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Local Business Recommendation Methods, 2011 & 2012 [CHART]

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Word-of-mouth is still the most popular way for consumers to recommend local businesses, though social channels are figuring more into the equation, finds a BrightLocal survey, the results of which were published in June 2012 on Search Engine Land. 77% of the survey respondents said they had shared a recommendation through word-of-mouth in the past year, down slightly from 79% in 2010. Even so, this was more than double the 32% of respondents who said they had shared advice through Facebook, though that figure represents a 18.5% rise from 27% in 2010. The proportion using Twitter as a recommendation channel increased from 6% to 9%, but trailed those using Google Maps/Google Places (13%).

Overall, consumers appear to be using more channels to spread the word this year, with the average number of channels used by respondents up from 1.23 to 1.42.

These findings may not be news to SMBs: a December 2011 survey by Zoomerang in partnership with GrowBizMedia revealed that SMBs were primarily relying on word-of-mouth as their source of customer attraction this year, with social media proving less of a factor. Read the rest at Marketing Charts.