Intelligent Engagement: Where Artificial Intelligence & Marketing Unite

Artificial intelligence is already well-established in the world of targeted advertising and recommendations. But AI is also rapidly evolving on social media as a way to help brands quickly and efficiently discover, engage with, and learn from their followers.

Although there is no one definition for it, we can summarize social artificial intelligence as a form of collecting and sifting through customer history, user-generated content, and data from social media channels to generate more relevant content and, as a result, a more meaningful experience for followers.

Social AI has the ability to provide a better social experience overall. For an example of what social AI can do, we just have to look at Facebook. The social network has already incorporated artificial intelligence as part of the platform in many innovative ways. From automatic face tagging to the stories that appear in News Feeds, Facebook has been at the forefront of what AI can do for social media by incorporating a variety of AI technologies that help continuously improve the Facebook user experience.

We’re now seeing more and more social networks investing in social AI technologies, and although the technology is still relatively young, many remarkable new ways to surface content to audiences have emerged. Yet despite the groundbreaking opportunities social AI presents, many brands have yet to turn to social AI to help engage their audiences, target new customers, and analyze the enormous volumes of social data that is now accessible.

So to help uncover what social artificial intelligence can do, here’s a look at some of the exciting opportunities it brings to the table for those in the social media marketing world and how marketers can keep an eye on this trend.

It’s highly unlikely that AI will ever replace all engagements on social media — after all, the point of social media is human interaction. But it does give brands the ability to automatically surface the most valuable, important conversations to respond to or engage with.

AI can help social media teams alleviate the pressures of providing instant support in order to spend their time much more effectively, including:

  • Identifying which inquiries are coming from real people and which are coming from bot accounts.
  • Creating a queue for responses that prioritizes high-profile users first.
  • Identifying your happiest followers and the ones who are engaging with your brand the most so focus can be placed on them.
  • Uncovering which tools were used by followers to send you a message so that you can avoid dangerous links and spam.

Preparing your company or brand for AI on social media

Increased investments and resources are being allocated to the advancement of social AI technology to revolutionize social media and a brand’s role in it. The intersection of social media and AI also presents many new opportunities for social media marketers to shine. To prepare for this new age, Forrester discussed a number of recommendations on how marketers can adapt. And while they mostly refer to the surge in chatbots, the advice can also be applied to adapting to social AI.

As Forrester put it, “being human, helpful, and handy is key.” The traditional marketer role of “pushing” content must be readjusted to focusing more on two-way conversations. AI will guide the conversations in the beginning, but humans must step in for the actual engagements.

Marketers must also accept that they will need to serve customers in real time. Instant responses are now expected on social media, and these expectations will only solidify over the next year. Making sure your team is set up internally to handle rapid turnarounds on social media, and implementing automated response technology if needed, will ensure your brand is prepared to deal with these customer expectations in both the short and long term.

We are just now at the forefront of social AI marketing. There won’t ever be a complete substitute for human engagement, but social AI definitely has the potential to be a means to the end goal of social media marketing.

Andy Stewart

Neural Marketer, Columbus, OH 43215