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If you're like most marketers, you've felt the crush of dealing with social media data. Trying to figure out how to use that data can cause a real rift in marketing departments. On one hand, the consumer insights can fundamentally change how you market. On the other hand, the amount of information available is mind-boggling, and it can paralyze your marketing department under its weight.

How do you make sure you use social media data in the most effective way, leaving you with more time, and information, to do what you do best—using your expertise to develop and run engaging campaigns?

The emergence of AI (artificial intelligence) holds great promise in helping marketers make better use of social media data. The benefits of AI right now are inarguable, and in the coming months the technology will take more steps toward solving more common social media data problems that marketers deal with every day.

Here are three areas where AI has made great progress in making sense of social data—and where it's poised to improve even more.

1. Parsing Text Posts

The best marketing departments stay in touch with their target audience and consistently know what their customers are looking for. Consumer insights used to consist of focus groups, customer surveys, and other market research methods. Those techniques are no doubt still valuable, but nothing can provide quite the immediacy or intimacy of social media.

The posts and interactions of your customers are a real-time repository of what matters to them. That data is exceedingly valuable, and it can inform decisions on everything from your message to your target markets. The problem is that sifting through myriad conversations, opinions, and interactions manually is simply not possible.

With new and upcoming AI-based technologies, gaining real-time consumer insights from this data is a reality, however. In an era where timeliness is everything, marketers must keep their messages fresh and current. AI that delivers real insights in real-time can mean the difference between making connections between customers, their interests, and your brand, and using messaging that falls flat.

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image of Lou Jordano

Lou Jordano is chief marketing officer at Crimson Hexagon. He brings more than 20 years of experience building and leading high-impact teams within global enterprises and high-growth startups.

LinkedIn: Lou Jordano

Twitter: @LouJordano