Social media stars blogged, tweeted, pinned and posted their way to big paychecks and sales for companies this past year.
Anybody that tweets, blogs or has a social media account has the opportunity to make money online, and looking ahead to 2015 it may get even easier to get paid.
IZEA, a social sponsorship marketplace that connects brands with creators, conducted a study with Halverson Group about the state of social marketing and found that 2014 brought sponsored social to new heights.
Sponsored social is when a brand pays a social media star, which has the trust of a large audience, to endorse a product.
This year sponsored social was the No. 1 tool in brand effectiveness in 2014 versus TV, radio and online display ads, according to the study.
Ted Murphy, founder and CEO of IZEA said about 52 percent of marketers had a stand-alone budget for sponsored social in 2014, and about 5 percent of marketers had a budget of more than $5 million for the year.
The method that brands paid creators to use varied. Facebook and Twitter activities were the most commonly used approaches.
Sixty-three percent of creators got paid to "like" a brand on Facebook and 39 percent of creators got paid to sponsor a Tweet.
Sponsored social has a great trajectory, according to IZEA's research, significantly outpacing all tested approaches versus a year ago.
"This space is absolutely exploding, and as more marketplaces come online and people have the ability to actually do this easily, you'll see brands spending more dollars," Murphy said.