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Artificial Intelligence 10 min read

AI for Social Media: A Guide to Developing an AI-Powered Social Media Strategy

Sarah Edwards photo

Written by Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed

Dallin Porter photo

Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter

Marketing Director @ Galactic Fed

Published 01 Mar 2023

Managing a robust social media marketing strategy isn’t easy, especially if you have followers across several platforms. What looks like a fun activity can quickly grow burdensome, requiring you to constantly develop new content, address comments and messages, and manage your network. However, the application of artificial intelligence in social media can eliminate some of your routine tasks and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the use of artificial intelligence in social media. 

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is an umbrella term that describes a computer’s ability to perform tasks traditionally done by humans. As technology continues to innovate, these tasks grow more complex, such as creating content or making product recommendations based on an individual’s previous purchases and browsing history. 

While there’s been lots of news about artificial intelligence following the release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT, artificial intelligence isn’t new. Other software has incorporated AI into their tools for years, including social media marketing platforms. 

Benefits of Implementing AI in Social Media

As you can imagine, there are some significant benefits to using tools that incorporate AI, particularly for social media marketing. Here are a few:

Reduce Time Spent on Redundant Tasks

Whether you’re a business owner or a professional marketer, you know that managing social media accounts is time-consuming. You must consistently create new content to engage with your fans and increase brand awareness and loyalty. But you must also deal with customer communications and support, which can take a great deal of time.

Many marketers utilize AI tools to help with many time-consuming facets of social media marketing. For example, you can use AI tools to develop written content or create eye-catching graphics. You might also leverage AI-powered chatbots or auto-responders to field common customer questions. While these tools won’t fully replace human efforts for a long time, they can save the savvy marketer a great deal of time.

Reduced Costs

Using tools that incorporate AI can reduce your costs. For example, if you’re paying several individuals to manage your social media accounts, you might be able to cut it down to one or two people by taking advantage of AI tools that reduce the heavy lifting that some tasks require. With reduced costs, you can increase the ROI of your social media campaigns.

Greater Insight into Campaigns

Specific AI tools provide powerful insights about your social media campaigns, insights that are difficult or impossible to uncover manually. Thanks to these insights, you can create data-driven content that aligns with your customers’ interests and has a better understanding of the content your followers engage with. 

Challenges of Implementing AI in Social Media

Challenges of AI

At this point, AI can’t completely replace a human and won’t for a long time. While it can assist in some tasks, it lacks critical capabilities. Here are just a couple of limitations of artificial intelligence:

Risk of Incorrect Output

Artificial intelligence is only as good as the data it has access to. If its data is incorrect, its output will be wrong. The risk of false results is significant when using AI tools to produce written content that may be inaccurate. To reduce risk, review written content thoroughly before including it in a post or using AI tools to reply to a customer’s comment.

This risk is even greater when you use AI to make major business decisions. Incorrect insights could lead you to make drastic changes to your business model that, at best, have little effect — at worst, decimate everything you’ve worked so hard to build.

Lack of Human Judgment 

Humans have knowledge and feelings that they rely on to make decisions. But artificial intelligence lacks emotions and doesn’t possess judgment — other than the rules it has to perform its tasks. Lack of judgment and intrinsic feelings can result in artificial intelligence making severe errors that can adversely impact a brand’s reputation. 

Where to Implement AI in Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

AI-tools and social media platforms

Now that you understand the benefits and limitations of artificial intelligence, let’s look at the various applications for automation and artificial intelligence in social media. 

Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis involves monitoring all corners of the internet for mentions about your brand. This way, you can determine whether people are talking about your company positively or if there are problems you need to address. 

Sentiment analysis is an area where AI performs quite well. With tools such as Brand24 and Clarabridge, you can monitor social media platforms, blogs, articles, podcasts, and forums for mentions of your company. These tools analyze each mention to determine whether it is constructive or not, empowering you to take action in the form of adjusting your products/services or replying to the feedback appropriately.

Without AI, sentiment analysis would be impossible to perform at scale. You’d need people to constantly search social media platforms and the internet for brand mentions, and it would be challenging to respond in real time. 

Uber is one example of a company that found sentiment analysis with Brand24 helpful. Uber used Brand24 to track brand mentions and customer feedback following an app update in 2016. They used customer input to make additional changes to the app, enhancing both customers’ and drivers’ experience with the company. This resulted in an 11% increase in users in just one day.

Personalized Content Recommendations

AI tools can assist in content creation, recommending topics to cover based on prior high-performing posts with higher engagement levels. A few tools can also assess long-form content to select relevant highlights that are perfect for a short-form social media post.

Some of the most widely used tools that provide these capabilities (and others) include Lately and Sprout Social.

Lately reviews long-form content and condenses it into a short, share-friendly paragraph. It can also analyze prior posts to determine when your audience will most likely engage with your content, using this data to recommend a time to post on social media. 

Sprout Social is best for managing communication between your brand and your followers. When someone comments on your post, the tool will draft an automated response you can use to reply. Of course, if you disagree with the recommendation, you can tweak it to better align with your brand’s voice.

One company that found success with Lately is Amerifirst Home Mortgage. Amerifirst’s loan officers needed help managing social media accounts, so the company decided to deploy Lately to streamline the process and produce social media content across all branches. 

This helped Amerifirst’s social messaging align with the company’s voice and comply with laws and regulations. Loan officers could also share content approved by Lately, helping them build their customer base while ensuring the quality of their content. 

Optimize Paid Social Media Advertising

Another application of artificial intelligence in social media is managing paid social media advertising. Using artificial intelligence, tools can review the performance of past advertisements to determine what posts led to the most engagement and conversions. Using this information, it can draft new posts that align with the company’s voice.

For example, Phrasee is available for short-form ad copy on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It can recommend a topic to cover and develop short content that companies can share with their followers.

Another tool that helps to optimize paid social media advertising is Pattern89. This tool helps with bid optimization, explaining how to target a specific audience better or when it’s best to adjust your marketing spend amount. Once you post an ad using Pattern89, the tool monitors your results to suggest further tweaks to enhance your ad’s performance. 

Lids — a hat and athletic apparel company — uses Pattern89 to better target its social media ads. In a test, Lids used the tool to assess its advertisements and make recommendations for improving their effectiveness. The trial decreased advertising spend by an average of 50%, along with an increase in sales. 

Developing an AI-Powered Social Media Strategy

These examples of artificial intelligence in social media show that AI can positively impact a company’s advertising and communication efforts with its audience. 

Of course, creating an AI-powered social media strategy will look different for every company. Not every organization uses social media in the same way. Some companies just use it to share informative content with their followers, while for other organizations, social media is the best way to generate revenue through ads.

Consider your objectives when deciding which tools to incorporate into your company’s social media strategy. If you’re monitoring brand sentiment, a social listening tool like Brand24 will benefit you. However, Lately may be a better choice if you need help drafting creative content.

You’ll also need to consider your marketing budget. Social media tools incorporating artificial intelligence aren’t necessarily cheap, after all. You should consider your budget and use free trials to determine whether available tools are worthwhile.

The Future of AI in Social Media

The application of artificial intelligence in social media can be very beneficial, especially in cases involving complex data analysis like sentiment analysis and paid ad optimization. There is no doubt that artificial intelligence will continue to play a critical role in social media over the years to come.

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Sarah Edwards photo

Sarah Edwards

Content Writer @ Galactic Fed