RJ Bardsley is a partner at Wireside Communications, where he focuses on the cross-section of technology, culture and media trends.
The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) in social media is a transformative force, reshaping our online interactions in unprecedented ways. As communications executives and strategists, it is crucial to understand how AI impacts both organic and paid social media programs and how it will shape campaigns in the coming year.
AI builds on the search algorithms, tracking tools and content management systems that creators and publishers have been using over the past decade to provide more compelling content to the right audiences. But it’s also a game changer in the speed, capacity, efficiency and intelligence it adds to the process of social media creation, optimization and consumption.
When we as communications experts leverage AI the right way, it can result in fresh new content curated from vast data sources. When used the wrong way, it can overload channels and bombard audiences with irrelevant content.
Mastering Data Is Keyany of us have seen and used applications like ChatGPT. We understand that AI can create content on demand that would normally take a human a lot longer. But the key here is understanding the implications around data. In a world where data is king, AI’s role in managing and interpreting vast amounts of information is pivotal. AI’s ability to understand what is happening across huge audience sets quickly means that creators have new insights and understanding in an instant.
It’s not just that AI can create quickly—it can create based on analyzing user data, behavior and preferences, and AI algorithms can provide a tailored and immersive social media experience for the audience. This revolution goes beyond mere convenience; it represents a paradigm shift in how we combine digital content with data science and how the audience relates to content.
In short, AI’s introduction into social media algorithms has already initiated a new era where user experience, content relevance and strategic marketing are converging to create a dynamic and responsive online ecosystem.
Auto-generated content is the topic of conversation in comms and creative circles. Many social media platforms are working on or have already deployed features that let users automatically generate content. We’re seeing this across platforms ranging from YouTube to Instagram to LinkedIn. Comms strategists should use these tools judiciously. The one truth across all communications disciplines, from PR to advertising to direct marketing, is that quality reigns supreme.
Consider integrating AI into a multi-tier strategy around content where your strategy and narrative, along with larger, more important (tier one) creative and organic assets, are developed by your human team. Then, have those assets honed and edited with the help of AI, refining content based on analysis and data but with creativity and credibility overseen by the human team.
Think about developing a secondary content stream with supplemental assets generated by AI that extend reach and help direct audiences to major assets. Maintain a human presence here, but more in the form of an editor, ensuring that quality and accuracy are intact and that this content aligns with your narrative and overarching brand strategy.
The Future Of AI In Social Media: A Balancing Act
Integrating AI into your comms programs can allow for swifter, more precise movement. The challenge lies in balancing the complexities of AI capabilities to enhance online presence and audience engagement. We’re not just adapting to AI in social media; we’re embracing its vast opportunities for connectivity, creativity and community building.
Looking ahead, the interplay between human creativity and AI will become even more critical. As AI technologies evolve, they will offer more sophisticated tools for content creation and audience engagement. However, the human touch will remain essential in guiding these tools to ensure the authenticity and ethical use of data.
In conclusion, AI in social media is an exciting frontier. By mastering the art of human-AI collaboration and staying ahead of future trends, we can harness AI’s full potential to craft compelling, effective communication strategies in the digital age.
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