reach.
You’ll no doubt already be in this game and will be spending time on constructing the perfect ad for each campaign.
Step away from the keyboard. AI will, you won’t be surprised to hear, be able to do this for you in the very near future – in fact, the technology is already here. There are already a number of tools out there which can actually use a few set parameters in order to write and publish your ad for you and, some of these tools are:
This super clever online tool uses AI to learn your brand voice and then to use that voice to write posts and adverts for Facebook and Instagram.
Built to save time and money, Bulkly is a next generation automation tool for publishing and curation of content. This forward-thinking tool uses your published content in order to produce – at scale – social media posts and adverts which are 100% relevant to your brand and to your social media followers.
This pretty advanced tool uses machine learning to teach itself to write your Facebook and Instagram posts for you, saving a huge amount of time.
As you can see, far from being the stuff of sci-fi, artificial intelligence is already very much here and doing its thing on social media – and we can expect much much more:
The behaviour bit
Let’s get one thing clear – social media is all about psychology. From figuring out what people think about certain topics, products and services to actually influencing those opinions, AI and social media very much go hand in hand.
As we move into the next couple of years, AI will become much more prominent when it comes to analysing customer behaviour and turning that analysis into influence for the use of marketers. At the moment, a lot of online messaging simply gets lost in the mix when it comes to reaching its desired audience. In the future, we’ll be able to use AI in order to drill deeper when it comes to segmenting audiences in order to deliver highly targeted, highly personalised content every time.
AI is already being used to improve the user experience which, in turn, leads to more conversions. The future will be an extension of this where more data will equal more personalisation.
Jack Zmudzinski, senior associate at Future Processing, has been predicting the increased use of AI for social media for a while, saying,
‘As artificial intelligence becomes more accessible, if not quite mainstream, it sounds to reason that the social media folks are going to make more comprehensive use of it.
Social media is all about reaching the right people at the right time through precision targeting and this is something that AI excels at. In my opinion, we’re going to start to see some pretty new funky AI features on social media, including more interactive and VR capabilities and, certainly, much more personalisation in posts and adverts.
The technology is already here, it’s now just a case of social media platforms harnessing it to improve the user experience.’
I second that emotion
In a similar vein, social media platforms are likely to be hooking up with sentiment analysis companies in a much more comprehensive way in order to grab all that lovely data from its users.
AI will absolutely take this to dizzy new heights and will be able to provide a lot more information rather than just a report of what people have said about a certain brand or product.
Sentiment Analysis is currently growing hugely in sophistication and this will very much allow social media platforms to tap into tons more data. Dima Suponau of Number For Live Person says,
‘My business is all about the data and, for this, social listening is essential. I think that, in a few years time, we’ll view what we have now as pretty primitive as AI continues to revolutionise the way in which we collate, store and use data; making it bigger, faster and stronger’.
Under the influence
Influence marketing continues to be a pretty big deal for a lot of marketers and, is enjoying something of a renaissance in 2021. No, I’m not saying that AI will create influencers for your brand (the very thought).
I am, however, confident that AI will do a much better job than you are at successfully finding and contacting the best influencers for your brand. Neal Taparia of Spider Solitaire Challenge says,
‘There was a time when we thought that the age of the influencer was over but, it’s back with a vengeance.
The only difference is that today’s influencer is much more knowledgeable and is more a thought leader rather than a simple celebrity.
I think that AI is going to turn the whole process of finding influencers on its head and will mean that brands can quickly and easily find influencers and brand ambassadors’.
I’m sure I don’t need to tell you how important customer support is – or that, its making a major shift to social media channels. While this is essential, its also costly in terms of salaries and human downtime.
It will come as no surprise at all that AI will also take over here – in fact, its already doing so.
Tons of companies around the world are already enjoying the benefits of using AI powered chatbots for their customer support and this is good – but not good enough.
In the future, we’ll be able to train AI to not just respond to simple queries but to gain a deeper understanding in order to tackle complex queries.
In cases where its not able to do this, it will be able to effectively re-direct queries to the correct person; all of which means that customer support will become much more reactive and responsible which will lead to happier customers.
Social media artificial intelligence
When it comes to social media, the future is most definitely already here in the form of artificial intelligence. Before you start packing up your things with a view to retiring to the sofa, I’m not suggesting for a moment that human input for social media will ever become redundant; just the opposite.
By using some of the AI tools listed in this article, real life human employees will be able to focus more completely on the things that AI can’t – and won’t – be able to do.
Creative activities such as writing and artistry will always require creatures with two eyes and two hands – social media artificial intelligence will just make it that much easier for us in the future.