Though RIM’s BlackBerry might be taking a hit across the US, its Social and Instant Messaging feature has become a darling in Africa. Especially where paying for airtime is expensive, the BB Messenger feature has been a major feature being used by the addicts and loyal cliques of BlackBerry users to create their own social media community. With about 2.4 million BlackBerry users across a country like Nigeria where the BlackBerry became a veritable tool for citizen mobilization during the occupy protests, the BlackBerry broadcast feature allows you to send bulk messages to all your BBM contacts (or the ones you select, if you know how to use it). But you know where I’am getting at don’t you? The impact and implications of those messages/images you send/share on your personal brand and reputation.
The kind of messages you send has a lot of influence on your personal brand and affects the perception of others about you.
I have come up with 5 things that these broadcast message reflect.
This is the most prominent of all issues. Have you had to apologise for sending an insanely stupid message? e.g. ‘send this message to update your BB Messenger’, or having to retract a message you sent and later realised it actually happened a year ago?. Do people realise you cannot have additional smileys by sending broadcast messages? Have you forwarded details of a stolen American vehicle to your Nigerian contacts (lol)?
Your broadcast of a message means you endorse, have thought through and agree with the details of the message. Do you do that? If you don’t, people will either think you are incredibly stupid or plainly ignorant.
2. It exposes your values
Messages, pictures, images, jokes especially sexually explicit ones reveal a lot more about you than you think. Have people sent you private messages about a broadcast you sent, telling you they didn’t believe you could have such amessage?
Your messages have a lot of influence in shaping people’s perception about your value system, belief and character. Can you share the message/jokes in a room full of people? If you don’t want to be quoted, then don’t share it.
3. It projects your image/reputation
If you want to build your credibility/reputation, use your broadcast feature to genuinely add value to the lives of your contacts – the same goes for the opposite. The strength of your reputation is affected by your updates and messages. People use it to promote what they do and the services they offer. Some people use their picture profiles as exhibition platforms for their products and services and they have made money from it.
What are you doing with yours?
4. It affects your credibility
If you’re always having to retract your messages, apologize over unverified reports and information; it depreciates your credibility. After a while your credibility will always be double-checked and your messages may not even deserve a reading. I once recieved a broadcast of a job vacancy for a bank but the email address of the HR is for another bank? lolz
Your social media profiles are an extension of your personality.
5. If your name is not authentic/ it may have no brand value
This is especially for people who keep changing names. Please how will people find you if they need you? Except I want to be mischevious, no one will want to keep changing costumes at a Haloween party. If you had advertised/promoted a product someone wants but had changed your name from ‘Harry’ to ’34ui cheeks’ or ‘cr8ive’ to ‘Titi’ , what happens? While changing names/nicknames/brand may not be bad in itself, we cannot deny it deprecistes the strength of your brand.
So before you send that message, use the traffic light rule;
i. Stop! (stop and read)
ii. Check your right and left (well the message content – the broadcast feature has no ‘undo’ feature)
iii. Cross – (send)
A lot of these messages can look very urgent and convincing, while its okay if some slip through the cracks,
Do you have experiences share? What do you think? Let’s hear you!