Data rules the day. Facebook and Google are thriving, because they study the habits and preferences of their users and play directly to them with advertisements. Do you follow the transaction trail your customer leaves, with direct email offers within their buying ecosystem? Data analysis and specialized customer service are absolutely everything in a world where commercial access is now ubiquitous in the developed world.

How thick of a security buffer are your Facebook followers or YouTube views? Slippery statistics in an ever-shifting algorithm aren’t success guarantees of any kind, regardless of the numbers. Your core functionality must be vivacious; in E-Commerce, social media alone will not serve a buoy in the high seas of change amid technological progress. The numbers can be (and often are) faked, and every few years we switch platforms and start counting all over again.

It is your fans, your readership, your customers who own your business. If they lose interest, if you stop producing in accordance with their needs you wither on the vine of missed opportunity and poor planning. Knowing your target audience and reaching them with an inspiring, engaging dialogue is vital to your success. Consistency is absolutely essential in delivering a comprehensive world in which your customer can find an engaging and comfortable place to explore – and keep exploring.

Your business relies on knowing who your fans are and how to reach them, but the same applies in the inverse. Don’t overload them – instead, play the notes they want to hear. How is your email strategy geared toward specific readers/buyers? A scattershot one-size-fits-all method will not yield the results that focal targeting can. Are you regularly updating a blog, to keep readers up to date on happenings around the office and culture periphery as related to your company?

If not, today is the day to begin.

Most of your fans are not vocal, but if you can inspire the few who are, they will not just click or tweet or explore your e-mails with an open minds – they’ll be satellite hubs of awareness in their support for your efforts. Stand for something. Bring the public into your world and give the effort a greater meaning. You’ll be surprised by the engagement, goodwill and meaningful brand recognition a partner charity cause can inspire. In the coming weeks, StackCommerce will outline the framework of our partnership with Creative Commons, a non-profit organization devoted to expanding the range of creative works available for others to build upon legally and to share.