The post, Value of Social Media? YOU Tell Me created quite a bit of dialog in the comment section. It also generated new questions about the use of social media and the time involved.

My post was in my head when I posted the original Wall Street Journal link to Facebook. My friend, Michael Schroeder, and I have had this ongoing discussion for quite awhile. Me with my enthusiasm for all things social media and him with his not so positive experience as a musician with MySpace.

The resume writer in me comes out in my relationships with others and I tend to find keywords that fit their personality. Whether he likes it or not, I often told Mike he was “highly analytical.” Here’s his comment about social media recently:

You know I was echoing this article’s point in general a good while back,…..I think it comes down to a case-by-case basis of product verses demographic you can or can’t reach with Social media. The article also only touches lightly on the value and cost of time into the equation verses the productivity you may gain using other strategies. I tend to think there is a tipping point of time value that is different for each business of time spent using social media, and for most I think for real value that tipping point of time spent verses the gain is small… For what it’s worth.

I replied, “Yes,… there is a limit… but remember this is written by a traditional media… who has more to gain with traditional advertisers than seeing social media succeed.”
And he responded:

The only way to know for each business is tally up the hours each day, week and year and divide that into dollars that were “Only gained through social media” and you’ll have your answer of what you worked for per hour though that marketing. Case by case for each model, but the model is still in the state of change and while I believe it is over-hyped currently for the actual value received to most, I think it has a good chance of having more substance as technology continues to evolve on the delivery end.

You can see that we definitely see things differently but I do often hear others echoing his concerns about time used in social media. I think part of the problem is the word “media.” We expect social media to work like other media, print, radio, and television.

If social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and more) are used properly, you are in a very different environment. Think about it this way, if television worked the way Twitter does, when you said something on television, the viewers would be able to instantaneously talk back to it. It would be pretty noisy with everyone responding to your ad or program.

And Twitter can be pretty noisy. You do have to put strategies in place to cut the noise. As I said in the comments several times on the Value of Social Media post, Twitter can be like being in a noisy, crowded room. You are trying to get your message across but it feels like no one is listening. You need strategies. You need to move your following numbers down so you can hear people talking and you need to give back.

From the job seeker perspective, you need to realize that you need to build a network, relationships matter. Jason Alba’s post, “WRONG QUESTION, Do you need a recruiter that specializes in…” echoes the same thoughts. He has a good dialog going on over there. People think if they can only be connected with a recruiter that matches their industry the problem will be solved. Wrong… As Jason says, recruiters work for companies not job seekers. But networking can happen anywhere with anyone.

The hardest lesson that I teach my Design Resumes clients is that networking takes time and it is a give and take. But it can reap huge benefits. For example, yesterday a client who has worked with me using my Re-entry Package, e-mailed me this:

I wanted to share some good news….  X Company just called and requested a phone interview with their HR department. The person’s name was John from Winter Park, FL. I’m studying up on X Company right now and will contact them back tomorrow morning.  I’ll keep you posted! Thanks again for all your help!  Cheers!

I love success stories and this client “gets” networking, we’ve been strategizing networking and relationship building options in each of our sessions.

It’s tough out there… tough for job seekers, tough for business owners, tough for musicians like Michael, launching new projects, even tough for resume writers… but if we all work together… connect the dots, be friendly, care about others, and we will get through this.

Continue the dialog with your comments…