Anne Green, President, COO of CooperKatz & Company, Inc., advised retailers to become active consumers of media. Don't just wait for the next big social media tool; jump in and learn what's out there now. You need to know what social media tools your consumers are using. If your consumers aren't on Facebook, then why are you?
Green advocated finding a partner within your organization to work on a social media strategy. The reality is keeping up with social media takes time, and it's time you might not personally have to devote. So find the best person within your organization to help you formulate a strategy and then execute it.
In addition to the time needed to plan a strategy, significant time is also needed to manage the social media channels in which your organization decides to become involved. "The key here is engagement. These things don't run themselves," Rudman said.
You have to cultivate the community you've become part of. That means you have to engage with your community, but also become aware of the possible competitors in the space, said Sarah Endline of Sweetriot. And last but not least, you have to be authentic. Your audience will know when you're not, and they will make the decision to stop following you.