Social media marketing will have an impact in 2013, but not as significantly as social commerce.

As Brafton reported, a new focus on social media marketing may come to fruition in 2013. With Americans using sites like Facebook and Twitter more often than ever before, businesses must find ways to convert those social users into online shoppers. Brafton noted that the new year could see social media content’s coming of age. This brings up the pressing question: hasn’t social media already proven to be an effective channel?

While social media grew significantly in 2012, it’s still a bit unclear as to how professionals can use these networks to drive revenue streams and show noticeable ROI. Of course, brands have different experiences with social media, and what works for one company may not be as successful for another. Therefore, it may be more accurate to say that 2012 will become the year of social media maturation – it’s time to figure out how to use the channel to increase sales.

Facebook Users 2012StrongMail reported that financial investments in social media marketing will increase next year. Facebook marketing, for example, will experience a 39.6 percent uptick in spending, while 23.3 percent of brands plan to allocate more resource toward Twitter. However, eMarketer recently published its “US Digital Media Usage: A Snapshot of 2013” report, which points out some potential areas where growth could occur online.

For example, in the United States alone, Facebook has 146.7 million active users each month, which is nearly 60 percent of all internet users in the nation. While it might be tempting to look at emerging platforms like Pinterest for ecommerce purposes, marketers must dedicate time and resource to fully developing Facebook campaigns because of the site’s continuous growth. With so many people “Liking” or commenting on branded posts, there must be a way to drive sales, and business owners should put this objective as a priority in 2013.

Online Shoppers and Buyers 2012The eMarketer study also noted that online shoppers in 2012 increased by 2.9 percent to total 189.6 million consumers. More, online buyers – people who actually converted – also increased, but by 4.2 percent, reaching 156.1 million. Americans feel more confident in online shopping, and with Facebook becoming an increasingly trusted resource for news, entertainment and product discovery, Facebook commerce may be the big trend in 2013.

Ted Karczewski is an Executive Communications Associate at Brafton. He works to develop his own voice and apply his passions to the evolving world of SEO and content marketing, but he doesn't shy away from writing for fun. After graduating from Suffolk University, Ted used his Communications degree to test out Sports Journalism before Marketing at Brafton.