The third and final installment of BrightLocal’s Local Consumer Review Survey found that nearly 1 out of 3 people have recommended a local business via Facebook to people they know in the past 12 months.
According to the survey, 65 percent of respondents have recommended a restaurant/cafe to people they know if they had a good or bad experience, followed by 49 percent who said the same for a doctor/dentist and 43 percent who said the same for a hotel/bed and breakfast/guest house.
The survey also looked at how people have recommended local businesses in the last 12 months to people they know. Seventy-seven percent said word of mouth, down from 77 percent in 2010. Facebook followed with a 32 percent response, up from 27 percent in 2010. Meanwhile, 13 percent said Google Maps/Google Places, which wasn’t an option in 2010. Eleven percent said online directories, unchanged from 2010; 9 percent said Twitter, up from 6 percent in 2010.
BrightLocal split this up by gender as well, finding that 78 percent of women have recommended local businesses in the last 12 months by word of mouth, compared with 74 percent of men. Facebook had a 32 percent/34 percent women/men split, while Google Maps/Google Places had a 7 percent/20 percent split, online directories had a 9 percent/13 percent split, and Twitter had a 7 percent/12 percent split.
The survey found that 65 percent of respondents would be more likely to recommend a local business to people they know if they’re reliable and professional, up from 60 percent in 2010; 45 percent said the same if the business was friendly and welcoming, down from 49 percent in 2010; 45 percent said the same if the business was cheap at the price, down from 46 percent; 38 percent said a good special offer, down from 39 percent; 34 percent said a unique and original experience, down from 40 percent; and 16 percent said they would be more likely to recommend a local business if they were asked to, up from 13 percent in 2010.
Nearly two-thirds, or 66 percent, of respondents to the survey said they would be more likely to recommend a local business to people they know if they had a good value offer or discount, up from 52 percent in 2010. Thirty percent said they might, down from 37 percent in 2010, while 4 percent said they wouldn’t, down from 11 percent.
The shift toward being compelled to recommend local businesses based on offers or discounts could be a sign of the harsh economic times, according to BrightLocal. “Local business owners should use special offers intelligently to keep existing customers returning and also as a tool to generate recommendations and ‘talkability’ about their service.”
Meanwhile, 35 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to promote a local business to people they know if they could benefit from doing so, while 40 percent said maybe, 9 percent said it’s unlikely and 16 percent said no.