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SINGAPORE: Businesses across the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region recognise the pivotal role of artificial intelligence (AI) in their strategies.

According to the APAC edition of Meltwater’s State of Social Media 2024 report, over half (55%) of APAC businesses’ social media teams see AI as important, surpassing the global average of 44%.

Marketing and communication professionals embrace AI tools to elevate their social media game. A notable 55% of surveyed individuals express intentions to ramp up AI tool usage in 2024.

Among APAC respondents, 64% attest that AI tools streamline content creation, saving time, while 36% credit these tools for enhancing their copy quality.

While nearly half (48%) of the surveyed APAC teams believe social media will be more important for their company this year, many find it hard to make the most of their social plans because they don’t have enough resources.

Even within large corporations with over 1,000 employees, social media teams remain modestly sized, usually with just 2 to 5 members.

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Another challenge is that 34% of teams haven’t figured out a clear strategy yet, and a quarter don’t have enough resources to carry out their current plans.

The report also highlights Instagram as the top platform of interest (45%), closely trailed by TikTok (43%) in the APAC market.

Unlike their global counterparts, who are increasing their social media budgets, APAC teams mostly keep their budgets the same as in 2023.

Social listening is also crucial for planning, with 64% of respondents seeing its value for understanding the audience and managing brand reputation.

Surprisingly, despite the universal appeal of video content, APAC companies prefer written content and single imagery over video. This might suggest that most regional companies have smaller teams and fewer resources to create video content.

The report aligns with Digital 2024 findings, spotlighting TikTok as the platform with the highest average time per Android user globally, clocking an impressive 34 hours monthly.

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With the popularity of videos in mind, APAC teams should carefully strategise and weigh the potential for higher returns on investment against the time required for production.

Mr Mimrah Mahmood, Vice President—Enterprise (APAC) and Partner at Meltwater Asia-Pacific emphasised the need for prioritised channel strategies despite resource limitations.

He said, “Social media teams are in an unenviable position of doing a lot more for their organisations this year with limited resources and budget.

Concerningly, not having a defined social media strategy is a more prominent challenge in APAC than other regions.

With the typical social media user using 6.7 platforms each month, brands need to understand the usage intent of their target audience for their platform of choice.

With bandwidth being a major concern, it is crucial that teams identify which are priority channels and customise content accordingly.”

Stressing the role of AI, he added, “Brands typically post three to four times each week and the challenge is to consistently create engaging content in a scalable way.

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AI will continue to be a technology of interest as it augments the capabilities of social media teams.”

He also cited Meltwater’s writing assistant, powered by ChatGPT, as an example of AI streamlining content creation processes.

“Meltwater’s writing assistant, powered by ChatGPT, helps marketers brainstorm, create and improve their social copy, speeding up the writing process by up to ten times.”

“While the usage of AI is currently centered around finding inspiration and creating copy, we can expect greater usage of AI to further boost content creation as text-to-image and text-to-video AI models improve and become mainstream.

For instance, Meltwater uses a DALL-E powered image generator to use natural language text prompts to create royalty-free images.

This can help brands save time and money as it reduces the need to outsource content production to an external agency,” he said. /TISG


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