Generative AI’s emergence triggered a landslide of interest and experimentation across sectors, including social media and content. Forrester’s Global AI Software Forecast, 2023 To 2030 supports this, as content marketing is the third-largest category for specialized genAI software spend. The rapid evolution of generative AI technology within the social tech landscape has sparked a race among providers to launch innovative features. On the other hand, social tech providers — which we define as social suites, social listening platforms, influencer marketing solutions, and social media platforms — are navigating a delicate balance between speed and value. Thoughtful maturation of this category will involve taking low-risk bets and continued refinement of features with custom guardrails.

Social Media Marketers Are Still Indispensable

Marketers need to balance adoption speed with the value that these tools bring. While AI isn’t (yet?) stealing social media jobs, it will help marketers unlock more time as they become unburdened by mundane tasks. In fact, the earliest marketing use cases focus on improvements in productivity. Forrester’s Q2 2023 B2C Marketing CMO Pulse Survey found that 40% of B2C marketing leaders in the US indicate that they’re using or are currently exploring how to use genAI to automate tasks such as marketing automation or email content development. But social media marketers can’t wholly rely on genAI to automate their tasks because:

  • Content outputs are generic. Social media marketers want to create, and create multiple versions of, content faster, but they don’t want to lose their brand’s voice in the process. Social media content generators, such as Emplifi’s AI Composer, will eventually advance to include custom inputs like brand tone of voice to ensure that the outputs are differentiated.
  • Hallucination is a real threat. Analysts seek to increase their speed to insight, using genAI summarization tools or automated measurement, but they need to maintain a “human in the loop” to detect false or misrepresented information before sharing the data broadly.
  • Compliance isn’t automated. Policies and practices around genAI for content are still nebulous, so teams must be hyper aware of what data, content, and IP is theirs to use freely. As policies and disclosures change across social media platforms, and even ad networks, teams need to check that they’re meeting these standards before launching content.

Substantial Process Transformation Will Require The Synergy Of Multiple AIs

When isolated, generative AI faces issues like bias and hallucination, but when you combine models together, its capabilities are enhanced. Other AI models layered on top of genAI can act as guardrails that help maintain a brand’s individuality and differentiation while also getting customers accurate information quickly. Emerging use cases include Sprinklr’s Smart Response, in which it combines generative AI with its proprietary AI to streamline the customer care process on social media with quick, accurate responses. This “coming together” of AI models is where the real magic happens.

Check out our full report to learn more about how genAI is impacting the social tech landscape. Forrester clients, schedule a guidance session or inquiry to discuss how you can start incorporating genAI into your social media process.