There was a time when many believed that social networking was just a fad that would only be used by the young, but as its popularity continues to grow it is becoming a major part of many companies’ online marketing campaign.

According to a recent report from Nielsen Online, the two big players in the social networking world when it comes to business grew astronomically in the last year.

The report finds that the number of minutes spent on Facebook increased to 13.8 million in April of this year – a 699 percent rise. But the major growth came from Twitter which saw its minutes balloon 3,712 percent to 299,836 minutes in April.

While not all these visitors are using the site for online marketing reasons, it appears that a growing number of businesses are using social networking tools to increase their visibility on the web.

In the April Discover Small Business Watch, 38 percent of small businesses said they are using some sort of social networking site for their company. While this number may seem small, it is up from the 22 percent who admitted using the tools in October 2007.