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Google data shows increase in interest in Mayor Buttigieg and South Bend

NOW: Google data shows increase in interest in Mayor Buttigieg and South Bend

SOUTH BEND, Ind. —- According to Google data, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg has seen a rise in increase since his 2020 presidential exploratory committee announcement. 


On April 2, people had searched Mayor Buttigieg more than 20,000 times, according to Google Trends. According to Google data, there’s a growing interest in Mayor Buttigieg and South Bend. 


“When Pete goes up in interest there’s definitely still a spike in how interested people are in South Bend,” said Zachary Nelson, creative director at J2 Marketing. 


Nikki Barnes, who lives in Kalamazoo, said said the city is definitely on a national stage while Mayor Buttigieg decides whether he’ll run for president in 2020. 


“I’ve heard about him just seeing him on TV,” Barnes said. 


Rob DeCleene, executive director of Visit South Bend Mishawaka, said he has seen an uptick in posts about the city and mayor particularly on Twitter. He said now that Mayor Buttigieg is on this national stage, it’s too early to tell the impact of his campaign. 


“We’re sort of learning along with the rest of the country relative on how that’s [Buttigieg’s campaign] necessarily going to translate into potential direct increase in visitors,” DeCleene said.


According to  an annual report from 2018, St. Joseph County sees 4.8 million visitors each year. DeCleene said Visit South Bend Mishawaka will continue to monitor Buttigieg’s campaign. 


With Google data that shows an increase in interest in South Bend and Mayor Buttigieg, Nelson said it’s okay for businesses to increase engagement by posting pictures and tweeting the mayor. But he does not recommend people rely solely on Google search data. 


“I don’t think it’s wise for businesses to invest in a quick uptick in Google searches,” said Nelson. 


He said his clients haven’t asked about the interest in South Bend and Mayor Buttigieg and how they can use it to their advantage. Nelson said people should capitalize on the policies put in place by Buttigieg and the work being done in the city. 


“I’m hoping that we’re going to play the long game in when Mayor Pete rises, South Bend does to,” he said. 

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