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BizReport : Social Marketing : May 12, 2010

Sponsored conversations expected to grow

Sponsored conversations, which compensate social media users for discussing brands' products, grew to $46 million in 2009 and this growth is set to continue reaching $56.8 million this year, according to recent research by PQ Media.

by Helen Leggatt

PQ Media expects the compensation of bloggers and social media influencers to grow 26% this year, even in light of the FTC's recent guidelines concerning disclosure.

However, over three-quarters (78%) of social media sponsorship campaigns are likely to be non-cash based instead offering virtual currency, virtual gifts or free product samples.

CPG firms were the most active users of sponsored social media followed by food and drink, heath and beauty, media/entertainment and technology.

"Brand marketers move dollars to where their target consumers are spending time to build relationships with them and, as social media captures more of consumers' time, brands are warming to social media sponsorships as a new method to engage, educate and activate them," said Patrick Quinn, CEO of PQ Media.

"We believe this sector will be among the fastest-growing alternative media in the near future because of the growth of social media, driven by popular mobile and online applications and devices."

Tags: bloggers, brand marketing, social marketing, social marketing strategy, Social media, sponsored conversation

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