AI in social media holds the potential to transform how brands market across platforms like TikTok, Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Today, AI can create social media posts for you. It can draft and target social ads. It can automate monitoring. And it powers most of what you see on any given social network.
That might be why the "AI in social media" market is projected to grow from $633 million in 2018 to more than $2.1 billion by 2023, according to estimates from Markets and Markets.
But AI isn't just some buzzword. It's real technology that social media marketers can use today to get incredible results.
This article is here to help.
At Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute, we've spent years helping marketers understand and apply artificial intelligence, so they can increase revenue and reduce costs at their companies.
And social media marketing is one of the main areas where marketers can both skyrocket performance and efficiencies by using artificial intelligence, getting more value and engagement out of every online conversation that happens on social media channels.
In this post, we'll demystify artificial intelligence, then show you how exactly it can be used in your social media marketing.
What Is Artificial Intelligence?
Demis Hassabis CEO of AI company DeepMind, calls artificial intelligence the "science of making machines smart."
That means we teach machines to mimic human intelligence. We give them the ability to see, hear, speak, move, and write.
You see these abilities on display in the smart hardware and software you use every day...
Your smartphone uses AI to power voice assistants and real-time navigation. Your favorite companies, like Amazon and Netflix, use AI to recommend products and content. And email clients like Gmail even use AI to automatically write parts of emails for you.
AI's most impressive capabilities are powered by machine learning. Machine learning is a subset of AI that allows machines to make accurate predictions based on large sets of data. The smartest AI tools then actually improve the accuracy of their predictions over time. This ability to get smarter, often without direct human involvement, is why AI is so powerful...
Give AI enough data, and it can unlock potentially unlimited performance potential.
Today, AI technology uses data to make increasingly relevant and accurate predictions about everything from what product you want to buy next to which ad campaign to run to which content topics to cover on your blog.
AI can read and write using natural language generation and natural language processing. It can detect and mimic tone of voice using sentiment analysis. It can detect images, video, and faces using image recognition and computer vision capabilities. AI can even predict performance and recommend actions.
In turn, these capabilities can be used to give your social media marketing superpowers.
The Benefits of AI in Social Media
Posting and engaging on social media is a key piece of most companies' digital marketing strategy—and AI can help you do it better than before.
In social media, AI can both accelerate revenue and reduce costs across a range of use cases.
Because AI learns from data, it can use data from social media audiences to accelerate revenue in a number of ways, such as:
- Learn which headlines, words, and images in posts lead to the most engagement
- Discover new audiences and trends based on sentiment analysis
- Predict who will take action and buy more, then target them with social messages
AI can also be used to reduce costs across social media marketing activities, by making your work more efficient and automated. In fact, AI can:
- Automate and scale the creation of content for social media
- Automatically resize and reformat creative for different channels
- Automatically target social media audiences with ads and regulate spend
How Is AI Used in Social Media?
AI technology is a key component of the popular social networks you use every single day—and of marketing on those platforms.
Facebook uses advanced machine learning to do everything from serve you content to recognize your face in photos to target users with advertising. Instagram (owned by Facebook) uses AI to identify visuals.
LinkedIn uses AI to offer job recommendations, suggest people you might like to connect with, and serving you specific posts in your feed.
Snapchat leverages the power of computer vision, an AI technology, to track your features and overlay filters that move with your face in real-time.
These are just a few examples of how AI works behind the scenes to power features of the world's most popular social networks.
And, across all social media platforms and each social media post, an AI algorithm or machine learning system is regulating how the content you create and the ads you buy are placed in front of users-often in ways that aren't entirely transparent to marketers.
This is all to say that AI is a fundamental part of how today's social networks function.
But, AI often operates behind the scenes of popular platforms, and entirely at the discretion of the company that owns the platform.
However, that doesn't mean marketers can't leverage AI for their social media strategy.
In fact, there are many commercially available artificial intelligence social media monitoring and marketing tools across a number of use cases.
Here are a few of the top ways social media marketers can start using AI, machine learning, and intelligent automation technologies.
Create and Manage Social Media Content
Marketers spend a ton of time creating content for social media distribution, then managing distribution and engagement across channels.
A traditional social media management tool helps with this, by streamlining social media scheduling and monitoring. But AI tools take it further.
Tools exist to auto-generate social media content across channels, going so far as to automatically include hashtags and shortened links. Tools also exist to auto-schedule these shares in bulk.
Overall, an AI tool is able-today-to handle certain types of social media creation and management in minutes.
Gather Social Media Intelligence and Perform Social Listening
An AI-powered social monitoring tool or social listening tool can deliver insights from your brand's social media profiles and audience.
This often involves using the power of AI to analyze social data at scale, understand what's being said in them, then extracting insights based on that information.
That data, properly applied, allows AI social media monitoring tools to:
- Help you track your global brand mentions
- Find emerging consumer trends
- Find new audiences to target
- Keep tabs on brand reputation
- Monitor every social mention
- Identify promising new avenues for social media promotion.
These actionable insights are delivered in near real-time, giving brands a leg up against the competition.
Optimize and Manage Social Media Ads
Almost any social media platform gives marketers an unprecedented ability to run paid ads to platform users based on highly granular demographic and behavioral targeting.
But marketers still need to write or create ad creative...or do they?
Artificial intelligence tools exist today that will actually write Facebook and Instagram ads for you.
The ads are optimized for clicks and conversions, thanks to AI's ability to predict at scale which language will improve results.
Find the Right Influencer and Generate AI Influencers
Finding the right influencer can put a brand on the map. But how do you do so efficiently? AI can lend a hand.
AI-powered influencer research platforms analyze a variety of social media analytics to understand which accounts can provide the most engagement, reach, and influence for a specific industry.
Using the technology, brand can even create an AI influencer, a completely artificial avatar like Lil Miquela, to represent your brand 24/7 on social media.
As Chief Content Officer, Mike Kaput uses content marketing, marketing strategy, and marketing technology to grow and scale traffic, leads, and revenue for Marketing AI Institute. Mike is the co-author of Marketing Artificial Intelligence: AI, Marketing and the Future of Business (Matt Holt Books, 2022). See Mike's full bio.