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AI in Social Media: How to Save Time and Stay Safe

Use these tips to unlock the potential of AI-powered social media tools without sacrificing safety or privacy.

Hannah Macready, Nick Martin May 29, 2023
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AI is everywhere in social media. From post-writing tools like OwlyWriter AI, to image-creation bots like Midjourney. It seems like every day, new AI-powered tools are being released.

Still, while social media AI tools are becoming commonplace, there are a lot of unknowns when it comes to AI safety, security, and privacy. As we embrace AI social media, it’s important to stay mindful of the risks and take steps to protect both yourself and your brand.

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What is AI in social media?

AI in social media refers to artificial intelligence tools and services designed to help users save time, increase engagement, and stand out on social media platforms.

AI tools can be used for a wide range of tasks, such as:

  • automating post writing
  • creating and editing images and videos
  • optimizing posting schedules
  • managing conversations with customers and followers
  • analyzing data about user preferences or behavior

… and more.

Watch this quick video to see how we review 7 AI tools for social media:

How AI can be used in social media

No dream is too big when it comes to AI in social media. With the right tools and resources, you can unlock a wealth of data and insights about your audience, creating more personalized experiences that convert into sales.

Here are some of the most common uses for AI in social media.

1. Caption writing

Gone are the days of cliché, over-used captions. Today, AI-driven caption writers like Hootsuite’s OwlyWriter AI can generate creative, compelling captions in a fraction of the time. See how it works in the video below.

Simply enter your prompt, URL, or hashtag, and your AI caption writer will whip up a captivating caption that fits the tone and voice you specify.

OwlyWriter AI also lets you repurpose top-performing posts, generate captions from blog posts and other content sources, and create captions for specific holidays.

list of features in new hootsuite owlywriter ai tool

2. Image creation

Content sourcing is one of the biggest bottlenecks for marketers and social media managers. You have to find and create visuals that fit your brand aesthetic, then repurpose them for each platform.

AI image creation bots like Midjourney, Dall-E, and DreamStudio, on the other hand, can help you create custom, branded visuals in a flash.

All you need is an idea, and these bots will turn it into a stunning image. For example, Midjourney can create custom images from photos, video clips, GIFs, text overlays, illustrations, and more–all without any manual design work.

midjourney prompt showing hootsuite owl in a laboratory

3. Strategy advice

Sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly what content will resonate with your audience. Sure, you can spend time testing out different strategies and use analytics to see what’s working — but that can take up a lot of time.

AI-powered tools like Talkwalker and Hootsuite Insights can help you get deep insights into your target audience’s thoughts and feelings.

You can see real-time sentiment analysis, so you know which topics to engage with and which to ignore. You can also see who the influencers are in any conversation, and how to tailor your content for maximum engagement.

Plus, automatically monitor industry trends and your competitors’ activities, so you’re always on the frontlines of the conversation.

4. Content ideation

Stop letting your best ideas get stuck in the mud. New AI for social media content tools can help you come up with content ideas that are tailored to your target audience.

Simply enter a few keywords or topics, and the engine will generate fresh ideas for articles, blog posts, infographics, videos, and more–all based on what’s trending in your industry.

You can also use generative art tools to visualize and share your campaign ideas with your team. This is a great way to get feedback and refine your ideas before they go live.

5. Ad management

AI has long been used to optimize social media ad campaigns. From targeting the right audience to bidding strategy and budget management, AI can help you maximize your ad spend and boost your return on investment.

AI tools can also help you find the right creative and copy for your ads, A/B test different variations, and track performance along the way. With the right AI-powered tool, you can create more effective campaigns with less effort.

Benefits of AI for social media

AI is revolutionizing the way businesses interact with customers on social media. Here’s why social media AI is so important for any business that wants to stay competitive.

Save time

AI can automate mundane tasks like content creation, scheduling, customer service, and more, freeing up time for you to focus on your social media strategy and innovation.

Deliver more personalized experiences

Social media AI tools can help you better understand your customer’s needs and preferences, so you can deliver more meaningful and relevant experiences.

Boost creativity

Too many good ideas never see the light of day, whether it’s because of writer’s block or lack of resources. AI social media tools can help you generate new ideas faster, opening the door to more creative and impactful social media marketing campaigns.

Grow your reach

AI helps you monitor and learn from conversations happening across multiple platforms, so you can tailor your content for maximum engagement.

Cost savings

Tedious manual processes be gone! AI saves you time and money by eliminating manual labor costs associated with content creation and optimization for social media campaigns.

Increased accuracy

AI-driven tools can help you make more precise decisions based on data and insights. This means better targeting and higher ROI for your campaigns.

Challenges of AI for social media

Like any disruptive technology, AI in social media has its own set of challenges and potential risks. Here are a few things to consider before you dive in.


With the ability to generate and produce content more quickly comes the risk of spreading potentially misleading or false information. While AI tools can be incredibly accurate, they are also prone to making up facts, stats, and other pieces of information.

As AI and social media continue to intertwine, it’s up to users to monitor AI outputs. Always check for plagiarism before publishing AI-powered content. As well, double-check any facts or figures that the AI spits out.

Hootsuite’s Nick Martin had this to say about building an AI-powered social media strategy ethically:

“I use AI for content idea generation, brainstorming, even writing a first draft of briefs or meeting itineraries. All sorts of things. But I always make sure to use it as if someone else (someone REAL) was working with me, and then I iterate on the AI’s output to make sure it’s got the human touch to it. That’s a very important thing to note. Don’t plagiarize the AI’s first draft of work. Use it as just that, a first draft.


AI in social media is new, which means for many companies, the jury is still out on when, where, and how it’s acceptable to use it.

Because of this, it’s important to check with your legal and compliance departments before you start using AI-generated content or giving a bot permission to interact with customers online. This will help you avoid any potential conflicts of interest or violations of regulations for your industry.

Data privacy

AI algorithms are powered by data, which can pose a security risk if left unprotected. This is especially important if you handle sensitive customer data, such as healthcare data, banking data, or other personal information.

Make sure to have a comprehensive social media policy in place before implementing any AI solutions. This will help you protect customer data from being compromised by malicious actors and ensure that your users’ privacy is respected.


Generative AI tools are only as good as the inputs their receive. Because of this, there is a risk of replicating human biases in AI-generated content.

It’s important to review AI-generated content with a critical eye. If you notice any potential biases, go back to the source material and tweak it as needed.

Additionally, always make sure your AI models adhere to the same standards of fairness and inclusion you apply to human-generated content.

Bonus: Download this free cheat sheet with 250 professionally engineered ChatGPT prompts that will help you be more productive at work and in your daily life. We’ve included specific prompts for over 25 industries and professions!

Legal and ethical issues

In some cases, AI can be used to target vulnerable populations, invade privacy, and manipulate user behavior. Businesses need to be aware of the potential legal implications and ethical considerations associated with AI technology.

Check out UNESCO’s Recommendation on the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence before launching your AI program.

6 tips for using AI for social media safely

To help ensure you’re using AI social media responsibly, here are a few tips:

1. Review and validate any AI-generated content before publishing

As we said before, AI social media tools aren’t immune to errors. And no one wants to end up with a front-page headline about a topic that’s rife with misinformation.

headline from futurism magazine showing that CNET's ai written articles were plagiarized

Source: Futurism

To protect your job and your brand, be sure to double-check any content you plan to publish.

Plagiarism-checking tools like Grammarly or Copyscape can help you avoid any unintentional copyright violations.

grammarly plaigarism checker showing no errors in content

Source: Grammarly

2. Be transparent about AI usage

AI is a new, sometimes frightening topic for those unfamiliar with it. That’s why some brands choose to explain to their customers how they’re using AI so they know what to expect when engaging with their brand online.

If you’re using AI to generate captions, images, hashtags, or other content, you may choose to be honest about it when you think it’s useful for your followers. This is not a necessity, but a choice for extra transparency. It can be as as easy as including a hashtag like #drawnbyAI, or including notes on your website, or in your privacy documentation, about how and when your brand uses AI tools.

3. Designate an AI champion

If you’re serious about using AI for social media, assign someone on your team to be the “AI Champion.” This person should have a thorough understanding of the tech and devote regular time to monitoring, updating, and troubleshooting your AI social media tools.

They should also stay up-to-date on the latest news, regulations, and trends in AI and social media, so they can ensure your brand is compliant and up-to-date on best practices.

4. Monitor user feedback

Even if you follow all the rules, something can always go wrong with an AI program. Pay attention to how customers are reacting to your AI-generated content, and be prepared to take corrective steps when needed.

Listen for any mentions of confusion, surprise, or offense — those are all signs you might need to adjust your AI program in some way.

5. Ensure compliance and data privacy

Always check with legal and compliance departments before implementing any AI solutions, and make sure you have comprehensive data security and privacy policy in place before implementing any social media AI solutions.

This will help you protect customer data from being compromised by malicious actors and ensure that your users’ privacy is respected.

6. Just start

Here’s Nick Martin again:

“In order to maximize your efforts with AI tools, the first and most important thing you can do is get started. Start practicing, start writing prompts to see what works and what doesn’t, test the tool, and see what kind of outputs it can create.

Many AI copywriting tools can create poems, write clever bios, generate high-performing CTAs, or save you time by building a rough outline of a strategy document. You just need to get started and hone your understanding of what it can do and what prompts generate the best outputs.

[If you don’t know where to start] look at how other people are using AI. Twitter and LinkedIn are full of great examples of prompt writing and tasks that AI can support. Take advantage of all the work that’s been done by other people and use it to learn and level up your own work.”

So, what are you waiting for?

3 AI tools for social media created by social media experts


AI tools are still new and, therefore, pose potential risks. That’s why your best bet is to use an AI tool specifically designed for social media, like OwlyWriter AI.

OwlyWriter AI is a tool that lets you generate personalized content for social media in a secure and reliable way. It uses Natural Language Processing (NLP), which is powered by a pre-trained GPT model trained on public sources.

Unlike other AI tools, OwlyWriter AI doesn’t store your data or use your content to train any future models. OwlyWriter also has a strict data processing agreement that ensures the security and privacy of your user data.

Plus, OwlyWriter AI was created for social media experts, by social media experts. We brought together our brightest minds to create an AI tool that could generate high-quality, optimized content that is tailored to fit your brand’s voice and style.

owlywriter ai generated caption about a new coffee drink in a store

The cherry on top? OwlyWriter fits into your regular approvals process and integrates seamlessly with your wider suite of Hootsuite social media management platform and advanced social listening tools — letting you do more with the tools you already have. It goes beyond basic caption writing and gives you unlimited post ideas, options to write based on your past top-performing posts, and suggestions for holiday-themed posts too.

Not a Hootsuite user yet? Start your free 30-day trial today — or try out these free tools that will give you a taste of what you can expect from OwlyWriter.

AI social media username generator

Stumped on what to call yourself online? Hootsuite’s instant username generator will give you username ideas that perfectly suit your internet persona (or the one you’re scheming up).

Username Generator

Tell us about yourself and let AI come up with username suggestions for you.

AI caption generator

Social media marketers wear all the hats and do all the jobs. Arguably the most time-consuming of them all is copywriting. When you’re tasked with tossing on this cap a dozen times or more per week, things can get a little overwhelming.

That’s why we built this easy-to-use caption creator designed for social media power users and beginners alike.

Instagram Caption Generator

Pick a style from the dropdown list, describe your post, and let AI write your caption for you.

Something went wrong, please try again.

FAQs about AI in social media

How is AI used in social media?

AI in social media is used for tasks like content creation, ideation, sentiment analysis, and forecasting. It can help you create personalized content that is tailored to user interests, as well as analyze customer feedback and make predictions on future trends.

What is the advantage of AI in social media?

Using AI for managing social media can help brands save time and money, as well as improve customer engagement. AI can automate mundane tasks like content creation and ideation, allowing social media teams to focus on more strategic initiatives. AI can also provide valuable insights into customer behavior that can be used to inform marketing decisions.

How is AI used in Instagram?

Brands can use AI on Instagram in several ways. AI can be used to generate content and captions for posts, analyze customer feedback and comments, identify influencers, schedule posts, and more. AI also can help brands uncover insights about their customers that can inform their marketing strategies.

Will AI take over social media?

No, AI will not take over social media. While AI can automate some aspects of social media management, it is no replacement for the creativity and strategic thinking that comes from human social media managers. AI will continue to be used as an aid to help social media teams become more efficient and effective, but we believe humans will always remain at the heart of successful campaigns.

AI copywriting isn’t the only way to maximize your productivity. Manage all your scheduling, publishing, engagement, analytics, and more — across all your social media channels — with Hootsuite. Try it free today.

Save time and grow faster with OwlyWriter AI, the tool that instantly generates social media captions and content ideas.

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By Hannah Macready

Hannah Macready is a freelance writer with 12 years of experience in social media and digital marketing. Her work has appeared in publications such as Fast Company and The Globe & Mail, and has been used in global social media campaigns for brands like Grosvenor Americas and Intuit Mailchimp. In her spare time, Hannah likes exploring the outdoors with her two dogs, Soup and Salad.

Read more by Hannah Macready
By Nick Martin

Nick has over ten years of social media marketing experience, working with brands large and small alike. If you've had a conversation with Hootsuite on social media over the past six years, there's a good chance you've been talking to Nick. His social listening and data analysis projects have been used in major publications such as Forbes, Adweek, the Washington Post, and the New York Times. His work even accurately predicted the outcome of the 2020 US presidential election. When Nick isn't engaging online on behalf of the brand or running his social listening projects, he helps coach teams across the organization in the art of social selling and personal branding. Follow Nick on Twitter at @AtNickMartin.

Read more by Nick Martin

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