Future of Social Media Marketing: 10 Companies on The Front Lines

  • 2 November 2017
  • Dean Schmid

Social media is the beating heart of internet marketing. It isn’t just about getting your name out there and drawing traffic, a Facebook page with a few thousands likes is a prerequisite to trust.

Government departments invest millions, no hundreds of millions, in their social media pages. It takes some clever marketing to get people to follow the state department. Didn’t see that one coming, -sarcasm. But it’s a thing, social media is an integral part of our lives.

In B2B, I have found that a business won’t give you the time of day unless people are talking about you on social media. You can have great reviews, an impossible product, no one cares if you can’t make social noise.  

But I don’t need to tell you all this. You live on the same Earth, eat the same processed food, and you know as well as anyone that social media is now. I would bet good money that you have Facebook open in another tab, or the Instagram app is running in the background.

Future of Social Media Marketing: 10 Companies on The Front Lines


People have been talking about social media in the workplace forever, and Slack was what they were talking about.

It isn’t really anything new, but Slack has made a name for itself by targeting professionals and becoming a legitimate business tool. Remember, or still use, Skype basically the same thing, just positioned a little differently.

Desktop App – Slack

Launched in late 2013, Slack has already attracted 1.25 million daily active users at hundreds of companies, including Comcast, Dow Jones, Expedia, Blue Bottle Coffee, Intuit, Zappos, and even NASA. We just like sending instant messages. Email is exhausting. Slack still has a long way to go before it disrupts suit and tie workspaces, but it is well on its way.


Unfortunately, Altspace shut down on August the 3rd citing lack of money. At the time of writing, that was a little more than a week ago. The cut’s still fresh, and I’m not ready to stop talking about what could have been just yet.

It hosted everything from live comedy gigs to presidential debates and showed us what a VR future might look like. At its peak, Altspace had 35,000 monthly active users, who spent an average of 35 minutes on the platform a day.



Flipboard is a new social platform that curates and displays trending news stories and lets users comment or like them. It will be interesting to see how this fits into the social space considering Facebook’s recent interest in trending news, but it seems to be doing alright. The platform was first released in 2010 and claimed that as of last year over 28 million magazines have been created by users on the platform.  

A sign of the times, but Flipboard was released on mobile first and only bothered with desktop in 2015. Flipboard CEO, Mike McCue even commented “This is a very retro thing we’re doing,”  They also moved away from their trademark flip interface and have desktop users scroll, because flipping on a computer is weird.  

Flipboard is also very popular with advertisers. Not just for its 50 million + monthly users, but it's developed a native ad format that’s getting a lot of attention.


At first glance, Tapstack seems really similar to Snapchat. It’s all about sending photos to friends in real time and sharing moments. But play around for a bit and discover that Tapstack simpler interface and stripped back functionality, lends itself to a unique experience. With a single tap, you can send a photo or 10-second video to any of your contacts shown at the bottom of the screen.


iPadRetina – Video – Tapstack

There isn’t really anything like Tapstack out there. Users can create albums to store their photos and videos in, and they can share their location. The app is all about creating intimacy with friends over long distances.

YourStacks – For Moments Worth – Tapstack

“Tapstack’s Onno Faber calls this whole approach ‘personal media’, or something in between messaging and social media, because Taps are both shot and sent in the same instant without the chance to pick a filter, edit the image. He says this creates something rare in social media: vulnerability.” TechCrunch


As far as social media analytics goes, Hootsuite has been bunkered down on the frontlines and waiting for the industry to catch up since 2008. It’s a social media management tool that makes it easier to coordinate, schedule, and report on your social media efforts.

Real-time analytics make it possible to track trends and monitor feedback by sentiment. To help with reputation management, Hootsuite monitors social sites and mentions while letting you control who can post what, to minimise internal risks.

Get an overview of your key metrics – Hootsuite

If you’ve ever run a time consuming social media campaign, you might know Hootsuite for its scheduling tool. Setting up days of content at a time and just pressing play is what this software is all about.


GoChime lets you sync first-party marketing data with social media sites to automate ad campaigns across multiple social channels. It matches existing customers to their profiles on Facebook and makes it easier to communicate and retarget via ads.

GoChime lets you segment and target your ideal audience by comparing historical and social data. Mixing behavioral targeting and social data is nothing new, but the degree to which GoChime can integrate with Facebook and other social media makes it a unique and powerful tool for social media marketing.

GoChime can also link to MailChimp and HubSpot to further automate email marketing and to gain access to the extensive range of HubSpot tools.



Salesforce does a little bit of everything. They have a whole suite of cloud-based marketing products that cover everything from account-based marketing to direct advertising. For social media marketing, they offer their social studio. Doesn’t sound that exciting, but trust me it is. They recently integrated it with their Einstein AI, and the results were pretty damn cool.


On the 8th of August, Einstein Vision was added to social studio. This provided a way for brands to search social media for photos using parameters like brand detection and product classification. We now have a way to search social media to find influencers using our products and retrieve relevant image data

This is a big leg up over tracking things with mentions and mentions and hashtags, and it’s too time-consuming a task to have a person sort through millions of images to find the ones relevant to a brand.

Einstein – Salesforce

“The product comes trained to recognize two million logos, 60 scenes (such as an airport), 200 foods and 1000 objects. That should be enough to get many companies started.” – TechCrunch.


Yala is a chatbot that helps you with your social media marketing. The bot is live on Slack and Facebook messenger, but what does it do?

Yala uses machine learning and clever algorithms to post content to your social media pages across channels. Well, that doesn’t sound so hard, why does it need to think? The AI and machine learning are used to ascertain the best time to post, and it’s a little bit amazing how it does it.  

“To determine the best time to post, Yala looks at your social media posting history to determine which times and posts led to the most shares, likes and clicks. It also takes into account things like time zones and other audience behaviors,” founder Gary Levitt, told TechCrunch.

Bots are so rarely useful. Marketers love talking about them and the glorious future they have in store, but to find one that serves a purpose is refreshing.



Authory is social platform meets personal email list. Journalists create personal pages on the platform where they back up their articles. It doesn’t matter where it was published or how long ago, on an authority page that work is immortalized. The goal is to stop articles being buried and forgotten

I chose to feature Authory because I think it’s an interesting startup and because it demonstrates just how diverse social platforms have become. It isn’t just a USB. Authory monitors social activity around an article on social media channels. CEO Eric Hauch willingly concedes, it’s also a pretty niche market for a startup to focus on, but in an era of fake news where anyone can become a publisher, we might need a little Author-ity.



Pundit is a social media messaging platform slowly picking up momentum with its feature-heavy chat. Stickers, voice effects, and good old fashioned instant messaging make for an entertaining user experience but will it be enough to make any kind of an impact in a space that’s dominated by Facebook’s Messenger.  

“Music, photos, and videos have all been reinvented,” so it’s time to “create a social platform for voice experiences,” said Susanto.

With chatbots establishing messenger applications as a legitimate platform from a marketing point of view, we need to be aware of new platforms and where the conversation is.


Sticker Messenger – Pundit

Pundit also has a self-destruct feature that deletes all messages and erases them from Pundit’s servers. Facebook is already using AI to make chatbot suggestions based on the context of a conversation. It will be interesting to see how deleting conversations affects Pundit if it becomes a major platform.


About Dean Schmid