The amount U.S. companies spend marketing themselves on social networking sites like Facebook is expected to grow from an estimated $4.5 billion last year to nearly $38 billion by 2015, according to a new report from Borrell Associates Inc.More than 1.5 million local businesses participate in social networks, and they accounted for about half of all spending on social-networkmarketing last year, the report said."Given their unique ability to move messages among connected users, social networks have been irresistible to marketers looking for ways to deliver advertising and promotional messages," the report said. "The results to date have been breathtaking." Borrell projects spending on social networking marketing will jump 68 percent this year alone, to $7.5 billion, with 11 cents of every online marketing dollar earmarked for such efforts. Five years from now, Borrell thinks social networking will capture one-third of all online marketing spending.An increasing prop...
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