Are social networks replacing search engines?

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Are social networks replacing search engines?


Social media is everywhere. There are even references to Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Wikipedia on TV and in movies. There will even be a Facebook movie called 'The Social Network' due to be released next year starring Jesse Eisenberg, Justin Timberlake and Andrew Garfield.

A new report has emerged underpinning the concept of estate agents connecting to new and existing customers through social networking. By Nielsen Wire, the report surveyed 1,800 people on the acquisition of content through social media.

The first question started off the survey with 'When looking for new information online, on what type of website do you start your search?' Out of the 1,800 participants, 37% used search engines, 34% used portals such as AOL or yahoo and 18% of respondents used 'social media' which includes Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Wikipedia etc. That is almost one fifth of people using social media for new information.

This information will vary greatly from person to person, depending on their situation, but what is certain is that some of these people will use social media to look for new property. Wikipedia and blogs can be ruled out, leaving social networking as the primary way for people to look for new properties online through social media.

The report concluded that it is very possible that social networks will replace search engines and portals in the future. Respondents found there is too much information on the internet to take in so the next step is to trust peers, relatives and other online 'friends' to ask them for their opinion.

How can estate agents benefit from this? Troy Stanley, CTO of Resource Techniques comments, 'Embrace social networking and implementing it into your marketing strategy. By communicating to online property searchers, estate agents are able to directly influence where property searchers are looking online. '

'Services such as posting the latest property or building a portfolio of users that you contact directly online will all help towards creating a desirable service that will keep property searchers coming back again and again.' - Troy Stanley.

Do you want to find out more about social networking? Read our other articles, 'Estate agents, who are you more likely to communicate with on social networks? Men or Women?' and 'Damn good reasons why estate agents should invest time and effort into social networking.'