“Hyperlocal” has been a buzzword for quite some time, based around the idea that the Internet should be talking to you about your neighborhood in particular, and not just some homogenous “out there.” But according to a new Pew Institute study, there’s one thing in particular users want from their hyperlocal surfing: food.
While television still dominates in the local news space, with newspapers taking the top spot for sourcing community events, as well as information on local culture, government and police actions, the Internet has become the top source for information about restaurants and bars for the majority of Americans. Clearly, Yelp has done its job well.
According to the survey results, although the Internet only tops one particular vertical, it’s seemingly become the go-to second choice for local information. For the 79% of Americans who are online, the Internet was named as either the first or second most relied-upon source of information for 15 of the 16 topics listed (for adults under 40, it jumps to first place in 11 of those 16 topics), with 64% of those asked admitting that they use at least three different types of media to get information about their community in general.
The takeaway from this survey for local businesses? Advertise everywhere. But if you serve food, make sure that your social media is so spotless, you could eat your dinner off it.
Graeme McMillan is a reporter at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @Graemem or on Facebook at Facebook/Graeme.McMillan. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.