How is AI Powered Social Media Image recognition going to be a winner for Salesforce?


The world of computing is evolving day-by-day, in sync with the latest developments in technology. Among the most significant tech changes in recent times is facial recognition. Correspondingly, images, videos and other rich media have eaten into the space of text based content in a big way. As is always the case, computing technology has evolved to identify faces, objects, scenes, and activities in social media posts.  For marketers, it translates to the ability to search images of products and logos of brands, a big jump from the hitherto text-only search capabilities.

What is Einstein Vision for Social Studio?

Einstein Vision for Social Studio, Salesforce’s brand new tool, marks a significant step in delivering image search capabilities to marketers and associated stakeholders. Einstein Vision for Social Studio identifies images on social media platforms, integrating such image recognition capabilities directly into the Marketing Cloud’s social media marketing solution.

In vanilla terms, Einstein Vision offers image recognition technology to customers of Salesforce’s Social Studio, the social management tool. Users gain the hitherto missing ability to identify a logo, brand name, or other insights, in the background of images that people post on social media. With such image recognition capabilities, users no longer have to undertake painstaking manual searches, or conduct text searches of metadata.

Deep Insights into Customer Preferences 

Einstein Vision offers marketers deep insights into how customers use products. Deloitte estimates more than 2.5 trillion photos being shared or stored online in 2016; and the numbers are growing every year. People upload images of their vacations, celebrations, special occasions, food, work, and so on. Hidden in such images are rich information relating to consumer behavior and preferences. Until now, there was no effective tool to unlock such insights. While marketers have been quantifying impact based on the reach and frequency of their logo and other images posted on social to a great degree of success, measuring brand awareness impact at physical events always remained a big challenge. Not anymore!

Einstein Vision unlocks the latent information inside images, aiding market intelligence and strategic planning in a big way. It offers crucial insights and contextual cues on how and where products are used, trends on consumer interests and likes, and much more. For instance, a restaurant chain may identify the most popular foods to add to the menu, or a travel services company may identify the most popular locales to add to their itinerary, and more.

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Tracking the Brand’s Online Presence

Another big use case with Einstein Vision is tracking the brand’s online footprint. Einstein Vision comes with the capability to identify millions of objects, including logos, enabling enterprises to identify their products and brands in the background of events and functions. Marketers can listen “visually,” to unearth attributes of an image. For example, a brand that had sponsored a rock concert can search for all the photos where its logo appeared.

The image recognition capabilities brought about by Einstein Vision serves as a catalyst for greater coordination between marketing and sales. Marketers can use the tool to gauge social sentiment associated with a product or brand. In the process, they can identify customer sentiment, which will translate to scope for more sales. To illustrate, a company searching for its product on social media could discover an opportunity to up-sell to a customer who expressed satisfaction with the product in a post that accompanied the product’s image.

Einstein Vision also makes it possible to track how influencers such as actors or athletes use and promote the product. Accountability or ROI of such endorsements and influencer initiatives become much easier with this intuitive new tool.

Enhanced Customer Service Possibilities

Einstein Vision unlocks opportunities for customer service. Consider the case of a customer at a restaurant, tweeting an image of a burger with the message “This sucks”. Einstein Vision brings this to the notice of the customer care, who may reach out to such customers to solve the issue.  Customer support agents also get an opportunity to reach out and surprise consumers who speak of their negative experience, without having mentioned the brand or company name.

What’s more, customer support agents may use Einstein Vision to identify product issues prior to assigning a field technician, accelerating the case resolution time. Sales managers may identify out-of-stock product and remove them from promotions, and streamline inventory restocking, easily, without painstaking manual inventory checks.

The Technical Nitty-Gritty

Einstein Vision enables recognizing and classifying images at scale. As of now, Einstein Vision comes with the capability to recognize two million logos, 60 scenes, 200 food-type, and 1000 different objects, which are part of its four types of image libraries. The option to customize searches is in the works and will be available in an imminent future release.

Developers, cutting across skill levels, may build AI-powered apps to bring image recognition capabilities to CRM. The Einstein Image Classification API caters to image recognition use cases, including visual search, brand detection, and product identification. Users may leverage pre-trained classifiers or train own custom classifiers, and solve unique use cases.

Einstein Vision requires APIs to integrate with social media, and not surprisingly, the first API rolled out by Salesforce is for Twitter. The move is significant considering Salesforce showed sizable interest in acquiring Twitter just a few months ago, until the move fizzled out. Salesforce obviously continues its close relationship with Twitter. Integration with other social media platforms is nevertheless in the pipeline, and would be released shortly.

Einstein Vision is powered by Artificial Intelligence. The technology making Einstien Vision possible was acquired by Salesforce through its acquisition of MetaMind. Salesforce has always embarked on a trajectory of continuous improvement, investing and innovating with the latest technology, to deliver cutting-edge offerings to its customers. Einstein Vision is the latest in the long line of such innovations, and will go a long way to entrench Salesforce’s position as the undisputed market leader in its segment.

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Author : Nayab Naseer Date : 27 Sep 2017