If you’re a social media manager, you’re probably aware of just how often things change within the online marketing world. One of the biggest changes we’ve seen recently is the introduction of AI, and it seems to be the hot topic on everyone’s lips right now!
In this episode, we’re diving into the wacky world of Artificial Intelligence, how its development might affect your business and how you can put it to good use as a freelance social media marketer.
We’ll be discussing:
- What AI is and how it might affect you as a social media marketer
- How to use AI in your business
- Whether it may be possible to replace freelancers and content creators with AI
- Everything you need to know about ChatGPT and how to use it to your advantage
What is AI?
Recently, we’ve seen hundreds of people asking about how the evolution of AI is going to affect marketers, whether AI is going to take over our jobs, and whether we should be using AI within our businesses.
Before we get into all of this, we first want to challenge the widely held view that AI is a new thing. Many people on social media seem to be of this opinion, but AI is definitely not new. We have all been using AI for many years, and it’s already a big part of our day-to-day lives.
If you’ve ever used Siri, Alexa, or any kind of GPS in your car, for example, you have been using tools that are powered by AI. The same can be said for if you have ever managed ads, used Google Translate or transcribed a video using tools such as Rev.com. Whether you realised it at the time or not, AI is already a part of your daily life, and you have likely been using it for years.
AI is already very powerful, and there is absolutely no doubt that it will become even more powerful over the next few years. The way we use AI will change dramatically, and that in itself is why AI has become such a hot topic right now – particularly when it comes to the fear of how good it could become.
In our opinion, AI is definitely going to get better quickly, probably within the next six months. At least sometime this year, we’re going to be seeing big changes in how people are using AI, so you are right to be paying attention to it.
Will AI replace you as a social media marketer?
First things first, rest assured that AI is NOT going to be a replacement for humans right now. Your job is safe.
While AI can help you to automate some things within your business, it’s not going to be able to automate everything and is not a sufficient replacement for a human. As much as it would be great to go and sit on the beach with a sangria and let AI do all the work for you, that’s not going to happen any time soon.
However, AI will help you to save time and it will make some of your jobs easier.
Everyone has those jobs and tasks within their business that just makes your brain feel like it’s on fire and seems to take you far longer to complete than it should. This is where AI may be able to help.
It’s worth remembering that while AI may not replace you, someone using AI could well do! So it’s important to pay attention and figure out how these incredible tools can help you in your work.
Three ways you can use AI to your advantage within your freelance business:
1. Analysing data & recommendations
AI can be used to analyse big amounts of data and identify patterns or trends that may not be immediately apparent to you, as a human. It can then give you recommendations or insights based on that data to help you make more informed decisions far quicker than if you were to try and do it yourself.
A good example of this in action is Facebook ads. If you’ve managed any ads recently, you’ve probably seen that it will make recommendations to you based on machine learning. As humans, we can be very quick to brush those recommendations off. However, as AI is improving, so are the recommendations they make, and this is something we should be paying more attention to and testing. They may not always be right, but we should definitely take them into consideration.
AI can also help you to show your ads to the right people – those who are interested in your offers and services. It can show you what your audience are interested in, identify what’s working well within your copy, and it can put your ads in front of the right people at the right time on the right platform.
2. Social Listening
If you’re engaging in organic marketing, you can use AI for social listening and save a tonne of time! You may be (and should be) doing this already, but there are a number of tools out there that can make it easier for you, such as Sprinkler, Brandwatch or Agorapulse.
(By the way, you can get 2 months free with Agora Pulse by clicking here.)
3. Task automation
There are so many tasks that you can automate within your business through AI, such as lead generation and customer service.
One tool we absolutely love and use all the time in our business is Chatbots. We use a tool called ManyChat, which is an AI-powered Chatbot that allows you to have automated conversations within Instagram or Facebook DMs or posts. It allows you to start conversations with people who comment on your post, or when they comment with a specific word.
For example, we have this set up so that when someone comments the word ‘JOIN’ on any of our Instagram posts, our bot then sends the direct link to join our Facebook group to that person via Instagram DM. If you want to see what this looks like in action, go over to our Instagram (@thetwolauras) and comment ‘JOIN’ on any of our posts and you’ll get to see how great this automation is!
We also use it to send direct links to our freebies and podcast episode, which makes it so much easier for our audience to find and access our content.
Another great way you can use Chatbots is to handle customer queries and requests. If you receive a lot of the same questions, your AI tool can really help with that by automating responses so that you don’t have to spend hours doing it manually.
It can also help you with client onboarding and gathering all the information you need from someone. It eliminates the back and forth and allows you to gather the information you need in your sleep so that all you have to do is pass it on to the relevant team.
However, you do have to keep in mind that this is not going to replace you. You need to programme these responses in the first place, but then you also need to monitor them because the chatbot won’t be able to answer every single question and there will still be things that you’ll need to handle manually and engage in those human conversations.
While AI will not replace you, one thing it will do is streamline the process for you and make your life as a social media marketer so much easier!
Can AI take over content creation for us?
To put it bluntly: No, it cannot.
There will always be someone out there who says that, yes, it will. And there will always be some businesses out there that will try and reduce their costs by using AI, but what these people will always come to realise is that using a human is better.
Just like there will always be someone out there who is cheaper than you, AI may provide cheaper alternatives to business owners. Your job is to educate them on why using the cheaper alternative isn’t always the best option.
Of course, there will be brands and tools that will use marketing like “replace your social media manager with this £27/m tool” because this is good messaging and it sells. But as marketers, we just have to ignore that message and remember that there will never be a machine that can market better than humans because humans understand things that robots simply can’t.
The good news, however, is that AI can help you to create content!
How to use AI to your advantage when creating content
How often do you sit down to create content and find yourself just staring at a blank screen not knowing where to start? And how many hours do you find yourself wasting when searching for the perfect image to use?
What you might not know is that Canva now has an AI image generator. It’s a relatively new feature, but you’re able to describe the exact image you want and Canva will create it for you. Although this may sound incredible, be warned that it’s not brilliant right now. The images look good, but they’re not specifically accurate.
When using this tool, you can describe the exact image you want, but you have to be extremely specific. For example, if you want an image of someone drawing a triangle on a whiteboard, you have to go into much more depth than that. You would have to tell it that you want to see the back of a woman, the whiteboard should be on the wall, the triangle should be in black ink etc. you really have to explain every single detail.
While this feature isn’t great right now, it’s likely to get better!
If you want to try this tool out for yourself, go to Canva, open a new design, navigate to the app section and you’ll see it there.
Everything you need to know about ChatGPT
ChatGPT is huge right now! If you’re not familiar with ChatGPT, it’s a new Chatbot that you can use to ask pretty much anything, and it generates some really great responses. So good; they’re a little scary, in fact.
Imagine you’re at a dinner party, and around your table, you have Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein and Google. And while you’re at that dinner party, you have the option to ask them anything and get a response. That’s what ChatGPT is like!
At the time this blog post is being published, ChatGPT is free. Whether it will remain free is unclear, although a lot of people are using it, so we doubt that it will remain a completely free software for long.
If you haven’t tried it out yet, click here to see what the fuss is all about for yourself.
How to get great responses using ChatGPT
ChatGPT is only as good as the questions you ask it. So in order to get the best responses, be wise about the questions you ask. They shouldn’t be too basic, or too complex. Instead, you want to be specific.
For example, if you want an idea for a blog or social post, be descriptive about the type of post ideas you want. The more specific you are, the more in-depth and useful the answers will be. Be clear about what you want to generate, the tone of voice you want it in etc.
While it will then help you generate some content around that topic, keep in mind that you will still have to edit the content it produces. Remember, it’s a robot, not a magician. We wouldn’t recommend that you use ChatGPT, or any AI tool for that matter, to completely write any of your marketing content, but it can be a great starting block.
For example, we recently used ChatGPT to write an email to our list! Here’s how we phrased it:
“Can you please write me a funny email to freelance social media managers about using AI in marketing, make it tongue in cheek, but add in some useful tips or make sure it's not too long and not boring”
From this, we got a pretty good response that we made minor tweaks to and then sent out to our email list!
If you want to create a blog post using ChatGPT, here are some examples of things you could say to it to help you generate great results:
- “Make sure it includes examples of how people do xyz”
- “Make sure you tell me about best practices of things to avoid”
- “Give me the title, headline and meta description”
- “Make sure it’s SEO optimised”
As you’re reading through, you can even ask it to rewrite, give more details or add examples to particular points.
The more specific you are, and the more you ask it to edit itself, the better the content produced will be. But you have to remember that it’s not going to be perfect. You can’t rely solely on ChatGPT or any other AI tool. There are still things that you will have to do yourself.
How to leverage ChatGPT as a social media manager
One of the best ways you can use ChatGPT is to overcome your content block whenever you find yourself staring at a blank screen, not knowing what to write. You can ask it for content ideas, and it will give you some great inspiration that you can use as a starting point. This is especially great if you’re working with a new client and it’s a new sector that you don’t know much about!
It’s also perfect for creating small sections of content within your existing content. For example, if you’ve written a great Instagram post, but you’re struggling to think of a call-to-action, you can upload that copy into ChatGPT, ask it for a CTA to end the post and get some great results!
Can we trust AI?
As you’re reading this, you may be wondering whether we can actually trust AI. You may have questions about where the information is coming from and whether that information is accurate, correct and ethically sourced, which are very valid concerns to have!
Like any information you consume online, it all comes down to doing your due diligence.
If you want to know where the information is coming from on ChatGPT, you can ask it to provide you with the source. You can then look into it yourself, assess the content and make your own decision as to whether or not it’s coming from a reputable source.
You also need to remember that a lot of people are using these tools to create content, so it’s not going to be creating unique content, it won’t be in your brand voice, the information won’t necessarily be accurate, and it won’t necessarily be unbiased. You still need to do your own research and edit the content it produces.
How to stay safe when using AI tools
Like anything online, you need to be aware of your personal security when using AI tools.
You may have seen recently that a lot of people hopped on a trend where they were uploading selfies to an app, which would then create an AI-generated image of themselves. This may seem like a fun concept, but 99% of those people were probably not checking to see who owns the data they’re putting into that app or what they’re able to do with it.
Before you upload any type of data about yourself into an AI tool, do your research and check what they are able to do with that information.
Our top 3 tips on using AI in your business
If you take anything away from this blog post, let it be these 3 things:
- Try AI out for yourself before you make any judgments
- Think about how you can use AI for all the things you can’t, or don’t want to do
- Be mindful of the information you’re giving away and how it’s being used.
AI is a really complicated topic, but it is the power behind the tools that we are using as marketers. You don’t need to understand how it works, as long as you know what you want it to help you achieve.
How will you be taking advantage of AI in your freelance social media marketing business? Send us a DM on Instagram (@thetwolauras) and let us know!