Social media will continue to play a central role in marketers´ day-to-day work over the course of this year. But many of them are pondering over the development of social marketing over the next months. Kristin Brewe, the IAB´s director of marketing and communications and chair of the Social Media Council, is just the right person to offer an insight into the matter.

Writing in a blog post on IAB´s website, Brewe noted a few key trends that social media marketing is likely to follow in 2013. Measurement will remain a key focus for businesses, as many have so far found performance and ROI measurement quite elusive. A recent poll from the IAB showed that more than a quarter of respondents had no clue how their organisations measured social performance, with only 17% of those interviewed measuring ROI on social sites activity.

As news and messages in general travel at the speed of sound on social media, it is becoming nearly impossible to hide the truth. Brands need to be more truthful than ever because social media makes their business transparent and exposed like never before. Communicating honestly with customers and being open to criticism is the right approach, Brewe claimed.

While the majority of brands are playing it safe by creating brand pages on big, well-established platforms, the alternative is also worth giving it a thought. Brands willing to take a risk might venture into creating their own platforms, with their own community, as this will undoubtedly make them stand out from the crowd.

The bottom line is that the social media outlook is very good despite the challenges brands face. It gives unrivalled opportunities for creating valuable relationships between brands and consumers, Brewe concluded.