A large number of businesses see social media as an advertising and marketing opportunity, primarily due to the mass appeal of popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. However, a number of smart businesses have utilized the potential of social media to its true value by extending it far beyond marketing, sales and advertising. While some use social media to provide instant customer service, a number of others have realized that social media is an invaluable hiring/ recruitment tool. A recent survey titled Jobvite Social Recruiting Survey 2010 indicates that social media has now replaced conventional job sites and forums as the primary hiring tool for a large majority of companies. Social Networks for recruitment needs As expected, world’s largest and most popular professional network LinkedIn is the most preferred social networking site for recruitment needs. At second place is Facebook with its unique ability to quickly create custom pages for any kind of hiring needs. Twitter takes the bronze medal and is somewhat hampered by the restriction of 140 characters. Companies most often put in the job titles in their tweets and then add a link to the actual job posting. The tweet provides a short and sweet intro to the open position while the website provides all the required details. Social Media for background checks A number of companies turn to social media in order to conduct background checks on their prospect employees. Social networks can often deliver lots of relevant information which help organizations evaluate candidates for their attitude and people skills. via Social Media – A Perfect Tool for Small Business Hiring | Smedio | The New Media and Social Web Guide for Business and Marketers.