That’s an old statistic from 2011. You may remember me writing about it before:
63 percent of U.S. consumers are more likely to use a local business if it has information available on a social networking site.
I mention that stat regularly when I’m speaking at Local U workshops about social media for local businesses. And I always sense that the audience immediately asks the same question that I asked when I first heard it:
Why would just having a presence on a social networking site compel a consumer to choose a business?
We know that there’s not a ton of actual searching on social media sites for local businesses; that still happens primarily on the main search engines. So what are people looking for when they look up a local business on Facebook, Twitter or somewhere else?
As soon as I share this stat with the Local U audience, I explain that my guess is that people are looking for some kind of confirmation — confirmation that the local business exists, that there are social humans behind the business, and that they can be contacted via the social network with any future questions or problems.
And last week, I somehow came across this related tweet:
Yeah, I know it’s just one tweet and not at all scientific proof of anything. But I also bet there are a lot of consumers that feel the same way. When they’re looking up a small business on a social site, it’s a trust issue.
As Woody Allen famously said, “80 percent of success is just showing up.” I think there’s an application there when it comes to small businesses and social media.