More good news for SEO. While more business owners are slowly embracing strategies in the age of social business, customers are still leaning on the old reliable for local business information. Most local businesses like restaurants and bars will likely to put up a Facebook page or a Twitter account but old reliable tools like SEO and word of mouth still brings the revenue for them.
In a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the Internet is the top choice for local business information, followed by print media like newspapers and third is word of mouth. The surprising thing about the study is that even though social media networks are increasing in popularity, customers aren't really depending on Facebook or Twitter whenever they look for information about a local business.
The study was conducted among over 2,000 adults with ages from 18 and older. 51% of adults who search for content about restaurants and bars use the Internet. 38% of the demographic use search engines to find local restaurant information. A meager of 3% check social networks for local business info.
It seems customers think useful content is really found when you use a search engine rather than check a Facebook page. Content wouldn't be limited to a business' website, reviews and ratings from sites like Yelp and Google Places listings increase a local business' visibility in the SERPs as well. Of course, social media isn't a fad, but it's not replacing SEO. Social search is still in infancy stages, it's up to Google to enhance the very idea and turn it into substantial marketing tool for local business owners.