Found this interesting report put out by the Pew Research Center titled “How People Learn About Their Local Community“.
Among the interesting findings of particular interest to local business owners…
- Internet rules for local restaurants and businesses. More adults (28%) rely on the Internet for information about restaurants and other local business than any other source. Newspapers are the 2nd preferred source (around 17%-18%) and Word of Mouth was 3rd (13%).
- 55% of adults surveyed said that, at least occasionally, they get information about restaurants, clubs or bars from the Internet. That figure was 60% for “other local businesses”.
- While social media sites like Facebook and Twitter were included in the above “Internet” category, they run a distant third to search engines and special topics sites (like Yelp and Craigslist) as a source people rely on for this information. For restaurants, only 2% of respondents cited social media, compared to 21% for search engines and 9% of the special topics sites. For “other local businesses”, only 1% cited social media (21% for search engines and 10% for special topic sites).
- Not surprisingly, the percentages of people who relied on the Internet for this information was much higher for respondents who were younger, wealthier and had lived in their city for a shorter period of time.
- Print is not dead. Local newspapers are the #1 source people rely on for 11 of the 16 types of local information the research looked at. (Though most of these topics are not followed by most people on a regular basis.)