Paul Gillin, author of The New Influencers,  wrote about the impact of social media. One of his key points was that 78% of consumers trust each other more than they trust advertising – which is why they hang out at Facebook, read blogs, and seek out recommendation sites.

For all intents and purposes, traditional advertising is dead. Consumers are numb from it all and, even if they actually hear the message, they don’t buy it. Instead, they increasing rely on peers via social media for advice.  Don’t believe me? How about Yelp.

Per the Yelp about us page, “Yelp is trying to make the world a better place by helping people to connect with great local businesses. ” Yelp was founded in 2004 to help people find great local businesses like dentists, hair stylists and mechanics. As of June 2010, more than 33 million people visited Yelp in the past 30 day. Visitors have written over 12 million local reviews, over 85% of them rating a business 3 stars or higher.

For many, Yelp is the first place to look for a restaurant or bar. Who needs to advertising when you have friends?

John Bradley Jackson

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