Is everything really better “social”?

Read a very timely post from zillow on 6 common mistakes made by home sellers. There’s a particular piece that I found very interesting:

 Yet, many people just hire someone based on one friend’s recommendation and wind up frustrated during the process.”

Here is a conflicting piece from Search Engine Watch.  

The recommendations of our friends and colleagues have always been one of the most influential drivers of sales.”

So, if you are like most other people, which one do you really believe?

There’s reason to doubt the Zillow piece, since they are a vendor in the space and its in their best interest to suggest you interview 3 real estate agents (they probably get a lead referral from the real estate agents).

There’s also reason to doubt Search Engine watch, since they have reason to promote more social media usage overall. 

Either way, the question is “What is the impact of a friend / colleague opinion on your purchases”?

The answer probably depends on the friend, what you are trying to buy and how relevant that friend’s opinion is on the item you are trying to buy.

Over the last 4 years, I have used facebook fairly extensively and primarily for keeping up with friends and colleagues. I rarely use LinkedIn and dont find any real value from it.

I still use the phone (primarily text message) or email, though when I want recommendations from the same friends I am on facebook with.

So yes, I am socially connected, but most of what I am trying to buy cant be published. For two reasons

a) I dont like to have an immediate list of twitter followers immediately call or send me a message offering their services

b) I feel I get more balanced opinions (less flowery, with many caveats) when I communicate one-one.

But really, is everything really better social?