OK, so did you get all huffy and puffy and cancel your Instagram account? Or are you one of those who canceled then re-installed it when they changed their tune? Or maybe you were like me and did nothing and kind of waited to see what would happen? I have learned that many of these "test the waters" moves companies make lately are mostly done to see who is paying attention, how many customers they actually have, and yes, some are done as publicity stunts. In this case, the customers voices were heard and they backed off. Would I have cancelled if they went through with their changes? Yes, I probably would have. I like my privacy and the rights to my photos as much as the next guy. I like Instagram. I think it is good as a marketing tool for small business. It creates connections and real-time marketing. I am glad they reconsidered their stupid suggestion of "we own you and everything you do with our app."
Now about Tumblr. (www.tumblr.com) With 86 million users, whats this blogging site all about? as much as I read about it and cruised around on its site, I could not find a real niche for myself. I signed up and followed a few technology sites and some photographers but for what I do as a social media guy, I was kind of well, "lost" within the web of stuff in Tumblr. You really have to have a knack for something you like to stay engaged with Tumblr. If you love art then you got pictures and art to look at. If you love technology then your choices become a bit more limited. If you want to blog about social media (like what I do) then it becomes even more remote out there. I did put up a web page. (http://floridadudemarketingconcepts.tumblr.com) and we will see what happens. I do believe in giving every social media application a chance and with the number of users they say they have, there has to be something here; right? Check out Tumblr for yourself if you have not done so lately. I will continue to stumble my way around and I am sure pretty soon I will be up and running.
Research In Motion (RIM), (http://www.blackberry.com ) stated they had a good third quarter however it is no secret they continue to slide deeper and deeper down the well. Published reports show they had 47% decline in sales from the previous year. The United States Government and a few others continue to support BlackBerry with large orders and this is mainly due to the success of their operating system being very secure and easy to control for keeping information inside. This is a huge plus for RIM. BlackBerry moved 255,000 Playbooks in the third quarter and money still continues to flow into their coffers to the tune of 2.9 billion. The other bright side is the launch of BlackBerry 10, their new platform has many and possible future users excited. The downside is the pressure to keep sales up and the new 10 system may or may not cause sales of present stock to slump.
So what happened to BlackBerry, once the king of mobile cell phones especially for the business professional? In a nutshell, lousy product development. When the iPhone and Android OS systems took off, RIM had no answer with outdated technology and a OS system that could not handle the onslaught of apps. They rolled the dice that business users would stay loyal to BlackBerry and they lost. They knew the consumer market would probably jump ship and they did but other than their government clients, even SMBs users went to the iPhone and some to the Android system. In this ever-changing technology market, users want sleek, smooth, and video friendly phones and Blackberry (as of late) really had no answers. The Playbook is not a bad product but even the name within itself sounds like something a coach would use on a football field over a sleek cool tablet that a college kid would want to buy. Microsoft is finding out the same thing with its slumping Surface tablet sales.
Hopefully BlackBerry will re-invent itself this next year and find that niche they once controlled again. Their investors continue to believe in them and their stock continues to hold steady or even climb a few points so not all is bad news for RIM. As to whether they will ever recapture the consumer market or be the friend of only the enterprise level or government user is still debatable but lets hope BlackBerry does not become a raspberry. May they be fruitful. Competition is good for everybody.
It is no secret that mobility is fast becoming the standard for social media. Tablets and smart phones are in the consumer's hands and the desktop is taking the back seat. Where we eat, where we are going to travel, where we are going to shop, where are we staying on that next business trip, all decided from the couch or arm-chair. Businesses need to know the methodology of mobility and how the consumer are responding to those wonderful apps and tools in their hands. Some are for business and others are for their personal needs.
I have found however, that many business have been very proactive in predicting this new generation of mobility toward social media. Customer interaction via surveys, on-line communities, tapping their customer's preference levels for contacts and so on. Many have developed interactive apps for easier navigation of their products and services designed specifically for smart phones or tablets.
So what does this all mean? Two words. "Customer Satisfaction" Happy clients or customers means increase profitability. The easier it is for customers to deal with you, the easier it means they will come back. Business value and your ability to connect to the mobile market especially in this next year may determine your bottom line. Large corporations are investing millions into revamping their social strategy to include mobility and making sure their marketing is either including or even better, leading with mobility. So where does your company stand? Think about how you are reaching the mobile marketplace. Is your website mobile friendly? Does your company have an app for downloading? Do you even have a social media plan? Make sure your new year's resolution include social media and mobility!