RIM has done an incredible job embracing social media. The @blackberry Twitter account has over 1 million followers and there’s a network of blogs providing the community with relevant news, tips and updates. The social media team seems mostly focused on providing information that’s based around BlackBerry hardware, but it’s really missing an opportunity to promote developers and the people who are going to make this platform succeed.
First, let’s take a look at how the Apple App App Store account on facebook promotes new apps.
As you can see, the social media team at Apple provide a great feature image and a link through facebook’s App Centre. This allows facebook to collect affiliate revenue (possibly marketing dollars as well) and the nearly 6 million people who have liked the account will see the promotion. This is huge for developers and certainly results in a spike in downloads.
UPDATE: Okay, I had to remove something here about the BlackBerry App World facebook page because it wasn’t RIM’s. The page is going to get taken down because it was using all the official logos and everything. There doesn’t seem to be a BlackBerry App World facebook page so the point is more that there’s a huge opportunity to create one that is on par with Apple’s.
Currently, it seems the only promotion mechanisms RIM provides its partners are Carousel Features and some fairly low-impact marketing tools such as email campaigns and conference booth placement. Email and booths are the Old RIM; facebook and twitter is the new app marketing techniques that need to implemented.
UPDATE: Another opportunity that I didn’t mention is “App Wednesday” which I’ve never heard of but it’s apparently where RIM tweets about an app every Wednesday. It should be noted that Apple promotes an app every day.
— Research In Motion (@BlackBerry) September 25, 2012
As you can see from @blackberry, there’s not a single app promotion anywhere in the feed recently. The only app we can see them promote recently is the TIFF app and that’s because they have so much in the way of sponsorship dollars. One million twitter followers who are likely all BlackBerry users could really help developers get some uptake for their apps. If you really love developers, you should be leveraging all of RIM’s channels to help.
UPDATE: RIM’s @blackberrydev is where a lot of the app promotion happens on Twitter which is great but not really where it should be. The BlackBerry dev account only has 45,000 followers and is mostly geared towards tools for devs.
— Files & Folders (@FilesFolders) September 25, 2012
The above was ReTweeted by BlackBerry Dev.
Are you a developer? Where would you like to see RIM promoting your apps?
UPDATE: So this article was a little off base, especially relative to the facebook page which turned out to be fake. The point is that there’s a lot that RIM could be doing to bring the social team and dev relations team together.