The State of Social Media: Authenticity Alongside AI

Background on authenticity and AI

When it comes to social media, one thing organizations often miss the mark on is ensuring their accounts appear authentic. Your pages should represent your organization – they shouldn’t sound stiff, formulaic or impersonal. However, creating content that feels authentic to your brand takes time and effort you might not have. That’s where artificial intelligence (AI) comes into the conversation.

AI resources like OpenAI’s chatbot and assistant ChatGPT seems to some to be a great tool that can generate content they don’t have the time to create on their own. It also seems to be a helpful tool for those who aren’t comfortable writing, since AI does the legwork. This also means that social media posts, blogs and other content can be created in a fraction of the time. While this may seem like a win for small marketing teams, it’s not that easy.

How AI works

Let’s take a step back. AI is a very, very broad term, as it comes in many forms like traditional and generative. For the sake of this blog, “AI” will almost exclusively refer to generative AI. Traditional AI parses through data and makes subsequent predictions, whereas generative AI uses what it learns from things like large language models to try to create content that sounds like it’s coming from a human. But what’s a large language model, and what does any of this have to do with social media? Great question – we’re getting there!

Before AI can learn patterns or answer your questions, it has to “read” lots of existing text. Similar to how humans learn to read, AI is taught to “understand” language by being fed large quantities of existing texts, the body of which is called a “large language model.” It can be composed of all types of content, from books to blog posts to research papers. This is important to keep in mind, because it brings up a problem with only using AI to write your social media content. There’s the question of whether this is original work, and it may not be in a voice that’s consistent with your organization’s brand. While the content may be structurally sound, what AI generates rarely carries the same authenticity as human-generated content.

One of the most common reasons that people dislike AI is that it’s likely creating content based on someone else’s work. The resulting copy often comes across as stilted, sometimes sounding like it was written by a kid using a thesaurus. Similarly, there are many instances of AI making false claims and citing research that doesn’t exist. When you take someone else’s words or use too many ten-dollar words, you risk losing your audience.


How to use AI effectively for social media

With that being said, steering away from content that’s fully AI-generated is a safe move. While this may sound like a warning to avoid using AI altogether, that doesn’t have to be the case! Understanding the problems with using generative AI is the first step toward using it in a way that’s going to keep you out of trouble and keep your social media accounts authentic.

So, how do you use generative AI effectively in social media? Simple, think of it like a brainstorming aide. Asking AI for help coming up with ideas for your content is a great way to discover fresh ideas you otherwise wouldn’t have thought of. Running into mental blocks is all too common when it comes to social media. You can only promote the same thing so many times before you begin to worry that your audience is tired of hearing about it.

These bots know what’s popular; they know what kind of topics people want to read. If you feel unsure about your writing, ask AI for help creating an outline. If you ask for help creating copy, be sure to thoroughly edit that content over and over again. Take what the bot gives you and rework it to be in your voice. As long as you don’t simply cut and paste it, and instead use what you’re given as inspiration, the content generated by AI can be helpful – especially for smaller marketing teams.


So, let’s recap. Generative AI can be a cool and helpful tool. However, it’s not something you should use all the time, and it shouldn’t be doing the majority of your work for you. Instead, try to keep it as a tool in your back pocket for when you need help brainstorming or outlining your work. It’s a good place to start, but the content it generates should never be your end result. Take what it gives you, refine it and make it yours.

Remember – you’re working on social media. The content you are creating is for a touchpoint where authenticity matters more than just about anything else. No one wants to read a Facebook or LinkedIn post that sounds like it was written by a robot. AI is the start of your journey, not the end. If you don’t think you have what it takes to edit it, turn to!

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Posted by Austin Spaulding - June 19, 2024