We might all be out of a job soon. AI technology has taken a huge leap forward in recent years, especially when it comes to copywriting and graphics, and that has huge implications for everyone who uses social media for business.
ChatGPT launched this week and took social media by storm, with people using the conversational AI tool for a range of novel uses from generating code and blog posts to outlining diet plans and telling jokes. This latest evolution has started an important conversation about what this means for the future of both creative and routine work. What does it mean for marketers and everyone else who uses social media for business?
AI for Copywriting
ChatGPT is just the newest of a growing list of AI-powered tools. A client recently showed me an AI-generated product description they made on copy.ai. It wasn’t perfect, but certainly passable as is and perfectly good with a little human editing. Copywriting is an essential part of social media marketing—whether you think you’re doing it or not (more on that later).
Web copy and social media posts are going to increasingly generated by AI algorithms that will exponentially improve over the next few years. Platforms will acquire AI companies and incorporate their technology to provide users with AI-generated posts on demand. The job of a social media marketer will shift to include more editing and proofreading than ever as AI-generated content will benefit from a human touch.
What this means for many small business owners is that keeping up with social media marketing is going to be significantly easier. You will be able to quickly create passable (sometimes really good) content with minimal effort. The next generation of paid social media advertising platforms will include AI-generated copy for your campaigns that will be designed to be more successful. These ads will be more cost effective and provide a predictable level of engagement without the need to be a certified expert on that particular ad platform.
As these AI tools learn and improve (as intended), it will be increasingly challenging to tell an AI-generated post from one made by a human being. This means marketers, creators and more sophisticated brands must focus an even more intense spotlight on the strategies behind the content, as well as a renewed focus on authenticity.
AI for Graphics
We are not far away from stock photo websites being replaced by AI text-to-image generators that will create unique graphics to accompany our social media and blog posts. These tools already exist in primitive forms—what is missing from the market is a company that will make it affordable and grant the commercial rights that creators and companies alike will need. This is most certainly what is coming next.
Just as AI will affect writing, this technology will force photographers, graphic designers and marketers to create even more unique art, to push the boundaries beyond what AI can generate, and to focus more on the strategy behind the images.
For small business owners, these tools can provide the images you need for your day-to-day posts. The next generation of this technology will likely allow you to upload your photos and let AI edit them for you. Imagine uploading a basic product photo or a picture of your retail store and having AI generate a perfectly lit and colored photo that edits out all the blemishes and irrelevant stuff in the background without you having to tap a single thing. This is where things are headed.
The Ever-Increasing Value of Authenticity
Social media is still so relatively new that advertising hasn’t really fully caught up with it yet. What I mean is that the majority of us are still forcing traditional advertising models onto social media. It’s probably the biggest reason that AI-generated content will work—we all know what traditional marketing sounds like and we expect to hear it. We know what it is and why you’re doing it, so we don’t resist it.
Yet at the same time, social media is increasingly shifting away from marketing copy and subtle sales pitches and more towards authenticity. We are replacing perfect studio lighting with fuzzy front-facing videos. Hollywood celebrities and paid actors are replaced with everyday people who share jarringly honest opinions and stories with minimal editing.
Authenticity is powerful and valuable in social media because it can’t be autogenerated or easily replicated. AI will continue to improve, but it won’t reach that level any time soon. That gives creators, brands and marketers a window of opportunity to evolve and grow. It also gives them license to be as creative and unpredictable as possible.
***While none of the text content of this blog was drafted by AI, Canva's Text-to-Image AI generator was used to create this post's banner image with the prompt "An anthropomorphic laptop painting a portrait of a businessperson." We included two of the generated images side-by-side.