The most followed accounts on Twitter are: 1) Lady Gaga, 2) Justin Bieber, 3) Katy Perry, 4) Shakira, 5) Kim Kardashian, 6) Britney Spears, 7) Barack Obama, 8) Rihanna, 9) Taylor Swift, and 10) Selena. The top non-celebrity is CNN with 6 million followers (CNN ranks 27th).
So when you think about social media, you are likely to look for news about Ashton Kutcher, but not local news and information.
Research from Pew Internet and American Life Project found than half of adults looking for info about restaurants, bars and clubs use the Internet. Most of the rest use newspapers or word-of-mouth advertising. Only 1% of people looked to social media or social networking sites for local news about restaurants and businesses.
This research has special significance for nonprofits and small business. The reason is that building a strong social media presence usually requires discontinuing one of the other marketing efforts. Before you put your money into social media, make sure your website is optimized for search and optimized for real people looking for your site as well.