Social media marketing is more unwieldy than ever before.
There are more users, more posts, more comments, more conversations, and more, more, more in general.
For businesses, it’s getting harder to manage. Most have teams dedicated to their social presence who take care of posting, commenting, responding, and promoting. However, sometimes even this isn’t enough.
Thanks to technology, though, it’s getting easier. It’s getting more intuitive. It’s getting better. Here’s one example where artificial intelligence is swooping in to save the day: image sharing.
The Importance of Images on Social Media
Image sharing is huge on social media, so it has to be just as huge for social media marketing.
Image-centric posts are far more popular than text-only posts. Need proof? Consider these stats that HubSpot reported:
On Twitter, tweets with images got 150 times more shares. On Facebook, posts with images got 2.3 times more engagement. Plus, image-based social media platforms like Instagram and Snapchat grew by leaps and bounds. Each has hundreds of millions of active users.
Images matter. However, there have been lots of missed opportunities with them.
So far, you can create posts that users want to see, and you can track the keywords they’re using to jump on engagement opportunities. Until recently, that’s been about it.
That left a major gap. Lots of users often post images without relevant text attached, for instance. These will tell you just as much about their thoughts and feelings as any text post, but you couldn’t tap into that. The technology just wasn’t there.
Now, all that has changed because of artificial intelligence (AI). Image-sharing on social media isn’t the only element affected, though. Here are all of AI’s major impacts on social media marketing (so far).
5 Ways AI Is Impacting Digital Marketing and Social Media Trends
Artificial intelligence is really just getting started when it comes to social media trends. The technology is continually evolving and improving. Here’s what’s happening right now.
1. Sifting Through the Clutter
There’s no denying we have content coming out of our ears on the web. For a bit of scope, think about this: On Twitter, users post almost 350,000 updates by the minute. On Facebook, each minute, users “like” nearly 4 million posts.
When you’re even a bit successful, you will deal with hundreds, if not thousands, of mentions, comments, and interactions daily. The posting flood can easily overwhelm any social media team as a result.
AI helps with this immensely. AI can sift through the haystack, find the most important interactions, weed out spam, and help you focus your attention. It can tell you who you should respond to first for best results.
In short, AI will act as a guide through the social media jungle, hacking through the weeds so you can find the right path. It helps you discover relevant posts and images and respond to them accordingly.
2. Consumer Insights for Digital Marketing
Artificial intelligence can also be helpful for gathering consumer insights. You know how important it is to understand what your audience is thinking and feeling, and their posts with images, in particular, are big clues.
However, now you don’t have to spend hours sifting through collected data and researching. Computers can do it for you.
Image Recognition on Instagram and Facebook
Facebook and Instagram are two of the biggest social networks. You probably track your audience on these platforms already, but now AI is making it easier.
Facebook has been working on its image-recognition capabilities in the past few years. Brands can use image recognition to track when people post photos of their logo, products, or related objects or subjects. As this technology improves, that could mean exciting future developments for marketing research.
Similarly, image recognition is a huge boon for market research on networks that are solely about images, like Instagram. Software exists out there that lets you track images and analyze their features. One good example is MetaEyes.
You simply tell the software the Instagram hashtag you want to explore, and it does the rest. Based on what it learns from images with relevant hashtags, it will find similar images with no hashtags. This lets you reach people who have not used tags or keywords. In essence, you’ll tap into a channel that was once unreachable.
3. Social Media Marketing and Customer Service
Artificial intelligence can also help automate the customer service you provide through social media. For instance, if a user posts about a problem they’re having with your service, you can respond quickly and fix it.
But with new advancements in technology, often you won’t have to respond at all.
Why? Enter chatbots.
Chatbots are AI that can respond to customer queries with near-human intelligence. Often, customers can’t even tell that they’re talking to a machine.
Forbes outlines a few benefits of using chatbots for customer service: They’re available 24/7 because they “never sleep,” they can detect human emotions and respond based on those cues, and they become smarter with every interaction. Plus, they can swoop in with lightning speed whenever they detect a customer issue.
4. Discovering Perfectly Matched Influencers
Working with influencers on social media can expand your brand’s reach. Now, artificial intelligence is making it easier to find a perfect match so you can get the exact right kind of exposure.
AI can search through hundreds of millions of influencers on multiple social networks and analyze how they use these platforms. AI can then find the people that match up best with your brand. It looks at elements like what they’re posting, the conversations they’re having, and their characteristics, like demographics, location, and interests.
The machine can do a better job at finding the right influencers than you can alone. It can search far more widely, far more quickly, and pinpoint exactly who you should reach out to.
5. Comment and Conversation Monitoring
Another trend is AI’s ability to monitor customer comments and conversations across networks.
You know how important these conversations are for your brand image and reputation. Spam, internet trolls, and offensive content can quickly snowball and toss you into a PR nightmare. You need to be aware of what’s happening so you can respond accordingly.
Adweek says the goal is not to deceive users, but rather to make sure your social environments are safe places for everyone. As a business, you want to provide the most positive experience possible. AI helps you keep it that way, so you can focus your attention where your unique, human nature is needed.
AI and Social Media Marketing Go Hand in Hand for Better Customer Experiences
Artificial intelligence combined with social media marketing is a powerhouse duo. It’s no wonder this is one of the biggest trends for managing and curating your social media networks, activity, and tracking.
AI takes care of a lot of the grunt work so you can focus on more important things. It can track conversations on your social channels, find image posts related to your brand, and provide quick and efficient customer service.
There’s no telling where this technology could go in the future. For now, businesses should get in on the ground floor and use these incredible tools to push forward.
However, it’s important to remember that, while powerful and better than ever, AI can’t replace that human touch. It’s why AI customer service systems refer angry customers to human support reps, and why AI generally hands the work over to the humans at some point.
Artificial intelligence can take you farther, but you must also be in a position to take the baton and cross the finish line.