Whilst I've cast doubt on the degree to which Gen Y have taken to the use of social media for professional purposes in the past week or so, one area they do seem to be diving straight into is using the web to buy things.
A study conducted by eBay this week found that millenials are much more likely to turn to the web, and in particular social media, before buying a car.
Of course, this isn't something that is the sole preserve of the young. The study found that most of us now do our research online before splashing the cash on a new car.
What's interesting however is that this research isn't being done so much on review sites as on social networks, where we turn to our friends for their input.
“It has become increasingly important for dealers to ensure that they are reaching consumers when, where and how they want to shop for vehicles – which today, more than ever, means online and on mobile,” said Kristine Chin, head of vehicles at eBay Motors.
What is clear however is that very few youngsters now trust the traditional car dealership to give them the impartial advice they desire. Just 13% revealed that this was their first port of call when looking to buy a car.
Of course, none of this is massively surprising. This spring's Automotive Social Media and Reputation Trend Study revealed that 81% of car buyers use online reviews to fine tune their research. A marked difference however was that actual car review sites were cited as most influential, as opposed to more general social networks.
Reviews are not just powerful for car buying of course. Research has shown that a single point increase in the rating of a restaurant can increase the chances of that restaurant selling all of their tables by as much as 20%. It's widely proven now that buyers like to hear from people that are impartial to the buying decision, and reviews and social media certainly offer them that.