The interest in social media marketing (SMM) by small and medium-sized businesses is evident everywhere I look in the Northern New Jersey areas where my business is based.   The businesspeople I meet are simultaneously interested and confused.  They know they need to be there.  They WANT to participate, but they don’t know how to do it, what exactly is the conversation they’ll be starting or joining and, most importantly, how they are going to find the time or money to engage fully and MEANINGFULLY in the process.

As an Internet marketer it’s my business to practice what I preach.  Long a fan of blogging, email marketing and search engine optimization, those are tools that we’ve managed to master and harness effectively to do our bidding for ourselves and our clients.  And when SMM began to take over the conversation of Internet marketing about a year and half to two years ago, we were eager to jump in with both feet and figure out what this latest wrinkle in Internet marketing was all about.

As we now know, that “latest wrinkle” has become a tsunami that shows no sign of abatement.  Those that think it’s all a big fad are sadly mistaken and are probably the same people thinking (hoping?) that the Internet would just go away.  Well, we know how that’s turning out.

But the purpose of this blog post isn’t to add fuel to the Facebook hype or express our undying devotion to Twitter.  It’s to give you a simple example of how we recently put LinkedIn, the SMM tool aimed at businesses, to work to help us hire some administrative help for our business.

COMBINING THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS

Here’s what we did:

RESULTS?:  Within about two hours I had 4 personal recommendations and two phone calls as well as about six emails of resumes from people who had my email request passed along to them .  All the candidates were personal referrals from people I knew so the quality, I’m happy to say, was really great.  Bottom line, within 24 hours of sending the whole thing out I now have two interviews set up for the coming week and a fistful of potential back-up candidates.  In fact, I think it’s going to be a painfully hard choice given the quality of the candidates.

This was waaay more effective than placing an ad on Craig’s list, which I’ve also done very successfully.  The main difference was way fewer candidates but extremely better quality.   With Craig’s list, I typically get dozens of resumes, most of them completely wrong for the position which means I have to weed through 10 or 15 bad ones just to get to the 1 or 2 with potential. 

And not to be outdone, I received a tremendous resource for SEO talent from one of my tweeps on Twitter as a result of tweeting my help wanted request.    It may not be something I use for this specific hiring hunt but it will be something I turn to in the not too distant future.  Again and again.