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BizReport : Search Marketing : December 17, 2011

Search, not social, key to local business promotion

When looking for information about local businesses do you head to a social network to find the answers? If you do you're in the minority, according to new research from The Pew Internet and American Life Project.

by Helen Leggatt

pew.jpgWhile almost half (47%) of adults use the Internet to seek out information about local businesses, very few turn to the likes of Twitter and Facebook.

Over a third (36%) use search engines to find local news and information and 16% rely on specialty sites, but only 1% rely on a social networking site or Twitter. This doesn't mean businesses should abandon social but does warn against relying on it. Instead, businesses should focus their attention on their website and search marketing activities.

Pew's survey found that other ways to find local businesses include newspapers (30%), word of mouth (22%), local television (8%) and local radio (5%).

"In a pretty short time, the Internet, particularly search engines, have come to be crucial sources of local information for communities," said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project.

"There are so many more ways people are getting information that it is probably disorienting particularly for people who have been in the local business scene for many years."

Tags: local business, newspaper, research, search marketing, social marketing, social network

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