3 do’s and 2 don’ts for using generative AI in social media

This tool can be powerful — or cause big problems.

Dos and Don'ts of social media

Let’s skip the boring talk about whether AI will take your social media job — generative AI is a tool, like an Excel spreadsheet or Canva. In the right hands, it can make your job easier and take your work to the next level. In the wrong hands, it can open you to legal issues and, the gravest sin of all — make you boring.

Here are a few tips for getting the most out of this new tool — without sacrificing what makes you so good at your job.


  1. Do use AI for ideas or basic content

AI can offer productivity gains that give you a springboard for your own creativity. For instance, ask a generative AI program like Chat GPT to give you ideas for Threads posts that will appeal to busy Millennials with kids. Be as specific as you can with the audience you want to reach and the platform you hope to use the content on. You’ll get back a handful of ideas — most of which are pretty middle-of-the-road. But you can take those ideas and mold them into something better and more creative. It’s easier than going from a cold start to quest for an idea.

Likewise, if you’re in a rush and need a standard post — for example, we have a sale on Saturday, a promo for a blog post and so on — ask for a first draft. Again, it’ll be fair to middling work, but a few tweaks can get you a serviceable post in a short amount of time.



  1. Do edit liberally

The key to all these tasks is to make each piece of content your own. You want to put your own brand voice and spin on the content. Generative AI content is improving all the time, but it can’t understand how each social post fits in with your overall strategy. It can’t match your knowledge of brand voice and audience. It can’t be half as funny as you can be. So, take what you get as only your starting point — never the end.

  1. Do make good friends with legal

There have been many a meme about the sometimes-antagonistic relationship between the legal and social departments. And yes, sometimes they can feel like the fun police. But you know what’s really not fun? Getting your company sued. Generative AI remains a completely unsettled field legally, especially when it comes to audio, video and visual applications. Ensure you’re being completely transparent with the legal department about how you’re using AI — and don’t be surprised if they err on the side of caution (as usual).



  1. Don’t sacrifice your creativity

Generative AI isn’t creative. It can’t generate something truly new — all it can do is take input that humans have made and mash it all together into something that appears new. But it can’t come up with a great play off that viral meme. It can’t write and film a TikTok that uses cultural context to make use of a hilarious trending sound. It can’t come up with thought leadership that will truly elevate the executive you’re working with. Only you can do those things. Don’t outsource so much work that your social accounts become mashed-potato bland. Always, always add your own spice. It’s good for your audience and your job security.

  1. Don’t trust anyone

Naturally, you’re using AI in a responsible, legal-compliant way. But not everyone is. AI will open your brand to misinformation, lies and deepfakes. You must redouble your efforts at social listening to catch these dangerous posts as soon as possible so you can report them to the platform in question and deploy counter-messaging that shares the real messages your audience needs to hear.

Don’t miss PR Daily’s 2023  Social Media Strategies Virtual Conference to learn more tactics for cracking the code of the most influential platforms today.

Allison Carter is executive editor of PR Daily. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


One Response to “3 do’s and 2 don’ts for using generative AI in social media”

    Carsyn Smiling says:

    I enjoyed reading this article because it shows both sides of AI. As AI continues to grow it is important that professionals learn ways it can be a benefit and ways it can cause our work to fall short. AI is on the rise, and I think all practitioners can benefit by learning more about best steps when using it in the workplace. – Carsyn Smiling writer/editor for Platform Magazine

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