How We Use AI on the Content material Workforce at Buffer


There’s been a lot ado about AI currently, particularly since ChatGPT was launched to the general public in November 2022. Since then, we’ve seen an inflow of ideas and instruments across the matter and using AI.

We like AI right here at Buffer – we’ve even launched an AI Assistant to assist our viewers create content material higher and quicker. Nevertheless, we perceive its limitations, particularly relating to creation, higher than most. We additionally perceive the (legitimate) issues that many creatives and entrepreneurs have concerning the affect of AI on the standard of content material.

So though we use AI in our processes on Buffer’s Content material group (there are solely three of us, and it helps us work extra effectively), we needed to make clear precisely how and the place we use AI in our work.

Our historical past with AI

We’ve been enjoying round with totally different AI instruments for a number of months, and it exhibits in our content material archive from the previous yr.

The primary article from Buffer about AI went reside in Could 2022 to reply the query, “Do you have to be utilizing AI for content material creation?” Reflecting on this text is fascinating as a result of our stance then and now is identical – let it deal with the small stuff, so you’ll be able to higher deal with the massive, artistic work.

Our curiosity in AI has solely grown since then, as ChatGPT went public, we printed a number of articles mentioning AI on the weblog, and we launched an AI Assistant.

Spending time with the totally different instruments powered by AI has allowed us to outline our boundaries higher. Consequently, we have already got unwritten guidelines round AI in content material. Nevertheless, a sample emerged in two latest occasions that prompted us to ask ourselves: how can we let individuals know our stance on AI?

The primary was our newest (now closed) hiring run for a Content material Author. This text goes into extra element, however a shocking quantity of purposes had been accomplished utilizing AI. Our understanding of the standard AI-generated content material helped us determine these purposes, but it surely was prevalent sufficient to focus on.

The second occasion is ongoing – our just lately launched Visitor Publish Program. The concept of this system is to open up the Buffer weblog to data tales from creators and small enterprise homeowners. We would like expert writing that feels private and leaves our viewers feeling like they’ve realized one thing invaluable. However, once more, many pitches that come by means of are AI-generated with little to no modifying. All of them adopted the identical construction we’ve recognised from AI-generated solutions, particularly these created in ChatGPT.

Regardless of the hypothesis that AI is a ticking time bomb for individuals in artistic industries, we beg to vary. No instrument can change the human thoughts and its capability to create artwork that connects deeply. Additionally, it’s price remembering that AI is simply an intensive language-learning mannequin. It makes inferences from what you inform it and its restricted financial institution of knowledge to carry out what a number of individuals have referred to as “spicy autocomplete”. It’s a instrument – solely pretty much as good as the one that wields it.

So, sure, we needed to take the time to make clear our stance as a result of whereas it’s nice, it’s not changing any of us any time quickly.

Our strategy to AI in content material

Listed here are the 4 statements that cowl 90 p.c of how we consider using AI in content material.

  • AI assists however doesn’t change
  • AI by no means writes full drafts or paragraphs with out being edited by a human
  • AI content material is at all times reviewed for accuracy
  • We don’t imagine AI can change artistic work in any sense
ai in content

The Content material group’s expertise with AI

Buffer’s Content material group contains three individuals who handle the group’s blogs, social media, PR, and different content material and communication-related wants. The dimensions of our group versus our duties typically means we should flip down sure initiatives and alternatives. We have to prioritize, however on the finish of the day, content material and social are prime priorities for our group, to allow them to’t be put apart.

Adopting AI instruments has allowed us to release extra time to discover these alternatives and collaborate with different groups extra successfully. For instance, the primary edits are performed with Grammarly as a substitute of one in every of us to catch probably the most seen errors in grammar and punctuation. This permits us to concentrate on deeper-level construction, voice, and tone modifying. I take advantage of Otter quite a bit to report interviews. It joins my Zoom calls and makes tough notes – that means I don’t have to begin listening and transcribing from scratch. It even offers a abstract of every name.

Outdoors of AI-heavy instruments, a few of our different assets have AI integrated into them like

  • Threads, which we use for inside communication
  • Notion, which we use for data administration
  • Canva, for designing social media posts and weblog graphics
  • and even Buffer.

AI’s an inevitable a part of our course of, and whereas we might select to not use these instruments, we’d all be much less efficient for it.

What we use AI for

We use AI for vital, time-consuming duties {that a} nonhuman can do.

  • To proofread writing and verify for grammatical errors
  • To unlock inspiration earlier than attending to the analysis course of
  • To assist with outlines
  • For creating templates
  • For developing with interview questions
  • For suggesting title concepts
  • For the primary draft of social posts
  • To repurpose present content material for a number of channels
  • To make our content material extra related for a hyper-specific viewers

What we’re not utilizing AI for

We don’t and can by no means use AI to

  • Analysis as a result of it’s mistaken as a rule
  • Absolutely draft articles or write full paragraphs inside our drafts – we use AI purely as a companion in brainstorming and writing
  • Create last posts for social media
  • Develop any visible content material – we solely use actual pictures from small companies and creators they submit themselves or from Unsplash.
how we use ai for content

Actual methods we’ve been utilizing AI

The Content material and broader Advertising groups view AI as a companion – and we’ve initiatives as proof. For a little bit extra of the sensible aspect of how we strategy AI, listed here are among the public methods we’ve been utilizing it.

The social posts experiment

Our social media supervisor, Mitra, shared the outcomes of her experiment of writing social posts with AI.

Mitra highlighted that AI didn’t make a distinction within the efficiency of the content material and even used phrases that she would by no means use. Nevertheless, Mitra gave the concept an A-plus for creating captions on days with out inspiration.

Lunch and study

I offered a lunch and study on AI for the broad Advertising group at Buffer, sharing how I’ve been utilizing it in my work.

Social media glossary

We just lately launched a Social Media Glossary that resulted from months of onerous work and cross-functional collaboration on the Advertising group.

It might need taken us longer to finish, however utilizing AI lower the time we spent determining what to put in writing beneath every time period and write it in half. We developed a immediate that helped us fill out the fundamental define of every time period inside our Glossary that we used as the inspiration for every phrase.

We additionally thought of the affect of AI-only content material on the efficiency of the web page and its effectiveness for the reader. So, we spent loads of time modifying and including extra assets to extend the worth searchers would get from spending time on every web page.

Localizing your complete Buffer web site

We’ve been engaged on a venture to localize the Buffer web site to different languages, beginning with Spanish – and AI has helped us notice most of it.

After all, we’re utilizing a human translator to double-check our work, however we had been capable of do the majority of the preliminary translation due to AI.

What’s subsequent for AI on Buffer’s Content material group

The place can we go from right here? To be trustworthy, not a lot else goes to alter for us. Principally we’ll hold making an attempt new instruments and implementing them after they make sense. We’ve been utilizing AI instruments in our course of for months, and it’s helped us do our work higher and higher.

In sharing this we hope to assist content material groups and content material creators who’re fascinated by defining the place AI has or ought to have of their artistic course of. Tell us the way it goes!



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