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How AI and Social Media Can Make You a Better Marketer

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Has your company used social listening technology for things like sentiment analysis and trend spotting? If so, you've likely discovered the many limitations to this technique, including the fact that these tools generally just don't perform up to the standards they promise. 

That's why one company saw an opportunity. 

YouScan, an AI social media intelligence platform, saw a huge need for advanced social media analysis—something that reviews and understands text, images, sentiment, trends, and more. 

And with its one-of-a-kind platform, marketers can get the insights they need to do better market research, reputation management, customer support, and strategic planning.

We talked with Alex Orap, CEO and founder of YouScan, to learn more about this tool, its capabilities, and the possibilities of combining AI and social media.

In a single sentence or statement, describe your company.

YouScan is an AI-powered social media listening and image recognition platform.

How does your company use artificial intelligence in its products?

We use AI to help our customers automatically uncover consumer insights and trends from discussions and images posted on social media. We use deep learning for natural language processing and image recognition.

For example, our platform can automatically detect the customers’ sentiment about your product’s quality, price, or effects on health, what scenes or activities are trending on images that contain your brand logo, and how it all differs from your competitors.

It’s a new frontier for consumer research, which is much faster and cost-effective than traditional research methods.

What are the primary marketing use cases for your AI-powered solutions?

Marketing use cases for our social media insights technology fall into two broad categories.

The first one is testing your marketing hypothesis and uncovering consumer insights related to your existing customer base. With YouScan, you can automatically analyze millions of text and visual mentions of your brand or product posted on social media.

You can learn about your customers’ demographics, understand how they perceive your product, and see real consumption situations.

You can also stay on top of trends related to your brand’s discussions, and tune your marketing communications in real-time; see consumers’ reactions to your new product launches and marketing campaigns, and much more.

Another type of use case is all about getting new consumer insights about your product category to help you innovate and inform your marketing strategies.

Using our AI-powered platform, you can easily collect and analyze consumer opinions about your product category or any other topic of your interest, and uncover insights about what’s essential for your potential customers and what’s trending.

There are also tons of other use cases, including finding your brand ambassadors and potential influencers, addressing relevant consumer complaints before they blow out into a full-fledged PR crisis, and keeping track of your competitor’s activities.

What makes your AI-powered solution smarter than traditional approaches and products?

At the latest ESOMAR consumer research conference, there were lots of conversations around the increased importance of “no-question research.” The idea is simple: There is a lot of valuable information you can get from indirect research methods, as a marketer or consumer research professional. However, it typically encompasses the analysis of large volumes of consumer-related data, and it cannot be quickly done manually.

Here, AI-powered platforms like YouScan can help. With a relatively modest budget and a few mouse clicks, you can uncover consumer insights from social media that will help your brand innovate.

Are there any minimum requirements for marketers to get value out of your AI-powered technology? (e.g. data, list size, etc.)

There are no strict requirements besides the need to allocate some time and effort on your side to incorporate consumer insights from social media to your organization’s marketing processes.

Who are your ideal customers in terms of company size and industries?

YouScan is mostly valuable to medium and big consumer brands. Such companies always have a meaningful amount of related posts on social media to be analyzed. But our platform can be precious for challenger brands as well—those who are aiming to disrupt traditional product categories or launch completely new offerings for the customers.

We are also industry-agnostic. Our customer base spans industries ranging from CPG, beauty, and cosmetics, to healthcare, banking, transportation, retail, ecommerce, and many others.

What do you see as the limitations of AI as it exists today?

As much as we are proud of our platform’s AI-powered capabilities around natural language processing and image analytics, which help brands get to insights faster, we also appreciate the role that human analysts should play to interpret the data.

Consumer research specialists often criticize the accuracy and reliability of automatic algorithms in detecting the sentiment of text mentions or recognizing objects in the images. However, it has become much better in recent years, thanks to powerful hardware, novel machine learning approaches, and vast training data—and is very reliable now.

It is more about the role of human analysts in the decision loop and the way they interpret the results of machine analysis. Only by understanding your business strategy, goals, and values, can you, as a marketer, decide what to do about all the insights and the new information brought to you by AI-powered tools like YouScan.

What do you see as the future potential of AI in marketing?

With the vast amount of digital consumer data now available to businesses, we are only starting to see the potential of AI in marketing. I believe the most significant value for companies will come from being able to personalize and improve their offering for the customers based on patterns and insights they uncover in consumer-generated data.

Of course, we should not forget about treating consumer’s data in a highly ethical manner and avoid any attempts to manipulate or trick consumers.

Speaking of our business of social media insights, we love to see it when our customers improve their products and services after listening to their consumers and learning more about the issues that consumers experience with them. This way, everyone wins—both the brand and the consumer.

Any other thoughts on AI in marketing, or advice for marketers who are just starting with AI?

Don’t try to boil the ocean. Start with small projects that utilize AI capabilities, get experience with using specific technology, learn more about its benefits and limitations, gain initial traction, and get tangible results. Only then try to implement larger-scale, AI-driven projects and strategies.

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