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Measuring social media success

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The lure of social media is that businesses want to be where consumers are. Facebook alone has more than 500 million active users -- half of them in the U.S. generates nearly one in four page views in the U.S. -- nearly four times the rate of the second-ranked website, YouTube, according to Web metrics firm Hitwise. also represented 10 percent of U.S. Internet visits in mid-November, compared with 7 percent for search engine Google.

More than 1.5 million local businesses participate in social networks, according to a report by local advertising data company Borrell Associates titled "The Social Network Explosion." Last year, businesses spent more than $4 billion on social network marketing spending; local businesses accounted ...