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Looking for Local Info: More People Turn to Facebook Than Speciality Sites



Looking for a place to eat lunch or a hotel in a new city? If you’re like most people, your first stop will be Google. But after that it gets interesting.

Yext, a company that helps you keep your online business profiles up-to-date, conducted a survey and here’s what they found:

yext local survey

16.6% of people still turn to the Yellow Pages (virtually) and local directories. I’m actually surprised by that because I don’t find those options to be very limiting.

The real surprise is the third line – 12.4% of people said they turn to Facebook.

I wish I could go back and ask those people to be more specific. I turn to Facebook to find coupons and event information on local franchises. But these are places I visit often and I follow on Facebook. I wouldn’t even think about going there to randomly look for a place to eat or shop.

My initial reaction (without any actual testing) is this: big chains have Facebook pages but few have “localized” pages. Some small business have pages but they’re rarely up-to-date. Am I wrong?

Yext thinks I am. They say that Facebook is synonymous with “updates,” so people know the information on the page is recent and more likely to be correct.

I don’t know about that.

Yext thinks that the Facebook Graph Search roll out will make it even easier to find local information on the site, so usage numbers will climb by the end of the year.

What are people looking for with all of this searching? 35% are simply looking for the basics – address, phone, hours. 33% want to see a list of services or a menu. 28% are hoping for prices or deals, 22% want photos of the location and 16% want the ability to make a reservation / appointment.

One big note for those with multiple locations – Yext says you should create a separate Facebook page for each one so they have a better chance of showing up when people search by city.

If you’d like more information, Yext just published an easy-to-read report of the state of local on social and it’s full of interesting information and some very usable tips. Get it free when you click here.

  • Ajay Garg

    Where do these numbers 35, 33, …. 16 come from?