Search engines, specialty sites and social networks are where most people go to find out about local spots. Restaurants, bars, clubs and other businesses are all subjects of research on the Internet and other platforms.
People rely on the Internet, especially search engines, to gather information on local businesses - more than on any other source. Newspapers are second behind the Internet, both the paper version and the Web site, and word of mouth is also important. A recent study from Pew Research showed not only how people are finding out about where to go and spend money in their neighborhood, but also what these people are like demographically.
Internet-based methods are most popular than traditional media
When looking up restaurants, bars, or clubs, over half of study participants use the Internet (51 percent). Search engines get 38 percent of overall queries, specialty Web sites receive seventeen percent, and three percent use social networking sites or Twitter. Less than one third use the newspaper - 26 percent use a printed copy and five percent open the newspaper Web site. Nearly one quarter rely on word of mouth, and eight percent prefer local TV broadcasts or the channel’s Web site. Local business searches are even more centered on search, specialty or social media sites - sixty percent of adults use these methods. Thirty percent use newspapers, 22 percent word of mouth, eight percent again for TV, and five percent rely on local radio.
Business researchers skew tech-savvy and upscale
Local business-goers are a diverse group, according to the report, yet are slightly upscale. Those who are seeking out information and news about local restaurants and other businesses make more money and are relatively highly educated. The 55 percent of adults who research restaurants, bars and clubs are more likely to be women, young adults, urban and tech adopters. The sixty percent that research other types of local businesses have a relatively high tech usage rate. In addition to these demographics, 47 percent of adults got local news and information by using their cell phones. The local news junkies have higher rates of success - those who used at least six different platforms to gather their information were considerably more likely to get material about local businesses.