Artificial intelligence and machine learning are the present—not just the future—for small businesses. When looking for bottom line efficiencies while keeping up with industry competitors by targeting consumers more precisely than ever, the trick is to use the technology to address specific cases that align with business goals. Here are four ways you can incorporate AI into your everyday business practices.

1. Leverage existing platforms

Developing your own AI is expensive and time-consuming—and it’s also unnecessary. Instead, make use of AI technology that larger companies like Google and Facebook have open-sourced. You can also access their AI while using their platforms—like Facebook’s Lookalike Audience algorithms for advertising, which helps you target people similar to your existing customers.

2. Tailor personalized content for different customer segments

Use AI to create personalized follow-up content for customers based on their engagement with your business’ email campaigns, website or social posts. It is a cost-effective way to start integrating AI into your processes. For example, your retail store could target customers looking at the sale section of your website by serving them a discount code in the next newsletter they receive.

3. Employ social listening tools

Social listening tools use AI to track your brand’s mentions by listening to what people are saying online. The AI can take these feelings about your brand and turn them into measurable data. Social listening is helpful for staying on top of industry news and consumer interests, and getting ahead of any bad press that may be circulating about your business.

4. Build chatbots to support your customers and your employees

Chatbots are the easiest entry point when incorporating AI, but that’s no reason to overlook their massive return on investment. Chatbots boost customer satisfaction by easily answering basic questions, 24/7. A friendly and helpful bot reduces wait times and frustration for customers, freeing up your customer service staff to handle more challenging problems.

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