According to a recent report, 58% of the world’s CMOs believe that companies will need to adopt AI within the next 5 years to compete globally. Social media marketing is undoubtedly one of the areas which AI will transform, and when that happens, social media marketers will face the heat. But will they lose their jobs to AI? That remains to be seen.
AI is evolving at an unprecedented rate. What was once science fiction is now becoming our reality. And what we consider fiction now can be realized tomorrow. That said, there’s no conclusive way to predict AI’s social media marketing ability and how it will affect social media marketers 5 years from now. Either way, it’s safe to say that not all jobs will be taken over by robots and you can still stay relevant through the AI revolution.
Social media marketing skills that will get outdated
AI today is already able to substitute social media marketers in some capacities. These tasks or areas of social media managers’ jobs will cease to exist in the near future.
Content publishing can be completely automated even now. Many social media marketers are weary of social media automation tools that enable automatic publishing because they assume that the tools take away organic engagement. In reality, social media automation tools are just tools. You control them. You use them to reduce your workload and find time for tasks that can actually help you improve your results.
- Content curation
At the heart of social media marketing is the quality of content that you choose to use. For most social media marketers, curating high quality content on a daily basis is very challenging. AI is already able to perform this function, efficiently. The market is full of content curation tools through which you can easily curate news, updates and tips for your social media audience. DrumUp’s content curation app also happens to do this.
- Content creation
Although AI in content creation isn’t mainstream yet, there exist apps such as Quill which can create news and industry reports and headlines for them without human intervention. But can the app really replace human writing? It turns out that Quill is capable of delivering stories in any specified language, tone, and angle. While the bot can’t quite generate creative stories yet, it is capable of covering all your reporting requirements.
- Lead generation
Content and social media marketing are closely related to sales and business-oriented goals. Clients who approach social media agencies today are always demanding results that are reflected in sales, results that can be measured in terms of leads, sales and revenue. One such goal, lead generation, can now be completely handed over to intelligent bots, which run on the huge amounts of data being mined on the internet right now.
- Customer service
As the internet gets more instant, customers become more demanding and restless. Many of them even expect instant resolution via social media, failing to fulfil which your company will earn bad reputation on the internet. Today, customers expect instant resolution of issues, which is near-impossible to deliver with a human task force. Bots on the other hand can manage multiple conversations at once, respond to queries quickly and get feedback to improve responses.
- Data reporting
Data has always been the Achilles heel of human beings. Data curated or interpreted by humans is always prone to errors. With AI, you can get clean data, precise predictions and the opportunity to improve your results. Today, there already exist several social media analytics tools which can collect and interpret your data, and take action based on the consensus arrived at.
As these skills get outdated and die, there will be room for social media marketers to go beyond their current abilities and improve performance.
Pivot and stay relevant
As time progresses, more companies will adopt marketing automation, and as a result, social media marketers will be consumed by the fear of losing their jobs. However, that fear is misplaced, because as more companies adopt marketing automation, the demand for creative services will increase.
To stay relevant and serve this new job ecosystem, social media marketers will have to pivot by acquiring new skills.
Skills you’ll need to survive the AI boom
Robots won’t replace everything, because we’re building robots to manage the tasks that we don’t want to and to enable us to follow more creative pursuits. That means that social media marketers will most probably be left with high-level creativity and strategy based tasks. Here are 3 skills that you might want to cultivate to stay relevant in the future.
1. Creativity on demand
Image via Freepik
AI is still unable to replace human creativity, which is fueled by emotion, imagination and other such unobjective factors. However, AI can create content on demand. So, to stay relevant, social media marketers should sharpen their creative skills, their ability to draw on their imagination and reinvent existing ideas, and do all of that on demand.
Even today, the demand for content is large as compared to a marketer’s ability to create that content on a daily basis. Social media marketers often have to deal with creative blocks, the loss for ideas and novelty. Here’s how you can rise over such roadblocks and develop your creative skills.
- Think of 10 impossible things before breakfast (inspired by Alice in Wonderland).
Practice makes perfect. The cliche is justified because it’s the best way to explain why consistent efforts at ideation is an important exercise. Each time you attempt an act of creativity, you activate or reinforce important neural pathways, which can overall enhance your ability to provide innovative solutions.
- Collaborate with people from your niche and outside.
According to new research, people with multiple interests are more likely to be successful. Well, you don’t have to know everything yourself. You could collaborate with people from different spaces. One of the reasons why startups choose to work in coworking spaces is because such spaces can ignite beneficial collaboration between even the most unlikely partners.
- Read, read, read. And when you’re not reading, strike conversations with inspired people.
Andrew Ng, founder of Google’s Deep Learning Project and former Chief Scientist at Baidu, once said that you can improve your creativity systematically. Everytime he was stuck in life, it wasn’t a creative stroke of genius that saved him, it was his consistent efforts to read books and converse with subject matter experts.
Even if AI takes over the social media marketing space, it won’t ever replace direct human interaction. Think Facebook Live, Instagram stories and Twitter moments. Bots may trigger or broadcast the video for you, but they will probably never feature in them. That means that humans will forever own the entertainment – content marketing – live streaming space.
Most social media marketers shy away from the camera, leaving the acting to the actors and influencers. But social media elements such as Facebook Live have democratised video making, enabling anybody to do it and be successful at it. In the future, social media marketers who can create their own content and feature in it, at low budget, will be in demand. Here’s how you can develop the charisma that you need to feature in your own content.
- Talk to yourself and new people, when you get the chance.
Image via Freepik
It doesn’t matter where you are, in the car on the road or jogging in a park – talking to yourself without interruption or input will make talking in front of a camera natural and effortless. Choose random topics and keep talking, if not to yourself, to others who you can practise on. The more you do this, the easier talking will get.
- Practise expressions in front of a mirror.
Expressions are probably one of the last things that AI will be able to manifest, and that’s why you should work on yours. The more you practise expressions in the mirror, the easier it will get for you to express in front of a camera. Focus on your body language as well, so you can master the entire process.
- Make a ton of videos just for yourself.
Once you have practised talking and expressions, it’s time to practise the actual thing – getting comfortable on video. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a lot of videos for yourself, on random and diverse topics. You could begin with shorter videos, slowly working yourself up to 5-10 min videos and then doing even 30-40 min videos.
3. Problem identification
Problem solving is obviously a critical part of social media marketing or any job for that matter. But with the evolution of AI, there will be no need to solve problems that technology can handle. However, identification of problems is an entirely different ball game. Social media marketers who can identify problems that AI can solve will succeed in the era of AI.
Take customer experience for instance, an area in which infinite progress is a possibility. Social media marketers who can identify pain points in such an area and use AI to solve these problems will be in demand in the future. Here’s how you can get great at identifying problem points to optimize for better performance.
- Prioritizing goals
In areas as complex as social media marketing, where impact factors are many, your goals could be complex as well. In such scenarios it’s very important to identify exactly what you should be focusing on. Prioritize goals that are urgent and long-term solutions to important business problems.
- Spotting barriers
Once you have prioritized goals, it’s time to identify the barriers that are standing between your current state and where you’d want to be. Spotting barriers isn’t easy because sometimes you end up focusing on the wrong things. Avoid getting distracted by noise and focus on only what really matters.
- Ranking solutions
There can be more than one way to solve a problem. The route you take will directly affect your ROI. Even if your company uses AI to solve social media marketing problems, someone has to decide which AI solution to use and why. Someone also has to verify the solution that the AI product suggests.
Bracing your business for AI
Irrespective of which industry you belong to, it’s critical to be digital-first to survive fast-coming changes. Every company has a learning culture, whether you see it or not. The critical question is if your company’s learning culture is digital-first and ready for the AI revolution.
Even now, when Google pushes major changes to its algorithm, many SEO specialists and marketers are slow to respond because they’re not sure how the changes work or how they will impact their brand. Here’s how you can brace your company for AI.
1. Encourage and enable employees to stay updated on the latest developments
To stay on top of developments, you first have to be aware of them. And all of your employees also have to be updated on the latest developments. One way to enable this is by making learning a part of your work culture. The simplest way to enable learning is through an app, such as DrumUp’s employee advocacy app.
The app allows you (the admin) and participants of the program to curate fresh stories related to any niche (via keyword based content curation and RSS feed based content curation). Employees can be encouraged to read and share this information by means of gamification in the employee advocacy program.
2. Choose managers who will lead and enable transformation
The decision-makers in your company heavily impact where your company is going. Choose your decision-makers and managers carefully. When choosing decision-makers, ensure that they fit your culture and not only your experience expectations. If you want to build a digital-first company, choose decision-makers who are pro-transformation.
Your decision-makers should not only be tech-first but also be people-first. They should be able to not only guide the company into tech revolution but also help employees ease into the transformation.
In a world where Pepper bot takes orders at Dominoes, it’s hard to say what AI will enable next. To stay relevant in such a world it’s essential to acquire new skills and change the way your organization functions.