No successful marketing strategy would be possible without the help of social media marketing. The stat that 3 billion people use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and other platforms illustrates the power that this marketing approach has when it comes to increasing brand visibility and recognition, as well as expanding your reach.
Having said that, the fact that everybody, their mother, brother, and dog have profiles on social media makes it pretty difficult to emerge from the white noise of different posts, memes, videos, images, and ads, and get noticed by your target audience.
Luckily, artificial intelligenceis here to pick up the slack and assist you in coming up with the most effective way to put your best foot forward and show off your business on social media.
The Rise of the Chatbots
The latest stats say that there are more than 100,000 chatbots on Facebook, and their role is to automatically engage with the messages they receive. At the moment, these programs can deal with some frequently ask questions and provide simple solutions, but in the future, they will be more advanced, even to the extent that customers won’t be able to tell the difference between a human customer support rep and a chatbot. This way, companies will significantly speed up the troubleshooting process and consumers’ potential issues will be dealt with immediately and 24/7.
But using such sophisticated software doesn’t end here – chatbots play an even more important role in collecting and analyzing vast amounts of customer data and providing social marketers with a lot of valuable information about their customers. What they do is ask different questions which allow them to gain an insight into a given customer’s interests, pain points, and needs. This process would otherwise take up too much time and resources while with AI,all that raw, unstructured data becomes a gold mine of information. In other words, chatbot technology allows you to understand what your customers want and need, which means that you can tailor your social media campaigns, including the content, recommendations, and ads you serve them, among many other things. AI will add a human touch to robots and help them establish genuine, profound connections between brands and customers.
The Personalization of Buyer Personas
Marketing professionals heavily rely on buyer personas when it comes to promoting products and services. These generalized representations of your ideal customer help you understand different segments of your target audience and create tailored content that they can relate to. This concept is crucial for engaging your customers throughout all your marketing efforts. However, if you take a closer look, you’ll realize that these traditional marketing personas are somewhat like cardboard characters –archetypal and lacking in nuances.
Social media marketers won’t get very far if they create their content and offers for “Susan, a fifty something social worker living in a big city with her cat” as all their attempts will only partially resonate with the interests of that particular segment of their audience. Besides being too focused on job titles, old-fashioned buyer personas fall flat because theydon’t contain relevant bits of information such as the target audience’s online behavior, their preferred channel of communication, and the lingo they use. Besides that, these old-school buyer personas don’t evolve and they remain stuck in time, unlike your actual customers.
Artificial intelligence overcomes all these limitations and helps youbuild true-to-life buyer personas, as well as fine-tune and develop them in real time. This technology is capable not only of processing all the data from different sources, but also of creating associations in a way similar to that of the human brain, which results in building richer and more fluid marketing personas. Needless to say, this highly detailed and accurate approach gives marketers an opportunity to reach out to their social media followers and customers with relevant messaging, thus generating more high-quality leads which can be easily nurtured into making a purchase.
Stats say that in 2018, an estimated 84% of all communication will be visual. Apart from Instagram and Pinterest, social media platforms which are mostly visually oriented, other channels including Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn are seeing a surge in engagement when the published content contains images, infographics, and videos.
AI, however, adds an amazingly clever and useful twist to this whole story. With image recognition technology, brands can search through millions of images containing their products, logo, and company name posted on social media. This powerful software will shed light on how and where their products are used. It’s true that people tend to tag a brand in their images, but they don’t always do it, which leaves a lot of valuable data in the dark. The significance of this technology lies in the fact that brands have one thing in mind when they create a product, while its actual use, as well as the target audience, might differ.
For example, a sportswear company can identify who mainly buys and wears their running shoes marketed for recreational runners, and it might turn out that these particular shoes are popular with the cool kids who use them to express a fashion statement. This opens awhole new world of social media marketing possibilities totarget those snappy dressers with their campaigns.
AI Meets Content
Gartner has predicted that by 2018, almost 20% of B2B content will be created by intelligent machines, and they were right. As of recently, NLP, ML, and AI have been used for content creation and curation. Although there’s (still) no danger that these disruptive technologies will steal writers’ jobs, they will become increasingly involved in different parts of the content creation process.
The Washington Post has been using its in-house AI-powered software,Heliograf, for covering highly-specific topics such as high school football games in the D.C. area, Senate and gubernatorial races, and the Olympics. These stories are mainly short and they contain statistics, scores, and similar information. This allows the reputable newspaper to create countless stories without losing quality, and generate a lot of relevant content instantly. Simultaneously, journalists will have more time to focus on high-valuearticles and deal with them in an in-depth manner.
Besides producing the content itself, AI is widely used for serving content recommendations based on a particular reader’s previous choices. If we bear in mind that a similarly designed Amazon recommendation engine accounts for 35% of the company’s revenue, it’s clear what these content curation tools can do for connecting brands and their audiences by means of relevant content.
Artificial intelligence will be, or should we say already is, a make-it-or-break-it factor when it comes to creating social media strategies. By providing marketers and salespeople with ready-to-use, valuable data, AI speeds up numerous processes, eliminates guesswork, and offersa truly great user experience.
Michael Deane is a marketing executive at Servisbot, and is constantly researching the best ways to deploy AI solutions to solve everyday marketing problems.