Social media platforms in mobile – how do they make you money?

Gerry Kelliher is Senior Director of UK & Ireland Sales Operations at BlackBerry. In this guest blog Gerry explores how social media and mobile work together to make you money. BlackBerry are supporters of MiM 2012 – a one day forum which brings mobile and business together. MiM 2012 takes place on 22nd March, London. Reserve your place here.


Social media and mobile is a topic notoriously full of hot air and little else. Here, I will cut  through the guff and consider how social media and mobile go hand in hand – and importantly, how it makes you money.

Social media is instant. It means the ability to update and share information now and consumers expect to be able to do this on their terms, in real-time and on the move. There is no way to achieve this other than through the medium of mobile. Gone are the days when we were happy to wait until we were in front of a PC to get those crucial messages sent and received. And we’re in a time where social media goes beyond friends and family: it’s now just as much a key tool across the private and public sector, with Sheffield Police recently using their BlackBerry smartphones to engage with protestors via Twitter.

We can’t ignore the revenue opportunities the popularity of mobile social media presents: the question is, how can we best convert these opportunities?

At RIM, we’ve seen huge growth of the BlackBerry Messenger platform. There are over 55 million active BBM users worldwide, which presents brands and developers alike with a captive audience to target. What’s more is that 70 per cent of BBM users communicate with their contacts daily – it’s a ‘sticky’ service which subscribers are truly engaged in.

Discoverability is key for anyone looking to capitalise on social media via mobile and this is at the heart of the BBM platform. The BlackBerry Social Platform provides developers with the tools to build applications based on social features with established popularity, such as chat and sharing. Developers can create entirely new social apps, integrate social features or connect their apps to BBM. Developers who add the “Invite to Download” or the profile and status update feature have a new social marketing technique integrated into their app.

The uptake that we’ve seen with our 650+ BBM connected apps proves that this kind of integration and social element is central to consumer engagement and long-term revenue success. These ‘connected’ apps have been downloaded almost 140 million times, accounting for over 20 per cent of the daily downloads from BlackBerry App World. When foursquare updated its app to become a BBM Connected app, it saw a record-breaking 200,000 downloads in just one day.

If you’re thinking social mobile media monetisation, think integration – bringing the users into the experience will be critical to driving long-term, sustainable revenue streams.

MiM 2012 brings together retailers, brands, media businesses with companies and investors delivering mobile today to discuss how you can make your business mobile today. No sales pitches, no irrelevant future gazing, no time wasters – just insightful talks from those leading the mobile charge and top quality networking. There are only a 4 tickets left so reserve your place here or get in touch to find out more.