The growth of social media in both the enterprise and consumer sectors will likely yield more than $10 billion in revenue by the end of 2012.

Market research firm Gartner reported on Thursday that social media websites will likely earn more than $10 billion in revenue in 2011, as the services continue to expand in both the consumer and enterprise sectors. 

In 2010, Facebook, Twitter and their counterparts in social media netted revenue of more than $7 billion. The growth represents a 41.4 percent increase in a single year. While Gartner has estimated strong growth through 2012 and the following years, it is unlikely that it will experience the same levels of expansion.

Partially responsible for the growth is the adoption of social media marketing as part of diverse web campaigns, often including content marketing(L). Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide companies with inexpensive and direct channels to their customers and prospects. Additionally, shared links frequently boost web traffic, improving conversions and drawing greater investment in these social campaigns.

The success of social media websites has been driven by enterprise enough to warrant the expansion of certain business tools built-in to enterprise dashboards. These programs help companies assesses the success of their campaigns and avoid wasting money on ineffective programs.

Brafton recently reported that Facebook Insights provides companies with real-time analytics related to their traffic and social reach. Additionally, Twitter has advanced its used of Promoted Tweets – paid advertisements in the form of Tweets – by placing them at the top of certain search results.  

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.