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Foley agreed that this is a critical element in any corporate strategy, but cautioned against being overly informal. "This is business and real business is being done here. College interns are not the answer. You need someone or a company that can help you devise the plan, teach and educate you on best practices. Know that today's online users want to communicate in those channels so [you] better be listening and engaging there," he shared. "The personality can come in through some of the posts, YouTube or Vine videos, and the like. Allow your team to be themselves, while still maintaining your brand standards and professionalism."
Nevertheless, setting lofty expectations is arguably the biggest mistake companies make with social media. Just because you build it doesn't mean they'll come. While the above tips only begin to scratch the surface of social media, they are crucial parts of the complete package. "I'm looking for a company that is proactive, a company that's got great content, a company that is a leader, a company that handles complaints effectively, a company that is engaged with their fans. Essentially, I'm looking for a company that's going to give you a shiny, happy experience as their customer," Gilbert concluded. "And if I don't see it, I'm going to move on to the next company."