Isn’t this sunny weather awesome?! It’s been a long but productive week at Evolve Systems, yet the gorgeous weather has made the time seem to fly by!
Many of Evolve Systems clients come to us because they are looking for a dependable shopping cart for their business. The two primary shopping carts we offer are X-Cart, which is great for companies that want to sell over a hundred products, and Ecwid, a similar product by the same company that is amazingly simple and intuitive for companies that sell under a hundred products. We have built and integrated hundreds of shopping carts into websites for clients, and are always looking for new and exciting shopping cart experiences we can offer to our clients.
A big part of what Facebook sees as its future — and a big justification for the $75-billion market value the company is theoretically being given — is the idea that the giant social network will become an e-commerce powerhouse, producing billions in revenue from retailers and major brands. But is that realistic? One analyst says no. In fact, Forrester Research’s Sucharita Mulpuru says in a report released Thursday that when it comes to e-commerce and driving substantial amounts of business-to-consumer revenue, Facebook may already be as big a player as it’s ever going to get.
Evolve Systems has its own Facebook account, yet we’ve never considered using Facebook as a means of conducting E-Commerce for our clients. Facebook is a part of that great “social media” world that has an entirely different set of rules attached to it. At Evolve we primarily use Facebook as a means of staying in contact with our clients, informing them of news and events that may be occurring. This is one area where we are still trying to define Evolve Systems as a brand, since Facebook and other social media channels are about communication and not necessarily promotion. To quote Red Green, “Hang in there; we’re all in this together.”
And speaking of managing your online presence, Fast Company has a good article on The Art of Listening Online. Our favorite piece of advice –
2. Connect consistently
It’s tempting to lurk online, stay back a safe distance and just watch the conversation unfold. However, the most effective companies are quickly learning that connecting is key. Just take a look at what great community managers, such as Ford’s Scott Monty, are doing online. The head of social media in Detroit always posts interesting updates, but he’s even better at responding to anyone who has something to say about his company. Check him out @ScottMonty to see how connecting consistently can create a loyal following.
Part of Evolve Systems’ Website Maintenance Plan has a strong emphasis on social media, and a few of our clients want us to establish successful social media personalities and platforms for them. However, from time to time, without an exit strategy in place (or rather, a clear definition of when the handoff will occur), these social media accounts start off strong but eventually stagnant. The best social media campaign will always be run by someone with inside knowledge into a company and culture and has the ear of all departments available to them. Web companies such as Evolve Systems can set up a social media account and presence for a client, but our efforts won’t replace a dedicated employee or professional marketing department.
More advice from Fast Company: you should disrupt your business habits to spurn innovation. Learn from Blockbuster and Polaroid; don’t make the same mistakes. We’d argue that this should also apply to your marketing habits, especially in the online arenas. Learn from others mistakes, as well as your own, and then start planning and strategizing for the future.
And finally, since we mentioned Red Green above, and Evolve Systems has an affinity for hot sauce…here’s Red Green’s Hot Sauce.