Vendasta releases new AI marketing integration for responding to online reviews and social posting

Trends in emerging artificial intelligence or AI marketing technology have experienced an explosion of popularity in recent months. As AI technology has continued to advance over the past decade, OpenAI’s late 2022 release of model ChatGPT has been an industry game changer. It has pushed the boundaries of what was previously believed possible and opened opportunities to leverage AI in new and exciting ways.

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Enhancing foundational products with built-in AI marketing

Vendasta is excited to announce it is the first to market to leverage the benefits of AI marketing technology for responding to online reviews and generating content for social posting. For the first time, local businesses using Reputation Management can leverage AI to suggest a response for customer reviews. In addition, users of the social media management platform Social Marketing can now craft short-form and long-form content with built-in AI functionality.

AI-powered responses for online reviews now available in Reputation Management

“One of the most important jobs for local businesses to tackle when it comes to their online presence is responding to reviews. “When a business in our ecosystem receives an online review, the business owner or their marketing agency utilizes Reputation Management to look at those reviews and respond to them,” Vendasta Senior Product Marketing Manager Jay Hawkinson says.

With this latest AI marketing  integration, local businesses and the agencies that support them can now:

  • Easily generate a response that fulfills industry best practices
  • Address customer inquiries or concerns with a single click
  • Show other potential customers searching online how the business is interacting with its existing customer base, helping them to make a purchase decision

“By clicking suggest response, AI will take elements from that review—the star rating, the user's name, and the sentiment of that review—and compose a response in seconds. Before, it could take a user 10, 15, or even 30 minutes to anguish over the best response. Now, they can do it instantly and move on with their day.”

Easily generate content for social posting with AI marketing functionality in Vendasta’s social media management platform

Similarily, users can now leverage AI for social posting in Vendasta’s Social Marketing software tool. Users can use the suggest post function to speed up the process of drafting social media content for the brands they manage.

“It's so important to stay consistent in providing content for your followers, whether it's on Facebook, Instagram, or any of the platforms. Users can choose a long-form or short-form social post, enter the type of content they’re looking for—whether it’s an upcoming promotion or to celebrate a holiday—and AI will provide suggested content for social posting,” Hawkinson says.

From there, the user has the flexibility to schedule the post as it was generated or they can make any final adjustments they like before pushing it live.

“AI marketing is not replacing the jobs to be done, but it’s a way to make those jobs easier. The owner of a shoe store, for example, needs to be an expert about selling shoes. They need to know about helping their customers find the right fit. You can’t expect them to be able to quickly pick up digital marketing best practices—that’s what they’ve reached out to an expert for. This release allows the agency to arm their clients with the tools they need to do it better, and in less time, so they can focus on running their business.”

Jay Hawkinson

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Vendasta

How does integrated AI marketing for online reviews and social posting work?

AI-generated review responses in Vendasta’s Reputation Management

Integrated into the Manage Reviews function in Reputation Management, this AI feature works for user accounts with Reputation Management Pro that have either Google or Facebook connected.

To access it, users can go to the Reputation Management dashboard, click Reviews, and then Manage Reviews in the main menu.

Users can filter online reviews by Google or Facebook and Without Responses to display the reviews that require a response. Look for the Suggest Response and select that:

After clicking Suggest Response, AI will generate a response:

After the AI marketing response is generated, the user can make edits or changes to it. If the user is satisfied with the response, they simply click the Respond button.

 AI-generated content in Vendasta’s Social Marketing

With AI integrated into the social posting functionality of Social Marketing, users can quickly create a social post using AI-generated content. This feature works for accounts with Social Marketing Pro.

To access the tool, users can go to Social Marketing and hit compose, which will go to the Compose screen. Look for the Suggest post button shown below and click it to open a new prompt window.

The new window will look like this and have a prompt to enter what type of content you want AI marketing to generate.

At the prompt, enter a topic or description of what the AI should generate, like "write about dark roast coffee in a humorous tone." Choose either short form or long form for the post then hit the Generate button to see the new AI-generated content.

Once the AI-generated content appears, the user can make changes and update as needed. Once satisfied with the content, just select Use this content to post.

Harnessing the power of AI marketing with Vendasta

A significant 89 percent of consumers are “highly” or “fairly” likely to use a business that responds to all of its online reviews (BrightLocal). With new AI-generated review responses and social posting, agencies can ensure their clients are ahead of the competition.

By using the latest technology to make these tasks easier and more refined, business owners can focus on serving their communities and their customers, doing what they do best.

“It's a very exciting time to be in this space. As we were developing this latest release we began to see more ways we can leverage AI marketing across all divisions. It’s a very useful technology and we will certainly continue exploring how we can integrate its use into the Vendasta ecosystem,” Hawkinson says.

About the Author

Nicole Lauzon is a Content Marketing Manager at Vendasta and has spent the last decade of her career helping local businesses tell their stories. Kickstarting her professional journey as a writer and producer for a major Canadian television network, Nicole would later spend five years as a PR Agency Creative Director, managing brand journalism, social media, blog and video content for corporate, non-profit and local business clients. Whether Nicole is marinating over her next piece of writing or enjoying some down time with her family, she likes doing it in floral print.

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