Recently, members of the Solomon McCown digital team attended “Social Capital: Boston Superstars Share Their Tips, Tricks, Strategies & Tactics for Winning Big in Social Media.” Hosted by the Boston Business Journal, panelists included Michael Hall, Director of New Media at NESN; Jennie Moore, Director of Communications at Fisher College; and Robert Bertsche, Partner at Prince Lobel and Tye LLP.

The panel brought a diverse perspective to the discussion. Hall has a staff of 12 to help coordinate digital media at NESN; Moore has only an intern and student assistant to help her reach her social goals. And Bertsche jokingly said he was there to cast a pall over the enthusiasm for social media by discussing the legal risks of social, especially in highly-regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

Here are our five takeaways:

Beware of Twibel: It’s not the latest app—it’s libel via Twitter or other social media platforms. Bertsche cited the example of rock star Courtney Love, who paid $430,000 to settle a lawsuit after she made comments about a fashion designer on her Twitter and MySpace accounts. Bertsche said it’s important to have your legal and human resources teams on board for social media, but don’t let them “drive the bus.” Informed risk is part of a nimble and effective social media program.

Plan ahead, but follow what’s trending: What does sports have to do with “Breaking Bad?” NESN’s Hall told the crowd that the sports channel had created lots of content tied to the end of the popular drama series to capitalize on what’s trending on social media. Moore develops content calendars, but relies on students to help her join trending conversations. If you don’t have social-media crazed college students handy, resources like Google trends can help.

B2B social is growing: But it’s critical to know why your business is active on social media. Are you positioning yourself as a thought leader? Trying to drive sales? Figure it out so you know how to define success. The business community is online—the Boston Business Journal insists 11% of all its web traffic now comes from social media.

Follower count isn’t everything: “I don’t care about follower counts or fan counts, they’re irrelevant to me,” said Michael Hall. Instead, he’d trade them all for 2% more inbound traffic from Facebook or Twitter. Engagement is key—give fans and followers something they’ll want to share and click on.

“You shouldn’t be using social media to promote your business, you should be using it to promote the experience that your business offers”: Fisher’s Jennie Moore said, summing up the panel nicely. Whether it’s a college, sports channel, or law firm, people want to get to know what your business can do for them. Social media is a great way to reach customers in all markets.