In the past few years, social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have become a major resource for both consumers and business owners. In fact, small business owners now tweet twice as frequently as they did in 2009, according to a report from BIA/Kelsey and ComStat. However, the report also suggests that this increase in the use of social media is actually saturating the social network market and has not affected the use of the traditional print Yellow Pages.

Instead, research from the Local Search Association, formerly the Yellow Pages Association, has found that Yellow Page usage has actually increased significantly in the last year. This study has also shown that consumers still view the Yellow Pages as the most accurate source that they trust the most when it comes to finding local services and products. Here are a few reasons that consumers use the Yellow Pages more than they use social networks:

Social Networks Are Reaching Their Saturation Point

One of the main reasons that consumers trust Yellow Pages more than social networks is that social networks are slowly reaching their saturation point. According to a study by eMarketer Digital Intelligence, more than one-third of small businesses have placed more links and ads on social media sites in the last year.1 However, while the study projects that an estimated 150 million Internet users plan to use social networking at least once a month this year, the rate at which this number will increase over the next two years is only a little more than 3 percent.2

Yellow Pages vs. Social Networks: Statistics

According to a 2010 study by the Local Search Association, formerly the Yellow Pages Association, 84 percent of consumers have used the print and Internet Yellow Pages in the past year, compared to 32 percent for social networks. The study also revealed that 51 percent of consumers stated that they trust the Yellow Pages most for finding local business information, compared to 1 percent for social networks.3

While the overall usage of print media has decreased as local businesses have searched for more venues to reach potential customers, the Local Search Association has revealed that these consumers still trust the Yellow Pages much more than any other media. In fact, the study found that, in 2010, consumers referenced the print Yellow Pages 11 billion times and generated 5.6 billion searches with Internet Yellow Pages.4

1BIA/Kelsey and ComStat, “Local Commerce Monitor-Wave 14,” Feb 23, 2011

2Wake-Up Call for Marketers: Social Media Has Reached Saturation Point

3Local Media Tracking Study conducted by Burke on behalf of the Local Search Association

4YPA/LSA 1998-2011 Usage Statistics; CRM Associates

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