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Increasing Your Web Footprint
You have the product, you have the website and you have everything you need for your business to operate. Now what? Unless you are very lucky, chances are people aren’t going to just appear on your website, credit cards in hand, ready to make a purchase. It’s going to take marketing to get people to notice you and bring them to your site.

A common myth is that marketing is expensive, that you need millions of dollars and a department full of geniuses to pull off a successful marketing campaign that brings in the dough. In this age of lightning fast communication and massive exchanges of information, this is no longer true. Here are just some ways to increase your business’ presence on the Web, which will in turn bring in more traffic and build your brand into one people trust and buy.

Be everywhere
Social media has become a huge destination for people of all kinds. Many businesses know they need a social presence but, when it comes time to execute a social strategy, the task can become extremely daunting.

The first step is figuring out which social networks you have the time and resources to commit to. To put it simply, you should be wherever your customers are. If you’re an Internet only business, it will be more difficult for you to leverage a location-based network like Foursquare. But if you market primarily to other businesses, then it could be a good idea to establish a presence on LinkedIn.

It is also a good idea to maintain a presence on all of the most popular social sites like Twitter and Facebook, places where your customers might go and look for a more organic view and honest opinions about your company.

Keep it fresh
Much like it’s not enough to build your website and expect instant business success, it’s not enough to create a Facebook fan page and expect to become an overnight Facebook sensation. Stagnation on your social networking profiles can look worse than not having a presence at all. Chances are, your social profiles will come before your website in a search so it’s important they are executed properly.

Post regularly, and cultivate your presence into something more than a place to blast visitors with promotions. Link to related content, industry blogs, or provide selfless information beyond promotions to paint a picture of a company that cares to your customers so people keep coming back and don’t mentally filter out your posts as spam.

Converse
In addition to supplying content that adds value to your social presence, you also need to participate in the ongoing social conversation. A social presence means that people can talk to you and they usually expect a response. If you converse with people, keep it honest and avoid working every interaction into a plug for your company. You are building a brand, creating integrity for your company, not trying to make a one-off sale. Be thoughtful, provide insight, and make sure people are happy. That will go a long way in creating people that keep coming back and have a positive impression of your brand.

Be an expert
Another element of social media is influencing others with your ideas and concepts. If you have a business, you should be an expert in your product,s at the least, and probably also the industry you are part of. Share your knowledge. Create white papers, curate a blog that has killer content that helps, give insights into your business that loosely lead back to your site and to your products. By being an expert that influences people to make decisions, you build positive associations with your brand and create trust.