Artificial Intelligence and Community Managers

A term that is on the mind of every social media expert is artificial intelligence. Where the focus was once on content and personal touch from community managers, those in the field are now looking at cutting-edge technologies to drive efficiency and to deliver quality service to their customers. In this post, we explore how this technology can help community managers.

What is Artificial Intelligence (AI)?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, is any machine, device or other technology with the ability to learn and adjust in order to reach a goal. Examples include search engines, self-driving cars, ride sharing apps (such as Lyft and Uber), email filters, and commercial flight software.

How Dramatic Is the Growth of AI?

According to a recent study:

  • Investment has been growing in AI, and this is expected to grow by around 300% throughout the rest of this year.
  • According to Gartner, AI bots will power 85% of all customer service interactions by 2020.

And as any social media community manager will tell you, it is a welcome addition to their arsenal.

How Does AI Factor into Social Media?

Since customer service on social media is now the norm, many community managers find themselves spending most of their work day fielding questions and comments from customers.  Most expect immediate assistance. So, how much time do community managers spend offering it? Here’s a good rundown of volume and workload:

“The amount of social media content to sift through is getting bigger and bigger. Every minute of every day, users submit more than 347,000 updates to Twitter. On Facebook, users ‘like’ posts more than 4 million times every minute. That sounds overwhelming enough in the aggregate, but anyone who manages social media for a brand of any size knows the situation is even worse. That is, even a moderately successful brand on social media might have to field hundreds of mentions on a slow day. On a big day, thousands or tens of thousands of mentions can arrive."
“Across all industries, some 60 percent of brands — even the biggest ones — are managing social media with teams of three or fewer. Social teams are overworked, overwhelmed, and spending frustrating amounts of time watching for events and fighting fires when they want to be creating exciting content and shaping online strategy.”

So, how does AI solve this problem?  Here are a few common ways:

  1. AI chat bots can serve as the primary customer service tool. This works especially well for brands with well-documented FAQs. A customer can simply employ the chat bot for a quick answer. The more sophisticated it gets with learning, the more it can assist.  If customers cannot be helped by the bot, the question can then move through other channels. This greatly reduces the amount of posts a community manager must sift through and answer.
  2. AI can help with data collection. Even if a community manager does not employ chat bots to interact with customers, AI can still provide useful data that helps the manager determine the best way to relate to the person in question. For instance, some platforms can help you track a specific person through the customer service cycle and even flag problematic past interactions
  3. AI can help to identify influencers (and detractors). If you’re looking for a brand ambassador with the best chance to make an impact, a platform or tool’s AI can likely help identify him or her. If you’re looking to block spammers, they can do that too.
  4. AI can assist with cross-department integration. For instance, there are services and tools that allow a traditional customer service team to assist in fielding inquiries that originate in social media. This also allows companies to view which customers have already used other channels to contact them.
  5. AI can track images. This visual listening allows brands to seek out images important to their business in a similar manner to traditional social media listening. AI learns brand logos, packaging and other imagery in order to find previously difficult-to-track brand mentions that don’t include information in the text or tag of a post. As it learns this imagery, it gets better over time.

These are just a few ways artificial intelligence can help make a community manager’s work more efficient. By driving time and cost savings, it can also contribute positively to a company’s bottom line. Isn’t it time to contact us to see how AI can work for your brand?

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