Social media is an ever-evolving mechanism that requires plenty of effort to keep up with its latest trends. Savvy marketers need to be ahead of the curve while also maintaining those all-important relationships with their audience. 

Achieving the perfect equilibrium of building on customer connections and making sure your tactics are on point is no easy feat. But technology is making things that little bit easier. AI (artificial intelligence)  is becoming more prominent in the world of social media, and it’s helping brands unlock their potential. 

From acquiring new followers to improving the overall user experience, AI is quickly weaving itself into the fabric of social media. With the tech’s growing importance, we thought it would be a good idea to examine its relationship with social media platforms. 

Read on, and discover how the relationship between AI and social media is evolving along with what the future holds. 

What is artificial intelligence?

Most people think of all-encompassing robots and Blade Runner-style dystopias whenever AI is mentioned. While blockbuster movies add an element of fantasy to artificial intelligence, the reality isn’t quite as Box Office. That doesn’t mean its capabilities aren’t exciting, however. 

AI is essentially the science of making machines smart. While that might not yet equate to fully automated, human-like robots, it does allude to making processes easier. From image recognition to social media usage and just about everything in between, machine learning is redefining our experiences. 

Machine learning is a subset of AI and is the most recognized form of the tech’s use in everyday life. However, machine learning is mostly coded by humans and makes recommendations based on instructions that are fed to it. AI tools, on the other hand, improve on their own and use a mixture of historical performance and new data feeds to provide their own conclusions. 

The big social networks

The importance of AI to social media shouldn’t be underestimated, with the big players all heavily investing in the tech. Facebook has been heavily focused on AI since 2013 after it hired Yann LeCun as Chief AI Scientist.

Twitter implements the use of AI in many forms, with one of the primary drivers being the tech’s ability to determine which tweet recommendations it suggests on a user’s timeline. YouTube invested heavily in AI algorithms to perfect its feed for which video people see next. Instagram uses AI to customize content on its “explore” tab, which allows users to choose from relevant content based on images they have previously liked.

With social media companies fully entrenched in the world of AI, it makes sense for marketers using the platforms to go all-in too. Especially as the data available can help source new followers and customers, which can increase brand awareness and bottom lines. 

Content creation

Without engaging content, it’s virtually impossible to build a following across social media. Marketers need to be savvy in how they promote the brands they work for, and the quality of content is king for striking a chord with audiences. 

AI-assisted content creation is a type of tool that studies the content brands post and how audiences react to what they see. It then takes a data-driven approach to suggest the type of content you should create and prioritize for your followers. 

Think of it as creativity from humans and data provided robots. AI-assisted content creation is frequently used by companies like The Washington Post, CBS, USA Today, and Reuters, who all rely on AI to help define their approach and outreach methods. 

Always on

The internet has brought the world closer together, giving brands the chance to globalize themselves in the process. One of the caveats to this new world of access is time zones: it’s hard to target audiences in real-time if you’re based in the US but want to reach Australia. 

AI makes having around-the-clock presence easier, thanks to its ability to manage social media pages 24/7. Chatbots will account for 85% of customer service by the end of 2020, which will allow brands to keep up appearances and respond to customer message queries – no matter the time of day.

As the tech improves, chatbots will become more refined at answering questions – with people unable to distinguish between whether they are talking to a robot or human. Successful brands like Spotify, Lyft, and Mastercard implement the use of chatbots to provide well-rounded customer service. 

Better audience targeting

There are more than three-billion users across social media platforms, which is almost half of the planet’s population. One of the biggest issues marketers face isn’t that of quantity. Instead, it’s quality. Getting the right leads is imperative to a successful social media campaign. 

Today, the advancement of AI means marketers can leverage the tech to reach the ideal audience personas needed to build their following. Audience activities are stored online, and AI can sift through the data to provide valuable insights like social media usage, buying patterns, and general online behavior. 

When used correctly, marketers can turn this information into improved brand offerings that help build the online communities they are trying to foster. Practically every active company on social media uses audience targeting, and AI is helping to simplify the process with smart data that provides easier access to more suitable targets. 

Improved ROI

Bidding on social media is one of the most important aspects of a marketers job. With AI, automated bidding becomes much less of a risk and can improve the overall return on investment (ROI). Automated bidding, powered by AI, on platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter can adjust bids accordingly so that it achieves the best results.

Marketers have a clearer overview of what is and isn’t working, meaning they can make more confident decisions when bidding for ads. There is no need to hire additional human resources, as AI is capable of doing several jobs around bidding.  

Social media and AI: now and tomorrow

With an increase in AI tools, social marketers have never had so many options to employ the use of artificial intelligence in their marketing strategies. That doesn’t mean human connection will be consigned to the past, however. The future landscape consists of AI providing better data to humans, who can then turn that information into creative and engaging content.