eMarketer published a short article today titled, “Word-of-Mouth Drives Local Consumers in Canada“. And it’s true – the graph is a nice visual but marketers have known about the power of social media for a long time, and it’s doubly true on a local level. (Need I mention it’s not limited to Canada?)

The author suggested that since WOM drives local traffic, SMBs should invest in social media. And then showed more than a few stats showing low local business linkage to Facebook and Twitter pages. That’s where I started scratching my head.

Social is great, but for a local business the twin behemoths (Facebook and Twitter) are not the answer. Local businesses would be far better off investing in Yelp and Yellowpages (or their counterparts in whatever country you are reading this from) before investing in a website even. Facebook and Twitter – for most local small businesses – come further down the line.

It would be very interesting to see stats showing the % of small businesses managing their Yelp (and similar) profiles. Comment below if you know of any research done in that direction.