Artificial Intelligence is touching every aspect of life? Hope it’s not an understatement!
The idea that a machine can exhibit the same level of intelligence as that of a human being has given rise to Artificial Intelligence (AI). It has attracted tremendous attention in different business sectors and has occupied a key role in social media marketing.
“Investment in AI is expected to grow by 300%” says a research report prediction.
So what is this Artificial Intelligence?
AI is a science of developing computers which are able to perform tasks that normally requires human intelligence. It is the ability of machines to understand its environment and apply the learning to complete tasks that would be normally done by a human.
Humans are considered to be the most intelligent race in the world, and AI is an effort to mimic the human intelligence using machines.
Why is AI important for Social Media Marketing?
We, as humans have limitations of time and energy, whereas machines do not.
Social Media marketing is about reaching out to your potential customers over the social media platforms. With more than 2.5 billion social media users, it could be overwhelming for a human to analyse customers, their interests and their varied shopping habits.
Now AI and humans can work together to apply intelligence using machines and understand the deep layers of customer preferences. AI can be applied at various stages of the customer life cycle starting from targeting a potential customer to retaining a loyal customer.
The biggest challenge however is to remove the chaff from the wheat. It is estimated that nearly 80% of the posts on social media are useless from a marketing standpoint or repetitions with little knowledge being added. AI has got to a point where it is very good at this task.
How Can Marketers Harness the Power of AI?
1. Predictive Analysis
Social media activities leave a digital footprint which makes it easy to track and measure each online activity. But simply having a lot of data is of no use until you know how to read the past and predict the future, thereby using the analysis to make profit.
Social media marketing will be the biggest gainer if integrated with AI into their ecommerce business. AI can comb data, understand patterns, read competition and offer solutions to marketers on a real time basis. Added advantage is the absence of human bias and errors. AI is flexible and has capability to scale up or scale down analysis based on demand.
Imagine you have launched a new product on social media platforms, and there is lot of data that is generated for your product. It can be humanly impossible for you to analyse data to reach to specific customer preferences. This means an opportunity lost to understand and predict the sales. This is where AI can pitch in to analyse and understand data thereby helping you to take intelligent decisions to grow your product.
2. Content Creation
Do you think you could have read articles written by machines? Highly possible!
AI has gone beyond just numbers and has made it possible to generate articles. Natural language generation (NLG) is a software capable of processing data into text. Companies such as AP and Deloitte use AI to generate reports, summaries and recaps thereby saving huge amount of time and resources.
Social media marketing companies are under constant pressure to offer high value content to their customers to keep them engaged. AI can transform data into well summarized articles using tools such as wordsmith. The content generated using AI is difficult to differentiate from human written content.
Research says that by 2018, about 20% of business related content will be written by machines.
Coca-Cola is a good example where AI has been used for content creation. It has realized that creating content is a challenge and hence has been trying ways to create automated narrations, social media posts and scripts.
Speed to market is a critical differentiator which takes on a whole new meaning with the speed of the internet. Now marketers do not have the luxury of long drawn ad and content creation cycles.
You not only need to create content that is relevant, reflects brand communication but also is made in such a way as to grab the attention of the customer instantly.
3. Targeted Advertising
In the past advertising campaigns were just about 2 to 3 campaigns per year. But now it is more frequent, 2 to 3 campaigns a month! Social media marketers need to strive hard to create engaging campaigns that has a wider reach.
Advertising campaign’s goal is to ensure that it reaches right people with the right context. AI can perform this role to a large extent. Social media managers simply have to define their campaign by identifying buyer segments, target audience, budgets, returns and other key performance indicators. AI will be able to adjust placement using algorithms that analyse a visitor’s behaviour. It can perform complex combinations like focusing on high value customers based on real time feedback.
When a customer gets advertisements relevant to his recent searches about a product, there are high chances that it will convert into a sale. AI is the answer to make advertisements relevant to your target customers.
4. Personalized Messaging
The age of mass automated messages is disappearing. Social Media marketers are pampering their customers by sending one-to-one messages that connect the customers emotionally to their brand. Though this is the best thing to do, it would be humanly not possible to understand each message and respond with personalised messages.
Here AI comes to rescue.
Data and messages from customers are studied within minutes, to identify patterns, insights and motivation of customers. This phase will use customer’s psychographics, based on which personalized messages are developed. With AI analysis, it is possible to locate the position of the customer in the marketing funnel, thereby making it possible to develop exact messages relevant to customer which can nudge them to take the next step.
For example when a customer is looking to book a restaurant, AI can predict the customer’s needs and preferences based on the restaurants that he has visited recently, his preferred cuisine, location and ambience. Based on the AI predictions, personalised messages can be sent to help him choose the restaurant of his choice.
All this would not have been possible just with the help of human analysis. AI has opened doors for making marketing more effective with personalized messaging.
Chatbot is one of the best offerings of AI and is on the way to becoming a viable customer service channel. A chatbot is a service which allows a user to get answers to his queries on websites over a chat interface without realising that they are talking to a computer. A chatbot is built using natural language processing (NLP) and is smart to understand keywords and common mistakes in sentences.
Social media marketers love the chatbots since they provide replies to customer queries in the most humane way and it is also possible for a chatbot to understand the mood of customers with the kind of queries that they are asking. It is loved by customers as well since they receive replies to their queries at any point in the day or night without waiting for an agent.
Simple and very intelligent chatbots are available to attend to your customers without the intervention of a human. It is also becoming easier to develop a chatbot using development platforms such as Chatfuel and Gupshup.
AI is changing the scene for social media marketing. It is important that marketers need to integrate AI into their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to beat the competition.
AI and humans need to work together to solve problems and achieve goals faster and more efficiently. Using AI as a decision support system for faster communication cycles has the potential to dramatically alter customer perceptions of brands and services.