Retailers haven’t always managed to get the balance right when it comes to social networks, with some incapable of seeing them as anything but another sales or broadcasting channel.

Our recent feature lists what you should and shouldn’t do according to the experts, providing advice on everything from producing decent content to how to respond if you make a mistake.

Laetitia Wajnapel, an editorial and social media consultant who runs the blog and has worked with French Connection and TK Maxx, says you should focus on decent content, consider a company blog and steer well clear of only mentioning products. The days of traditional marketing messages being broadcast by a company are coming to an end, and retailers need to be more creative to entice people online.

Jevern Partridge, an e-commerce consultant who’s worked with, Arcadia and Boots, advises carefully choosing a method that suits your company and its brand, and says listening to customers on social networks is crucial. “Too many businesses using social media think it’s all about broadcasting - they need to realise it’s also about listening.”

Social media is only one part of a marketing or communications strategy, but it brings rewards if done properly. The way consumers use the networks changes constantly, so businesses also need to keep ahead of any shifts and react quickly. As Wajnapel says, “Social media provides a great way to keep in touch with your customers, but you have to keep the customers interested. That doesn’t mean shoving your product down their throats, that means offering something different and showing a different side of your brand.”