Marketers have a range of tools at their disposal for understanding customers and prospects on social media. With time, these tools are continuously improving to allow for better monitoring and analysis. The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to automate marketing tasks is one such improvement. In addition, there are a number of ways, in which AI affects social media monitoring. However, the most obvious advantages are improved accuracy and reduced human effort. In this article, we look at the 4 ways, in which AI will affect such marketing processes, enabling marketers to better understand customers with intelligent insights in a manner like never before.
The Role of Artificial Intelligence in Marketing
Artificial Intelligence can be defined as the ability of a computer system to understand the real world on its own. This allows a computer to perform tasks that would normally require human effort and intellect. In marketing, AI is an extremely powerful tool. In the near future, we can expect marketing tools to employ AI features. Through these features, marketing tools can interpret and analyze information about customers. Example of such information could be the products they like or how they spend their time online. Though there are numerous applications of AI in marketing, all of them fulfill a single purpose. To better understand the customer and make smarter marketing decisions.Though there are numerous applications of AI in marketing, all of them fulfill a single purpose. To better understand the customer and make smarter marketing decisions. Click To Tweet
By understanding the customer, brands can determine relevant marketing messages, find the right influencers, refine their content marketing strategy and gain insightful information about their customers. A thorough understanding of the customers guarantees an improved and efficient social media marketing strategy for brands. This is where AI plays a vital role in marketing. In addition, AI will play a crucial role in social media monitoring tools, by enabling new features for smart suggestions and intelligent decisions based on the analyzed data (e.g. mentions) that is collected for your brand or product. The following parts of this article include 4 ways that AI will soon affect social media monitoring processes, helping marketers for smarter decisions.
#1 Finding and utilizing digital influencers
Sometimes you find and pay influencers for promoting a product, but the results do not turn out to be effective. This could be because the influencer’s approach does not resonate with the audience. Therefore, it is important that you not only make use of influencer marketing but find the right digital influencers too.
Digital influencers are very important to marketers. This is because they expand the reach of a brand to new audiences. However, having influencers does not mean that you trust your brand social media marketing to them. Remember that just as an influencer can help your brand grow, they can hurt your brand as well. Sometimes, even numerous efforts from an influencer turn out to be ineffective.
In the past, the process of finding an influencer and matching their persona with your brand was a rigorous process. Brands made use of word-of-mouth to discover influencers but now the situation has changed.
As AI in social media monitoring improves, it will become easier for brands to find the right influencers. The process of finding these influencers will become less resource-intensive, time-consuming, and more accurate. There are certain algorithms that already make use of influencers’ followers, posts and interactions to determine if they are suitable for a brand. The use of AI will thus allow marketers to find the right influencers for their brand by using their social media monitoring tool.
#2 Knowing the right time and channel to post
Sometimes you could have great content available but the time, at which you post the content could be wrong. This can mean that the content does not receive the engagement that it deserves. It is not only important to know what to post but also when and how to post it.
The when is about analyzing current social media trends and understanding exactly when a piece of content could go viral. There is an enormous number of posts on the social media at any given time. Therefore, it is natural for a post by your brand to get lost in the noise. If you post the content at a wrong time, it could receive customer engagement for just a few seconds.
The how is about understanding the social media channels. What channels are available to your brand and which channel will receive the most engagement for a piece of content. For instance, if a topic is trending on Facebook, it is not necessary that it will be trending on Twitter. This means that if you post the content on Twitter, it will not receive the engagement you are looking for.
Choosing the right time and platform for posting content is a process that can be simplified by using AI via a social media monitoring tool. Tools that have AI features incorporated in them can analyze the data about the reach of posts with their time and platform to come up with an effective content posting strategy.
#3 Look for opportunities for real-time interactions
Nowadays, the social media is the most approachable way of reaching out to individuals. Whether you are looking to grab the attention of prospects or to answer queries from your customers, the social media is the way to go. However, the social media, unlike other forms of media, thrives on real-time interactions. This means that you cannot just wait days before responding back to customers. You need to get back to them immediately.
Social media monitoring tools can help you identify opportunities for interacting with customers by analyzing mentions about your brand. AI features in a social monitoring tool allow you to determine when and how to respond back to customers. However, in the upcoming year, we can expect AI to be even more involved in the customer service process. From chatbots to automated response systems, you can expect everything to become more intelligent.
Though it is worth mentioning here that despite massive improvements in AI technologies, it is still not capable enough to replace human connections. However, brands can utilize the AI tools available to initiate conversations with customers and reduce response time.
What are the ways in which Artificial Intelligence can help with real-time interaction?
First, by helping brands identify the opportunities to engage with customers. You can easily get overwhelmed by the amount of social media posts about (or related to) your brand. Moreover, you can also get confused between which posts are related to your brand and which of them are not. This is because not all industry keywords will be relevant to your marketing message or brand. For example, if you are a marketer for Sherlock Technologies, then monitoring the keyword Sherlock can lead you to posts about the British television series, Sherlock.
AI allows you to automate the process of skimming through these social media posts. This makes sure that you do not miss out on key opportunities to engage with customers. With intelligent social monitoring, you can leave the sorting of the posts to the tool. This enables marketers to instead focus on responding back to the customers.
No matter how many people you assign to the task of sorting social media posts, it is nearly impossible to carry out this task without the assistance of automation. AI can play a key role in helping sort these posts and we can expect AI features to improve such processes even further.
In 2018 and the upcoming years, AI will be able to make informed calculations, perform analytics, and even make recommendations on its own. With AI, marketers will be able to efficiently identify the most relevant posts that they should interact with.
Another way in which AI can be used is to find the right way to communicate with individual leads. You can mine your CRM tools for obtaining rich insights into how exactly you need to interact with prospective leads. This allows marketers to improve conversion rates and generate more sales.
#4 Making use of images
There are often times when a customer puts up an image of a brand product, but the brand fails to notice it. This happens because images are more difficult to find and analyze than text-based content. Even through dedicated search tools. According to statistics, users upload 350 million images on Facebook and 95 million images and videos on Instagram every day!
This is a massive amount of data that has to be analyzed by brands. Sorting and filtering these many images is impossible through traditional mechanisms (such as hashtags and search engines). Therefore, AI is the way to go.
For efficient social media monitoring, brands need to go through and learn from all user-generated content, including images. In 2018, we can expect AI tools to be able to recognize brand-related images and draw meaning from them. Through this, brands can learn in-depth insights about the customers’ feedback on their products. AI will enable brands to recognize possible sales opportunities and cross-promotional opportunities.
With the information gathered from images, marketers can capture the available opportunities and release targeted content for customers. For instance, if a customer regularly posts an image about a product of yours, you can send them targeted promotions or even just message of appreciations showing them that you care. This improves customer loyalty and encourages them to post more about your brand.
Moreover, analyzing the visual content that customers post can also help you develop detailed buyer personas. These buyer personas provide useful information about the groups of people that buy from you. According to a case study, buyer personas yield a 171% increase in the marketing generated revenue. This proves the importance of developing well-maintained and thorough buyer personas for your customers.
In the last section, we discussed how marketers can make use of AI for improving their marketing efforts. Here we highlight a few examples of brands that have successfully done exactly this:
Blossom by New York Times:
The New York Times is considered to be a content King in the United States with its readership and influence extending all across the globe. The company posts hundreds of stories on its website on a daily basis. At this scale, it is very difficult to handpick stories that will receive maximum engagement. Therefore, for this purpose, the New York Times makes use of Blossom.
Blossom is an intelligent Slack bot that predicts how articles will perform on the social media. Not just this, but the bot can also make story suggestions to editors, by analyzing through the massive amount of story content and data available to it. The bot makes use of metrics such as Facebook post engagement and number of views to determine which stories to post next. Editors and writers of the New York Times can directly question Blossom to ask about what to write or share next!
Sephora is a chain of cosmetics stores based out of France that features almost 300 brands. It is one of the companies that adopted AI early in its marketing game. Sephora has chatbots set up across various social media platforms, including Facebook Messenger and Kik. The Sephora chatbot is advanced enough to give out beauty advice on its own! This chatbot by Sephora is capable of promoting both content (such as articles on beauty tips) and products. The chatbot can ask you questions, take a quiz to learn about your preferences, and make suggestions on which products to buy!
These examples show how AI has positively influenced social media marketing. In this modern age, AI features and application have become vital tools for online marketers.
To Sum Up
Artificial Intelligence has been on the rise over the past few years with all industries catching up on the latest technologies. This has been the case with social media monitoring as well. The introduction of ‘intelligent’ features in social media monitoring tools allows marketers to focus on the gist of marketing itself rather than the nitty-gritty details of the data analysis. Rather than focusing on collecting data and organizing it into valuable information, AI will enable marketers to focus on drawing meaning from customers’ data for improved decision making.
There are numerous advancements being made in this field. Out of these, we have highlighted 4 important ways in which AI will directly influence social media monitoring. These include effectively finding digital influencers, scheduling content more efficiently, identifying opportunities for real-time interactions and discovering the meaning behind visuals shared by customers.
Regardless of how it affects social media monitoring, we can be certain about one thing. AI will add value to marketers’ information and allow them to make smarter, more reliable decisions for their business.
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