Will social media become more than a thought of the moment bitch session?  (Hint – it already is.)  Will social media really become important in the process of building your brand?  (Hint – it already is.)

Twin Engine Marketing, a social media marketing firm, recently published an infographic that examined the social media industry and came up with some trends to look for in 2013.

1.    “Social influence moves from ‘like’ to incentive driven recommendations.”   Essentially this means that yes, “likes” are fine, but you have to engage the consumer on a deeper level.  Incentives will be a part of this.  You want consumers to do some of the marketing for you.

2.    Social Media will adopt a broader view.  No longer just posts your followers will like, although this is still important, but there will be other applications.  Social can be helpful for crisis communications, news dissemination and more.  It will help to drive the narrative of your company that you want to tell.

3.    As digital ad spending increases, the importance of social will rise.  It will be even more important for digital advertising and social media to work together.

4.    “The dawn of social TV.”  Viewers already tweet and post about TV that they are watching.  Millions of comments per night.  But take this one step further…if you’re doing television advertising, why aren’t they tweeting about you too?  Are your ads as engaging as they can be?  If you’re doing it right, people will be tweeting about more than the TV show.  They’ll be tweeting and commenting about your TV commercials too.

5.    Fewer SEO tricks and better digital marketing overall.  Quality will continue to grow in importance.  Not just Google, but consumers are getting savvy to bad and worthless content.  Social can get the word out on your good content.

It’s clear that social media is growing medium.  By no means is it a grown up.  But, some uses for it are clear.  It can more pro-active; it can help build your brand; and it can walk hand in hand with your other marketing avenues in helping you achieve marketing and brand success.