AI prompt engineering for social media texts
Read here to become a pro at prompt engineering and learn how to train AI models for top-class social media texts.
How to specifically train AI models to generate high-quality social media texts
AI is everywhere, and the social media scene is also being shaped by artificial intelligence. Tools such as ChatGPT indeed open up new possibilities, for example in content creation.
However, many marketers have now realized one thing: even the most sophisticated AI software isn’t a miracle worker that can deliver the perfect Instagram caption at the touch of a button. What’s fed into it determines what comes out of it.
In other words, it all comes down to prompt engineering – the art of crafting textual input for an AI model to generate the best possible result.
In the following, we explore what prompt engineering is all about and how you can use it to create high-quality social media texts.
Possible applications of AI models in social media marketing
AI models can be used for a range of purposes in social media marketing, for example:
- Brainstorming ideas
- Creating content, from texts to images and videos
- Segmenting target groups
- Predicting trends
- Conducting sentiment analyses
- Providing customer service
Especially when it comes to writing texts, AI-generated texts have the potential to completely transform traditional methods. They enable brands to generate targeted messages at a speed that no human can keep pace with.
However, the advantages go beyond speed and efficiency.
One of the biggest benefits of AI models – and this isn’t confined to just text creation – is their ability to analyze enormous amounts of data as a basis for identifying what kind of content will go over the best with a target group. That leads to individually tailored, relevant, and appealing texts that boost engagement.
Nowadays, marketers can choose from a growing number of AI tools specialized in writing texts, for example Jasper or the German-language neuroflash. Social media management tools such as Swat.io have integrated their own AI tools for content creation.
Whatever tool marketers opt for, good prompts always play a key role.
Step by step: prompt engineering in social media marketing
An effective prompt engineering strategy consists of three steps:
#1 Selecting the AI model
Prompt engineering starts with choosing the right tool – in our case a text generation one. To help you decide, you should ideally test various software programs for your purposes. Compare the templates provided by a tool, how user-friendly the tool is, and how good the first results are – particularly if you’re working in a language other than English because, at the moment at least, many AI tools deliver much better results in English.
#2 Creating a prompt
Sometimes a straightforward question will suffice, for example if you want to know who wrote the Iliad or what the capital of Kenya is.
However, if you want to encourage the AI model to create good content, you’ll need more. The following aspects play a major part in prompt engineering:
- Role: Give the AI a role. Start your prompt along the lines of “You’re a social media manager who has 10 years of experience in creating content” or “You’re an experienced marketing manager who works for a young and dynamic company specialized in selling yoga accessories”.
- Topic: As precisely as possible, describe the topic of the text you want the AI to create. Do you want it to write a teaser for a blog article, announce an event, or launch a survey? What content-related aspects should be included in the post?
- Format: Is it a LinkedIn post or an Instagram caption? Are you announcing an event or promoting a product?
- Target group: Make it clear who you want to reach and win over with the post, for example “women aged between 18 and 35 who are interested in sustainability, yoga, and an active lifestyle”.
- Expectations: What is the purpose of the text? Do you want it to encourage users to click on a link, register for an event, or leave a comment?
- Tone: Describe the tone you want the post to encapsulate, for example “casual”, “witty”, or “professional”. Define whether users should be addressed formally or informally.
The following is an example of a prompt containing all these aspects:
You’re a social media manager who has 10 years of experience in creating content and you work at a social media agency. Write 3 alternative versions of a persuasive LinkedIn post to announce to social media managers and online marketers aged between 20 and 50 that your agency will be attending DMEXCO 2023. Use a casual and witty style, and address readers informally. Encourage them to visit www.examplewebsite.com to learn more about your appearance at DMEXCO.
#3 Quality assurance
Human checks are crucial when implementing AI models. There are at least three compelling reasons for that:
- AI models often make false claims and present them very convincingly. A test conducted by even found that ChatGPT has actually been doing that more frequently since its update to GPT-4. If you publish AI-generated posts without checking them, you’ll risk making a fool of your organization or causing a full-fledged uproar.
- Although texts generated by good AI software meet a high standard in terms of grammar and spelling, mistakes may still slip in from time to time.
- Only posts with a human touch give social media profiles an individual character that, for example, reflects a brand’s personality.
For that reason, you should always check AI-generated texts on a content and linguistic level. Optimize the tone you’re aiming for and make sure a common thread runs through all your posts. After all, you want your social media profiles to have your organization’s voice rather than sounding like a machine.
Success factors for prompt engineering in social media marketing
If you’ve already tried your hand at AI prompts, but the results weren’t great, there’s no reason to bury your head in the sand. Like most skills, prompt engineering also requires training.
The following tips will help you achieve better results.
- Be specific: The more precise your prompt is, the more likely the result will meet your expectations. For example, if you want the model to write a LinkedIn post as a teaser for a blog article, specify two or three key pieces of information from the article that you want the post to include. Incorporate features such as hashtags or emojis.
- Provide examples: Describing the tone you’re aiming for by simply using the adjectives “casual”, “witty”, or “professional” is a bit restrictive. If this method doesn’t work for you, provide existing text passages as an example. Ask the software to analyze the passage and write a text in the same style.
- Get the AI to create more than one version: Always ask the AI to give you two, three, or more alternatives. That way, you can pick the best one and optimize it.
- Take an iterative approach: It will probably take a while for the AI model to reliably produce the content you have in mind. Test various methods and progressively refine your prompts. Record what works and what doesn’t. By documenting your processes, you won’t have to start from scratch each time.
Good prompt engineering saves resources
AI models aren’t a magic wand, but they speed up processes and make it easier for you to create content on a regular basis and in a way that wows your target group.
The key is to integrate AI tools into your social media strategy in a targeted manner. Think about where you could benefit the most from this technology. Create a prompt library that you and your colleagues can access whenever needed. Thoroughly train your AI models and make sure the texts created by them reflect your brand’s character. Use the AI for brainstorming purposes and/or as inspiration for ideas. Image and video generators may also facilitate your work.
Depending on the focus areas of your business, explore the opportunities and limits of artificial intelligence in social media marketing. After all, one thing’s for sure: the technology will gain even more momentum in the coming years – most likely at breakneck speed. Getting to grips with prompt engineering early on will definitely give you a competitive edge.