Brainstorming BB10: BlackBerry should out gun Samsung on Facebook

Last week I read a story about Samsung spending $10 million on Facebook ads and generating $129 million in sales of the Samsung Galaxy S3, directly measured against this paid traffic. This story was shared by a Facebook executive at the recent Business Insider IGNITION conference. There are people arguing over whether or not these numbers are real. Can you honestly measure the conversion of people who view a paid Samsung ad on Facebook and end up using a Samsung Galaxy S3 device?

I think you can do a reasonably good job of this assuming there is a way to track conversions based on people installing (and logging into) the Facebook app from that particular phone, and using Facebook data to confirm that they previously clicked on a Samsung ad. My point in saying this is I do believe advertising on social media platforms can generate great results.

So is Research In Motion advertising on Facebook? Are they building their brand using Facebook's tools? Yes. They are. If you look at the BlackBerry fan page, you can see they have 12.6 million likes and almost a quarter million people "talking about this" (however that metric is defined). Comparably, Samsung Mobile has 15.7 million likes and only 164,000 people "talking about this".

Seems to me that BlackBerry is actually doing better in terms of converting page likes into user discussion. Their viral power is stronger, if you prefer to think of it in those terms. Maybe this means BlackBerry advertising on Facebook should deliver an even stronger return on investment than it did for Samsung.

That is, if it's done right. I don't use Facebook that often, and I never noticed any S3 ads, so I have no idea what they actually used as a promotion.

I can see, however, that BlackBerry 10 is showing up as a promoted post in my Facebook timeline. I'm glad to see this, however I think RIM can do even better.

If you click on the BlackBerry promoted post, the text of the post simply says, "showing is better than telling". Below the post is an embedded YouTube video, which we've also embedded here for your viewing pleasure.

I have to say, I was disappointed with this campaign because it misses out on a huge opportunity to build more awareness and anticipation for BlackBerry 10. From a marketing perspective, here is what I would change: 

  1. Capture viewer attention immediately. It's a nice commercial and all, but in an online world attention spans are very short. This spends a full 5 seconds without anything actually happening. Instead, the first 5 seconds could be used with an attention-grabbing headline with a voiceover. As an excited customer, I'd like to see RIM tease me about the amazing and fresh new BlackBerry 10 platform that's coming soon.
  2. Focus on the best features in BlackBerry 10. This video makes me watch for 20 seconds before I see anything unique. Don't waste valuable viewer attention span by showing off standard features. Instead, get right into the hub and BlackBerry Flow. Show off the camera and keyboard sooner.
  3. Tease people with a date! The video just ends, making it so easy to forget about. What's the goal of the video? It should be to program my brain to know that come January 30th, the BlackBerry 10 launch is happening, and I need to stay tuned.
  4. There should be a call to action. On Facebook, for example, the video could be a request to "like this page". Or there could be a link to an optin form where interested viewers can sign up for email updates on BlackBerry 10.  

I'm thrilled to see RIM advertising BlackBerry 10 on Facebook. They've got almost as much of a fan base on there as Samsung Mobile, which is incredible considering their much smaller market share. Their audience seems to be more interactive. This is all very good. But I think they need to do a lot better than promoting a video that was likely made well before RIM really started pushing some of the awesome features in BlackBerry 10. It's time to redo the video, and launch a powerful campaign that can deliver Samsung-like return on investment.

Original artwork: DeviantArt