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How can I attract more online consumers to my new site?

I recently launched a high-end jewelery website. I have a client base of boutiques but not a strong following online. Is it worth buying databases of consumers?
Lena West answered June 3, 2010
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/answer/222113

The most effective way to do this is to come from behind your own website and engage in social networking.

Are your customers on Twitter? Facebook? LinkedIn?

Find out where they are online (hint: ask them!) and then you arrange to be a presence there. Not to sell your stock, but to offer them great advice and maybe even discounts on your jewelry.

It's important for you to "fish where the fish are," that is, find out where your market hangs out online, start hanging out there yourself and engage them in an environment that is familiar and comfortable for them before you start talking about your products.

This responsibility is a full-time gig and should not be taken lightly. If done incorrectly (read: not authentically), your brand has the potential to leave a bad taste in people's mouths.

So, in short, instead of trying to target 10,000 people yourself, engage with 10 people and/or groups that share your target market, who each have a reach of 1,000+ people. You've probably heard of O.P.M. (other people's money)? Well, this is something that I call O.P.S.--other people's social.

As for purchasing a list, there's nothing inherently wrong with doing so, you just want to be careful. There are some very reputable list brokers out there, but make sure you get a recommendation from someone you know and trust. It's very easy to be fooled when purchasing mailing lists.

Lena West is the CEO and Chief Strategist of xynoMedia Technology, a New York-based firm that helps high-growth companies leverage the power of social media, blogs, podcasts and online communities.