Rising Popularity of Artificial Intelligence

A 2017 survey conducted by PwC showed that 72 percent of the US consumers and business leaders consider Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be a fundamental business advantage. More recently, MemSQL reported similar results for their survey indicating that 74 percent of respondents regard AI as a ‘game-changer’. More and more businesses appear to invest in AI data initiatives, and it can be useful to explore how companies use AI and machine learning in order to assess the changes in marketing strategies.

Artificial intelligence can be defined as ‘the theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence’. Another definition is provided by Microsoft: AI is ‘human ingenuity amplified by intelligent technology’. These definitions may cover a wide range of methods and techniques including computer vision, neural networks, and Natural Language Processing (NLP). All of these methods can be used to provide a personalized experience for customers. For instance, chatbots that are programmed using NLP methods can be invaluable for providing timely feedback. In fact, 62 percent of consumers expect AI to improve the time it takes a company to respond to their query. Social media marketing is a major area where the use of AI becomes increasingly widespread, and this a direct result of the existing challenges faced by marketers and big data analysts.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is Changing Social Media Marketing

Challenges in Social Media Marketing

Until recently, marketers focused on finding and gathering data on consumer behavior and preferences. However, the rise of social media led to a rapid increase in the data production rate. Now, businesses may have too much data to analyze, as the use of smartphones and social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter generate a large amount of unstructured data. Marketers may struggle to efficiently assess the feedback in the form of videos, social media posts, and web searches. Indeed, only around 0.5 percent of all data is used by businesses in their decision-making. This suggests that companies could invest in employing more advanced data processing techniques.

Marketers are unlikely to succeed in personalizing user content without the use of Big Data techniques. The wide range of consumer preferences suggests that a company may increase its profits if it makes suitable offers based on demographics. Another problem faced by marketers is the choice of the advertising platform. It could be challenging to assess the quality of a marketing campaign due to the large amount of feedback generated through social media. Furthermore, businesses may fail to optimize the timing of an ad campaign. From this perspective, AI offers marketers a way to incorporate a greater amount of data in their decision-making process and enhance the customer experience. Indeed, companies with superior performance are more than twice as likely to employ AI methods in their marketing compared to underperforming companies. Thus, it can be useful to explore how businesses utilize AI for social media marketing.

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US consumers and business leaders that consider Artificial Intelligence (AI) to be a fundamental business advantage

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MemSQL survey respondents regard AI as a ‘game changer’.

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Consumers that expect AI to improve the time it takes a company to respond to their query

Applications of AI in Social Media Marketing

Companies have been using AI-based methods to optimize their use of marketing campaigns and advertising. AI tools such as Bing Predicts are used to assess the public perception of the company’s products. Marketers may employ existing platforms including ActionIQ in order to launch individualized campaigns and measure their effectiveness. Since the public image may be affected by deceptive comments of other users, AI has also been employed to detect social spam. Marketers also use AI to infer customers’ preferences from the data generated by the use of social media. The information on the most recent activity of an individual may include web searches, questions, and discussions related to the product, and comments on relevant videos and images.

As businesses may struggle at efficiently analyzing available data, AI could prove invaluable in tailoring offers to the visitor. AI techniques allow for aggregating information on the customer’s demographics including age, gender, location, buying patterns, and activity in online communities. In particular, geolocation services provide an opportunity for marketers to target only specific individuals in an advertising campaign. Another example is the recommendation feature of Netflix that employs machine learning for predicting customers’ preferences.

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Data used by businesses in their decision-making

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Customer-company relationships that will be automated by 2020

AI tools allow marketers to assess all available information on the visitor in order to provide custom recommendations. This, in turn, may also require the use of AI techniques. Notably, it is predicted that 85 percent of customer-company relationships will be automated by 2020. Thus, AI methods such as NLP could be required if marketers choose to employ chatbots or digital assistants for promoting the firm’s products. Firms use such platforms as Acrolinx and Conversica to automate conversations with customers. The eBay platform is also using AI language processing techniques in its search technology to provide offers for users from Russia.

Marketers may also employ AI to run advertising campaigns in the new ecosystem of digital assistants and smart technology. In particular, Microsoft’s Cortana uses data from web searches, calendar, maps, and mail in order to predict the user’s behavior. This is used by firms such as Dominos to automate the process of ordering their products. Another use of AI techniques is related to computer vision and image recognition. Marketers can use media content that is related to their products in order to enhance user engagement. In particular, sharing Twitter or Facebook posts could be used to strengthen brand reputation. Firms may use existing solutions such as Cortex Foresight or GumGum that provide tools for scanning images and videos and identifying relevant content. Since this does not require marketers to create new content, the use of AI can be extremely efficient for improving brand recognition and public image of the company.

The overview of social media marketing shows that AI tools are widely used to time advertising campaigns, personalize offers to potential customers, automate conversations, and improve the company’s public image through sharing relevant content and detecting social spam. Companies that further expand their use of AI techniques could have a significant competitive advantage over firms that rely on more traditional data processing methods and marketing channels.

Ellie Richards

Ellie Richards

Online Marketing Manager

Ellie Richards is an Online Marketing Manager for Ph.D. Writing company Original Ph.D. She specializes in research, content, and article writing on various topics, including Education, Marketing, and Technology.

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