Enhancing Social Media ROI with AI-Powered Predictive Analytics

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With dozens of social media platforms and even more metrics to track your business’s social media performance, it’s no wonder that so many marketers are looking for new tools and solutions.

The process of monitoring social media return on investment (ROI) with artificial intelligence (AI) powered predictive analytics is quickly becoming a revolutionary trend, surpassing expectations and making social media campaigns more powerful and effective.

With this in mind, this article explores what social media ROI is, the role of AI in social media marketing as well as the power of predictive analytics and how it can be leveraged through best practices. We also look at some of the challenges and limitations and what the future holds. 

Let’s get started. 

What is Social Media ROI?

Social media return on investment is the monetary gains a business generates as a result of their activities on various social media platforms. The formula for calculating social media ROI involves subtracting the investment made from the total return and then dividing that by the investment made and multiplying by 100.

While this formula appears quite simple at first, it does pose important questions and challenges. For example, how does one measure the total monetary return or value of social media efforts? The short answer is that one needs to measure social media metrics. However, there are so many across different platforms that it can be quite disorientating.

A few examples of key metrics to consider include:

  • Reach
  • Follower growth rate
  • Audience engagement
  • Engagement per follower
  • Website traffic from social media channels
  • Click-through rate (CTR)
  • Goal completions from social media channels
  • Conversion rate
  • Goal value
  • Return on ad spend (ROAS)
  • Reviews
  • Net promoter score (NPS)
  • Social media reply time and messaging metrics

If this list looks intimidating, you’d be right to feel stressed out about how to measure your social media ROI.

That’s because it’s often difficult to integrate data across platforms. There are, for example, Instagram analytics, Facebook analytics, X/Twitter, and a whole lot more. In addition, there are different metrics used per social media channel and it is hard to quantify metrics such as engagement on business ROI. 

As such, one major conclusion emerges: Social media marketers need a helping hand to overcome these challenges in not only measuring but maximizing their ROI on social media platforms. This is where AI tools take center stage.

AI in Social Media Marketing

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The use of AI tools in social media marketing is on the rise and for a good reason.

AI tools are capable of quickly analyzing and predicting trends in user behavior, among many other facets of helping streamline the marketing process. This helps with personalized content creation and optimization and strategic planning.

All while automating certain repetitive or mundane marketing tasks to enable social media marketers to perfect what is considered the art and science of social media marketing for optimal results.

The Power of Predictive Analytics

AI offers social media marketers a suite of tools that they can use to enhance the user experience with a brand, boost engagement and conversion rates, and increase CTRs. However, one area where AI is making waves is through its power to predict. 

Enter predictive analytics.

But what is it? How does it work in social media marketing? And what are some examples of its use in real life? We take a closer look below.

What is predictive analytics?

Simply put, predictive analytics is the science of taking big data, feeding it through machine learning algorithms, and creating insights that can help us make more informed predictions. In particular, predictive analytics takes data, analyzes it, identifies patterns, and makes forecasts. With time and increasing amounts of data, the algorithm improves as it strengthens its ability to predict even better in the future based on current data.

How does predictive analytics work in social media marketing?

Because of our ability to predict user behavior better, social media marketers are better equipped to make more informed decisions about which audiences to target, how to optimize their content for a more personalized experience, and how to get the highest value from their investment—be it organic posts or paid social media adverts.

Examples of predictive analytics implementations

There are countless examples of predictive analytics implementations in social media online. However, a few stand out. Let’s take LinkedIn as an example. The platform uses machine learning algorithms to do things like:

  • Provide job recommendations
  • Suggest potential connections
  • Show the most relevant job description
  • Show the most relevant posts
  • Offer online courses through its eLearning platform

Other examples of where predictive analytics is used in social media include predicting how many people are likely to engage with a piece of content or how much traffic a social media campaign is likely to generate.

Leverage AI-Powered Predictive Analytics for Social Media ROI

Stacked coins with upward arrow over wooden blocks spelling out ROI.

It’s time you put the power of AI predictive analytics to good use for your business’s social media ROI success. Wondering how you can do this? AI-powered predictive analytics can help you:

  • Identify target audiences more effectively: One of the key aspects of getting any social media campaign right is identifying your target audience. You can do so by age, gender, demographics, socio-economic data, and more. However, with AI-driven predictive analytics at your side, this task becomes much easier and faster. This can save you a lot of time and effort in preparing your next campaign.
  • Personalize content for better engagement: When you use predictive analytics, you can instantly see which posts are doing well and which ones aren’t. And with the dynamic nature of social media content, including SaaS content writing, you can hyper-personalize it to achieve better levels of audience engagement.
  • Optimize ad spend and targeting: Social media platforms such as Facebook and others enable marketers to place paid adverts on them. However, working out whether your ad spend is working for you and your audience can be a time-consuming process. Using predictive analytics, you can do A/B tests on ad copy on a small audience, get the results, tweak the better performer, and repost it for greater chances of success.
  • Forecast trends and anticipate consumer behavior: AI-powered predictive analytics also enables you to forecast trends and anticipate consumer behavior. This means that your business will always be at the top of the curve as it anticipates what’s to come in its stride. The better your predictions, the better you are able to cater to your customers’ demands. This means greater CTRs and more conversions at the end of the day.

Best Practices for Implementing AI-Powered Predictive Analytics

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Implementing AI-powered predictive analytics in your social media campaigns and strategies shouldn’t be done haphazardly. Instead, it should be done strategically and with a clear start and end point in mind.

For this reason, you will need to consider the following factors beforehand to help ensure you are meeting your key objectives:

  • Data quality and integration: The basics of any AI tool, predictive analytics included, rests with the data that is fed into the algorithm. The higher the quality of data and the larger the data set that is integrated into the AI algorithm, the higher the quality of the output. It’s that simple. 
  • Choose the right predictive analytics tools: There are many emerging AI-powered predictive analytics tools on the market. However, not all of them will be appropriate for your social media needs. AI tools like Brandwatch, Talkwalker, and Locowise are just three examples of analytics- and insights-driven social media tools that you can turn to for help. 
  • Continuous monitoring and optimization: Algorithms should constantly be learning to provide optimal results each time. To do this, you need to train them properly by giving them the right type of feedback so that they can improve their performance. In addition, as you continuously monitor your chosen AI tool, you are also optimizing your own performance.
  • Compliance and ethical considerations: Naturally, using AI comes with important compliance and ethical considerations. Just some of the concerns that using these tools raise revolve around bias and discrimination. Ensuring that your social media content is fully compliant both with the platform in question and with our moral and ethical obligations and considerations is a good way to ensure you start off on the right footing.

Challenges and Limitations

Of course, there are challenges and limitations when it comes to using AI-powered predictive analytics tools for your social media campaigns. Among these include the following:

  • Data privacy concerns: How do you acquire your data? Where do you get it from and how do you store it? Do you have consent to do all of these things? How do you guarantee that the data you have is safely stored? These are key questions that pose challenges for many marketers. Yet, figuring out the answers is the first step towards success.
  • Over-reliance on AI predictions: It’s easy to think that AI tools can take care of most tasks for us. However, we are human for a reason. Our ability to think, make creative decisions, and rationalize our choices is unmatched. This means that we should use AI predictions as a supplement to our own knowledge and information as opposed to being over-reliant on it.
  • Implementation costs and resource requirements: And lastly, AI tools don’t come without a cost, especially those focused on predictive analytics. It’s not only the monthly or annual subscriptions you’ll be charged for. It’s also about training your team to use them well enough to make a difference in your social media marketing efforts. This, of course, takes time and resources, which many businesses simply cannot afford yet but must consider in order to stay competitive. 

Conclusion: The Future of Social Media Marketing with AI-Powered Predictive Analytics

When it comes to AI tools, and especially AI-powered predictive analytics tools for social media success, the verdict is that there’s no going back. Why waste hours of manual labor when an algorithm can give you the results in seconds?

However, be aware that there are limitations and challenges you’ll need to overcome as you begin navigating the AI terrain for your business’ social media campaigns.

Striking the right balance can feel tricky at first but it’s a work in progress that you will fine tune as you use the insights from your chosen AI tool and tweak it to help your business grow.


Velislava Georgieva is an Outreach and Content Manager at Inbound Blogging, specializing in Content Marketing and Outreach Strategies. Besides her passion for digital marketing, she likes yoga, fitness, and hiking. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.