Pinterest emerged as the social media darling of 2012. According to this Nielsen report , Pinterest had the largest year-over-year increase in audience and time spent of any social network, across PC, mobile web and apps. As if that wasn’t enough to prove the social network has staying power, Pinterest surpassed Yahoo  in organic traffic, making it the 4th largest traffic driver worldwide.
While Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn remain the top 3 heavy hitters in the social media marketplace, Pinterest can now be included in the top 4. As you plan next year’s social media strategy, make sure you’re considering ways to reach and engage a broader audience using Pinterest.
Business Pages  for Pinterest were just introduced, so it’s a great time to join. Already have an account? Convert your existing Pinterest page to a Business page with just 1 click.
In 2013, you can expect to see a plethora of tools built around Pinterest, optimizing your experience, like the following:
This fun tool, which comes with a bookmarklet  option, allows you to create an image out of text on the Web, making the text or quote perfectly pin-able for Pinterest. Quozio also takes a cue from Instagram by allowing different “filters” once you’ve selected your quote.
Pinfluencer is a marketing and analytics platform for Pinterest. It helps you measure the ROI of your Pinterest activity. It tracks pins from your website, pins from your boards, followers, and other engagement. Pinfluencer helps your brand identify brand advocates and prospective customers, ensuring you use Pinterest to its full potential.
You have to contact them for pricing, but Pinfluencer is offering a 14-day trial and a free demo.
Instagram is a social network that made a big impact in 2012, and is often overlooked. Instagram grew enough to catch the attention of the one and only Mark Zuckerberg, who quickly made the decision to buy the social photo sharing app  for the price of $1 Billion.
And with Instagram having experienced growth of more than 1,100%  since being acquired by Facebook, it is still a network to be watched. Regardless of the recent Instagram-Twitter fight , photo sharing is important to users and any new tools that spring up are either going to look to Instagram for inspiration or serve as an add-on to the platform.
This extension brings Instagram right to your browser. As businesses continue to use the mobile platform for various contest and promotions, access from a browser comes in handy. You no longer have to be on your phone to manage Instagram activity, and instead you can conveniently access everything you need to right from Chrome. And they’ve made the interface as similar to Instagram as possible, making for quick and easy adoption.
According to Nielsen , consumers are spending more than a third of social networking time on mobile apps. We’re going to see mobile apps springing up for use during TV watching, to manage a contest, to share music; anything that falls under the category, “Social Experience.”
Look for more apps like the Facebook Pages Manager, which was only released this year, and is geared toward social media professionals. Now, we can manage our brand’s Facebook Page without interfering with our personal accounts.
In 2012, Pinterest showed us that Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter will not be guaranteed the top spots forever. All social networks will have to keep innovating in order to keep our attention. It’s clear, however, that social media should no longer be considered some separate entity when it comes to your marketing strategy.
Social can now be integrated into every marketing activity you do, and definitely deserves a place in your plan for 2013.
I think we can all expect to see social media tools, analytics, and apps, that will allow for us to better maximize, optimize, and report on our social media activity and spend.