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So you’ve got a stellar e-commerce website. It’s easy on the eyes, a breeze to load, and a piece of cake to navigate. Product descriptions are clear and intriguing. Now, how are sales?

If your site is floating alone in cyberspace, disconnected from the universe of your customers, you’ve got some work to do. To achieve e-commerce success, you need to be where your customers are. Think of it as a fishing expedition in the digital sea. Bait the hook, watch them bite, reel them in.

As busy as your schedule is as a small business owner, you should take the time to build your online presence.

1. Go social

Say “hi” to 1.7 billion Facebook users. Social media offers an opportunity to reach and engage with consumers. Although gathering likes (Facebook) and followers (Twitter) takes time, your patience and dedication will eventually entice people to take the bait. If you’re a retailer, Instagram provides a picture-perfect forum to show off your goods. But don’t feel like you need to be everywhere―pick three social media outlets where your products will have the most impact. But how do you grow your online community? Keep reading.

2. Say something

No one will visit a stale company Facebook page. But to keep it lively, you need to have something to say. A blog on your e-commerce site is an excellent way to hook your audience. By sharing it on social media alongside a great photo you kill two birds (or should we say fish?) with one stone. Let the tone of the blog reflect your company brand; keep it short, sweet, and engaging; and try to post two days or more a week. Regular updates also spell good news since Google will index your site more favorably.

3. Share something

In addition to your blog, it’s a good idea to curate content that appeals to your target audience. Spend a few minutes each week pouring over other sources, then pick a few articles to share on your social media platforms. With tools like Buffer, you can make sure the content is posted when your audience is online but you have other things to do.

4. Invest something

The digital world is no different from the real one: money talks. If you have room in your budget, consider pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to give your site an additional boost. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads for Business let you create campaigns that reach your potential customers where they are. That way, when they’re searching, browsing or buying, you’re right there, dangling your bait.

5. Reach out

How do you cut through the online chatter to find out what people are saying about you? By setting alerts based on keywords such as your company name and products, you gain immediate access to every online mention. By reaching out to people with a stated interest in you, you can build a network of brand advocates. Suddenly, others are fishing on your behalf.

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