Artificial Intelligence – The next Holy Grail for Social Media Marketers?

artificial intelligence

We live in a world that is constantly evolving with technology. What’s heralding this technological transformation is self-learning machines that can take independent decisions, can ingest zettabytes of data and derive meaningful insights. Join Aijaz Ansari as he explores how this intelligence is powering social media marketers towards a new revolution that is set to approach the target audience with more personalized content but also deliver unparalleled customer experience.

Although the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was coined about 60 years ago, it is beginning to become mainstream only now. From robotic chefs to driver-less cars, self-learning machines have moved from laboratories and gaining visibility among people and mainstream media. AI is powering our machines to self-learn and make decisions based on scenarios.

Cyborgs and robots have always captivated us in sci-fi movies and literature (remember Asimov and his three laws?), either projected as a savior or scourge. In fact, our Hollywood movies have left no stone unturned in projecting the quasi-intelligent machines as sentient beings looking to take over human beings. Stephen Hawking, one of the smartest people on earth, had once warned that successful AI “…would be the biggest event in human history. Unfortunately, it might also be the last.”

What if I now tell you that AI is revolutionizing every sector possible and Social Media is no different?

Ever happened with you that you checked out a cool handbag on one of the shopping sites and contemplated purchasing it but could not come to a buying decision. Moments later, you sign into your social media platforms and see the same bag being advertised!

Spooky, right?

Welcome to the world of AI in social media marketing! With help of cookies and other bots that live on your computer, retail companies can now entice you targeted ads, showing you exactly what you need, right in front of your eyes.

While AI has already proved its mettle in the world of advertisements and recommendations, it is now empowering the social media marketers to discover, connect, appeal and engage with the potential customers. Social Media Marketers already deploy a variety of tools and platforms to get their message out to the target audience.

Digital Marketing is the next big world for AI to conquer. While Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) have proved their worth by delivering successful social media campaigns, the next big thing on the rise is Machine Learning, powered by AI.

How it Works

Sentiment analysis offers incredible insights into products, post-sales services and how well the brand is able to communicate its message across channels. With help from natural language processing, text analysis, computational linguistics, and biometrics, use of Sentiment Analytics solution to decode the sentiment behind reviews, ratings, recommendations and other forms of online expression on blogs and social networks had given marketers enough arsenal to tune their marketing to impact their target audience.

When combined with sentiment analysis, marketing automation, machine learning and social media, AI can help marketers understand and target leads like never before.

Why it Works the Way it Does

It’s interesting to note that 60% of all the consumers already know what product/services they want to buy. This opinion is influenced by their online research, friend’s recommendations, word-of-mouth, amongst others.

Of these, 73% need to be nurtured before they make an actual purchase, and the best way to nurture them is through personalized content at places where they spend the maximum amount of time.

Consumers, those are nurtured with personalized content, are more likely to make a purchase than those that aren’t.  Therefore, going forward, AI will be embedded in all form of marketing strategies to take advantage of personalization on social media.

The Future of AI in Digital Marketing

In combination, these technologies and marketing automation will be able to interpret and identify specific potential customers and target them based on their behavior in the virtual world such as how much time they spend online and where, what websites and products they like and how they use social media, and apply deep layers of analysis to determine relevant marketing messages.

Skimming through zillions of posts by an individual could be next to impossible and just multiply it by the number of social media users. Mind-boggling statistics, right?

The power of social media marketing can be judged by the number of worldwide users that is expected to reach some 2.95 billion by 2020, around a third of Earth’s entire population! And that’s also the market potential of AI in Social Media Marketing.

The Dark Side of AI

However bright this side of the ground looks, there is also another side that is grim and dark. Who, among us, likes stalking? We always want to be guarded against stalkers. What we do online, places we visit, breadcrumbs that we leave and products that we consider – all fall under our personal space. If there are a pair of eyes always watching over this space, then it is already hovering over the line that invades privacy. Since privacy is already a very touchy subject for people, the brand or company might end up losing potential customers.

Considering this, marketers have to walk an extremely thin line between wanting to be cool and clever with their marketing strategy that uses technology with the AI layer on top of it and avoiding getting branded as stalkers.

Humans respond best to the human touch in everything they see and feel. While machines will always compliment human efforts, and artificial intelligence might be the latest and most sought after technology, but it is not a substitute for human intelligence, which arises out of understanding and empathy.

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About Aijaz Ansari

Aijaz manages Marketing at Saama. He breathes Digital Marketing. Coffee fuels him. At Saama, he is responsible for content, creatives and marketing platforms. He is an avid blogger and topics that interest him include data analytics, big data and SMAC. He is a big soccer fan too!


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