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It’s estimated that 77% of small businesses rely on social media to help connect with their customers. With 103.7 million Instagram users in the United States alone, it’s hardly surprising that brands and influencers continue to rely on social media platforms to grow their audiences and sales numbers.
Of course, it’s not enough to simply post regularly on social media. The most successful brands and influencers rely on social media monitoring to gain crucial insights into their performance and find ways to improve. And now, AI is poised to take that to the next level.
I recently spoke with Edward Rivers, co-founder and CEO of Comb Insights, as well as James Webb, the company’s co-founder and CTO, to learn more about how his company is bringing AI and social media monitoring together to deliver stronger insights for brands and influencers.
As Rivers explains, his company’s app is designed to provide essential audience insights in an easy to understand manner.
“When users connect their business account to our app, our proprietary AI scans through the comments on their social media posts to provide a quick understanding of audience sentiment,” he says. “Each comment is given a positive, neutral or negative score based on its language. The post itself is then given an overall sentiment score that shows the percentage of positive, neutral or negative comments.”
The app offers more than just raw numbers, providing context to AI data points by allowing users to see individual comments and sort them based on their positive or negative score. Other features of the app include generating word clouds for the top 40 words used in both positive and negative comments, and the ability to search for or filter specific words used in comments.
“Comments on a social media post are a powerful indicator of how well your content resonates with your audience, but it’s not always easy to quantify that,” Webb explains. “With our app, brands and influencers can quickly quantify the sentiment for a post, and then dig deeper into the comments to identify the reasons why a post may or may not have been successful. With AI doing all the work, you can get these insights in an instant, rather than having to devote extensive time to compiling numbers and assessing comments yourself.”
The speed at which these insights can be delivered is a key differentiator of using AI. By cutting out the time that would otherwise be spent researching user sentiment, brands and influencers can instead focus more of their efforts on crafting content that appeals to their audience.
The ability to quickly assess the overall sentiment for a social media post can be a real game-changer for brands and influencers. In the case of social media monitoring, understanding audience sentiment in response to a particular post can provide much-needed guidance on the type of content a brand or influencer produces.
“Learning how and why a post didn’t appeal to your audience can help you pivot your content strategy before it’s too late,” Rivers says. “AI provides the data, and then it’s up to you to use that information to tailor your content to better suit your audience’s tastes. As you do so, you’ll get better engagement and more positive sentiment, which will help extend your reach and build a stronger brand.”
Comb Insights also helps brands and influencers better manage their audience relationships with the addition of replying to or deleting comments in bulk.
“You don’t want scam or harmful comments clogging up your posts,” Rivers explains. “And at the same time, not every comment requires a lengthy, personalized response. The ability to delete or reply to comments in bulk can be a valuable time-saver that gives you more time to reply to the comments that need more thought and nuance. This will help you humanize your interactions and respond faster — things that your most loyal audience members will appreciate.”
Notably, 79% of consumers expect brands to respond to them on social media within 24 hours — and 39% expect a response in less than an hour. A slow response could send the message that you’re ignoring the user or don’t value their insights. But by using AI tools such as Comb Insights to quickly respond to audience members, brands and influencers can demonstrate that they do care and strengthen those relationships.
As the example of Comb Insights illustrates, AI is poised to help brands and influencers take their social media marketing to new heights. With fast, accurate insights and more time to focus on content, social media efforts can become far more effective.
“The proper use of AI can make all the difference in coming to understand your audience and what they want,” Webb says. “It really shouldn’t be a question of if you’ll use AI. The technology is here to stay. Those who make the most of it to better understand their audience are the ones who will be able to develop deeper relationships that grow their online presence like never before.”
With AI as a partner in their social media efforts, brands and influencers alike can make the most of the insights that are there for the taking.
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