Could BBM help get your message out there?

Could BBM help get your message out there?

RIM’s BlackBerry have always been very popular in the world of mobile communications with the help of their IM app, BlackBerry Messenger, however could times be changing for them?

BBM, or BlackBerry Messenger has predominantly been used for social interaction, but could it be used to help communicate with customers and drive new sales opportunities? MAXX Design evaluate the case of BBM for business.

  The vast majority of BlackBerry users are now, or should at least be considering, using BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) as a great way of communicating with fellow users of BlackBerry devices, often close friends and family. Its only £5 a month for the use of BlackBerry internet services on a pay as you go phone, which includes BBM, or it can be included as part of your deal if you are on contract. It’s a great way of sharing your news, favourite quotes and lyrics, with your contacts. So my question is, could this be used as a way of sharing your business with other people around the BlackBerry market? Following last years London riots, police and the government blamed BBM for spreading news about the riots, and the looting, which potentially made the riots a lot worse than it might have been. The government also initially blamed twitter and Facebook, and considered closing them down during this period. However, BBM were identified as the main culprit. This placed BlackBerry right in the middle of a very negative news storm.  Can RIM draw any positive from this experience? The media would have us all believe that BBM was the main tool for spreading public disorder. Twist the logic however, and  from the way I see it,  BBM has come out on top in the social networking stakes beating Twitter and Facebook as the method for getting a message out to your followers quickly and effectively. So although BBM has had some negative press, it could be argued that it has had its profile raised as the social media tool of choice, more people are using it as it is easy to use on the move. In my opinion it raises a lot of potential for advertising or ‘spreading the word’ for some businesses or companies. BBM users have lots of useful tools in the BBM user interface, which could apply to business, for example:

  • Adding a contact via a PIN without showing your mobile number.
  • Conversation flows, you can see when people are typing and when they have read your message, making the conversations a lot easier.
  • You can have more than one person in a chat, even if they aren’t in each other’s contact list.
  • You can set up groups where members can share calendar dates/entries and share pictures.
  • Another tool is the status/personal message on your profile, which you can change, perhaps to show your availability.
  • This is as a potential way of spreading the word about your business or blog, just copy and paste your companies URL into it, and everyone on your contacts can see and access the URL that you posted.
  • Another part of the BBM system is the broadcasting system. It allows the users to send a message to all your contacts at once, so why not tell people you’ve just updated your blog or website?

Ever since the London riot incident, BlackBerry Messenger, RIM (Research in Motion) has been very quiet, is this because they are struggling financially and losing a lot of their customers? I don’t know of any other phone company or operating system that has an Instant messaging app as good as BlackBerry’s BBM, not one of the generic smartphone IM app’s are as good or easy to use in my opinion. So why don’t RIM push this forward? RIM already owe a lot to BBM for their current customers. If RIM could concentrate on BBM as the main identity for them, push this idea and technology forward, I don’t see why this shouldn’t remain one of the best instant messaging services to be used for social and business aspects of everyday life. I see a lot of potential in BBM as a social marketing strategy, what do you think?   This article was written by Callum a 15 year old work experience student who spent last week with us here at MAXX Design.