AI & Social Media – How Ads are Getting Smarter & Why Businesses Should as Well

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Did you know that people love following the brands they appreciate on social media? 

Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and others manage to create an authentic interaction between customers and businesses. People love to get to know the team working behind their favorite products or services. On the other hand, businesses have a fantastic environment that encourages open communication and connection. 

But businesses also know that social media platforms gather important data from their users. In addition, due to the fast development of tools based on smart technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and natural language processing (NLP) businesses now have a new way of doing digital marketing. This way also calls for different marketing specializations, that include the technical aspect (which we’ll discuss later in the article).

It may sound new, but AI (which includes ML and NLP) is not exactly a new technology. In fact, most of us use it on a daily basis in devices like smartphones, smart speakers, tablets, GPS navigators, and more. In short, our modern devices use AI algorithms to observe, learn, and understand human behavior. 

The best example of AI-powered software comes from our favorite voice assistants (Siri, Alexa, or Google Now). These tools can understand natural language (for the most part), recognize voices, and provide reliable answers to our queries. They do this by storing and analyzing the data and applying the results to improve themselves. 

In addition, big platforms like Amazon, Google, Netflix, and others use AI to provide their users with a highly-customized experience (personalized product recommendations). We also see AI-algorithms working hard to correct our writing (in tools like Grammarly) or even send automatic emails (like Gmail).  

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How Do Businesses Use AI In Social Media?

Everything mentioned above sounds nice, but how does this AI exactly apply to social media platforms? 

Personalized Feeds

Personalization is a great tool for social media platforms as it allows each person to feel special. For this, platforms like Facebook and Instagram use AI algorithms that follow each user’s behavior and learn from it. 

As a result, there are no two feeds that look the same. Each person gets the type of content they click and engage with the most. 

This feature allows businesses to study their audience and learn about the type of content they prefer, thus eliminating the guesswork and trial and error processes. 

Intelligent chatbots 

Due to NLP programs and conversational AI, we now have intelligent chatbots that can replace human operators. People first experience this type of interaction when they call their bank’s customer service center or when they chat with a business representative. These bots are so advanced that many customers can’t tell the difference!

But the first to have introduced these chatbots are platforms like Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. These tools can be implemented by businesses on their sites, thus helping them cut costs with personnel and keep users’ satisfaction rates at an all-time high. 

Things are going so well that the chatbot market size is expected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024. 

Smart Ads

Even though it may not seem so, based on some of the ads that you can find online, AI empowers creators to deliver smart content, tailored to their particular needs. For instance, now we can create ads that interact with customers and have them join in the experience that the product or service that’s being promoted promises. 

Marketing campaigns are also more interesting and focus on more than just making a sale. Most successful campaigns nowadays are about emotions and connections. You probably heard about vending machines that accept squats as payment – these are part of a campaign promoting a healthier lifestyle through exercise. Of course, there are other such examples, but the idea is similar – the brand needs to show it cares about customers. 

AI also helps with ad placement on social media platforms. There are specialized algorithms that make sure users only see relevant ads that could lead to a sale. This translates in less money wasted on unproductive ads, and more accurate distribution.   

Lastly, AI tools like Phrasee and others can help marketers create relatable ads and even copy that will attract customers’ engagement. In fact, AI-powered platforms can create short texts that read like they’ve been written by a human writer!

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A Different Business Approach

So yes, Artificial Intelligence and all its associated technologies are here already! Smart algorithms are used to collect data, process and analyze it, and provide accurate trend graphs and recommendations for marketers. 

This calls for a different approach from businesses who want to keep their market share and, why not, grow. 

A New Type of Specialist

According to a report by Markets & Markets, the market of AI-based tools for social media platforms is expected to grow to about $2,197.1 million by 2023. This means an increased demand for specialists with skills in both marketing and technology. The new specialist needs to understand how AI works and what it needs to deliver high-quality results. But it also needs to be able to understand the marketing aspects of said results. 

More Technology; Fewer Menial Jobs

Intelligent chatbots can replace human operators for simple tasks such as taking orders, creating an invoice, making reliable recommendations, pushing various products, and more. The same happens with AI-based platforms used by digital marketers. They reduce the grunt work and repetitive tasks, thus allowing specialists to focus on creativity and ingenuity. 

As a result, businesses can cut costs with personnel and increase their productivity. Still, there may be some new costs, with platform maintenance and development. 

High-Quality Data

All businesses nowadays gather enormous amounts of data (aka Big Data) and this is a great thing because AI needs to be fed these data in order to improve. But there is one caveat – the quality of the sources. 

There have been flops in results because the collected data didn’t take into account one important factor. The most recent one is the US presidential elections in 2016 when most polls were indicating a different winner. In perspective, the problem proved to be in data collection, which is a weak point with all the technology that follows. 

The lesson here is that, if you want good results that you can use in the market, you must make sure your data sources are reliable.    

Wrap Up

While we may only be at the beginning of smart technologies, it’s important to understand that we won’t be going back. AI, ML, and NLP are amazing tools and they are already being used by businesses everywhere, in all sorts of fields. 

As such, any business that doesn’t want to be left behind must consider adopting these technologies and using them to create an advantage in the market.

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Crafted together with..

Oli is a working mum who has a passion for teaching and all things educational. With a background in marketing, Oli manages the digital channels and content at Courses.com.au.

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