Social media has been gaining steam over the past three years with advertisers large and small trying to find ways to harness and use popular social media sites to their advantage. Noticeably absent from the gathering has been the Yellow Pages industry. In its absence, sites such as Craigslist and Angie’s List have been able to thrive by blending directory concepts with the new social media tools, particularly consumer comments and ratings.
Idearc recently announced its intention to launch a social media tool on SuperPages.com. “Local search is hot and so is social networking, so it makes sense that we combine the two,” said Robyn Rose, vice president of marketing for SuperPages.com, in the press release. “Whether you’re talking about finding the best Italian restaurant or a reliable plumber, SuperPages.com provides robust local search capabilities, along with ratings and user reviews, to connect circles of trusted individuals.”
By combining its broader reach with local businesses and local consumers, SuperPages goes a step toward winning back the advantage from local search sites trying to be “like the Yellow Pages, only better.” I can see SuperPages matching social networking with individual verticals (home improvement, weddings, legal, etc.) and involving local consumers at a deeper level as they discuss local brands, reliable services and where to find brand-name products and services locally.
To increase exposure for the new social media offering, Idearc has introduced a “Reviewer of the Week” feature where top reviewers are highlighted on the SuperPages home page. Reviewers who post more reviews will be given precedence in the city where they are located.
It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, and who else in the Yellow Pages industry will finally move into the Web 2.0 world.