AI and social media data investments shape business strategy – Experts

By Abimbola Mohammed

Social media has undergone significant changes over the past few years, with new algorithms, platforms and technology leading the way. While social media was once viewed primarily as a marketing function, its growing importance as a driver of customer engagement and brand reputation has made it an essential tool for business intelligence, providing valuable insights into customer preferences, trends and sentiment.

In a just concluded webinar organized by Adage in collaboration with Sprout Social, industry leaders from different segments said businesses are embracing insights gathered from social media to shape their business decisions. In fact, it was said that 95% of business leaders agree companies must rely more heavily on social media data and insights to inform business decisions outside of marketing. As a result, it’s no surprise that businesses across the globe are increasing their investments in social media, and many are turning to AI solutions to fast-track their progress with social customer care, forecasting audience behaviour, trends and more.

According to Jamie Gilpin, Chief Marketing Officer, Sprout Social, social media continues to be the primary channel of connection that helps businesses connect with their customers, recognize the most important immersive value and the impact on their overall successes.

Her words: “Social media is one of the most cost effective ways for brands to make sales, but there are so many untapped resources. Business leaders are not recognizing how much valuable insight that can be extracted from the increased usage, and additional interactions we see on social media. In our report, we found out that despite macroeconomic conditions, about 4 or 10 business leaders expect their social media budgets to increase by at least 50% in the next 3 years. So, the realization of social significance in today’s business landscape is really a testament to not only the shift in dynamics in consumer behaviour, but also the power scalability of digital and connect in particular that it can promote.”

She added: “Executive buying for social media has never been as great as it is today. As we think about what we are most excited about when we get more social data at our disposal, we have an opportunity to gain deeper insight into things like our target audience and our customers. We can refine our strategies and, most importantly, we can deliver more personalized but really impactful experiences across our customers journey. When we dig deeper to focus on areas that really rise to the surface where leaders are making those investments in social media and technologies like AI.”

Gilpin said it is great to see how social data have gone from just a complimentary marketing matrix in the past into now a powerful source of business intelligence.

Speaking about the emergence of technology and how AI is reshaping business and marketing strategies, she said: “AI is one of the areas that business leaders are increasing their investment.”

She added: “As marketers when thinking about AI, what should come to mind is how to leverage it to unlock efficiency within our teams and experience within our customers. Another thing to consider is how to unlock the potential of AI, which is beyond the efficiency of our team. Integrating advanced technology into part of social marketing strategy will enhance targeting of specific customer segments, predict future consumer behaviour specifically with our audience, optimize pricing, product roadmaps, and better personalized engagement with customers.”

On his part, Tusar Barik, Director of Agency & Partner Marketing, LinkedIn, noted: Social media is changing and more and more users continue to increase. LinkedIn is seeing over nine hundred million users currently and we are going to be seeing more interactions because we see lots of data happening.

“Business leaders are recognizing the functions of social media beyond just marketing; it is really exciting to see as we think about different areas, sales, customer care, product development and social data insight can have an impact to be able to collaborate with different teams. The more you invest, the business can actually benefit from the wealth of insight of the social department.”

He continued: “AI has really become the buzz word but it is actually something that we have been using for almost like a decade ago. Things like voice recognition, for example Siri or ChatBox. Some marketers should not think AI is going to replace them like we read in the headlines. Instead what marketers should think about is how to improve their team on how to operate more effectively with things like reducing manual tasks to increase workflow. It is about employing social influence on the team.”

“The brands that are going to be successful are the ones that are really intentional in their approach to implementing at their work forces. One of the advantages that AI brings to their society is allowing more organizations to be more human because when social and AI come together marketers are able to make data-driven decisions and focus on what matters on creating human aspects and creating more personalized experiences,” he concluded.


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