Alex Knapp, Forbes.com February 3rd 2012
Australia is Selling Social Media to America
The social media revolution continues to grow and Australian companies are winning contracts based on new technology and new business opportunities. The success of PlayUp and Fans.TV demonstrates what Australian companies can do in America, and the push by Australian companies into the social media space is further emphasised by US DMA (Direct Marketing Association) recognising Sydney company Centryc with an innovation award.
Example 1: Aussie Company PlayUp Taps Into the Multi-Billion Dollar US Sports Market
The Australian company PlayUp started selling its social media apps in the US before selling them in Australia which allowed it to tap a larger revenue stream than it could find in Australia. Its product has universal appeal because it allows sports fans to chat with each other about a particular game, and for players to interact with fans. The app can be applied to any sport in any country so it made sense to launch it in the US to take advantage of the large fan base for American baseball, ice hockey, basketball and American football. A recent Forbes magazine story praised PlayUp’s ability to directly connect players with their fans and open up a new avenue in sports marketing.
Example 2: Fans.TV Heads to the US to Promote Gossip Girl and the Vampire Diaries
Fans.TV won a contract from the American CW Network to drive social media activities that will keep fans engaged with their favourite TV shows. This focus on “second screen” marketing actions acknowledges the increasing demand by TV viewers to have a dialogue with and about their favourite TV shows rather than just being a passive observer. The CW Network is backed by the Warner Bros and CBS which puts Fans.TV in a strong position to sell more of its social media skills to the heavyweights of the US entertainment industry.
Honorable Mention: Centryc Solutions Wins US Innovation Award
The DMA (US Direct Marketing Association) gave an innovation award to Centryc Solutions for what it was doing in Australia with its MeTag installation at Luna Park. MeTag combines social media and RFID (radio frequency identification) technology to give visitors to Luna Park the ability to share their amusement park experience online in real time. Having recognition from an American trade association will enable Centryc to gain instant credibility for pitching its product to US clients.
Lessons Learned From Australia’s Social Media Companies in America
Other Australian companies can adopt the following ideas about winning business in the US social media market:
1. Focus on the user’s experience while giving sponsors an opportunity to participate. PlayUp has a very clear value proposition that satisfies a sport fan’s need to talk about their team and also talk with the players who promote other products.
2. Look for opportunities to plug into social media that already exists. The Centryc MeTag allows users to share their experience via Facebook, and Fans.TV users can log in via either Twitter or Facebook.
3. Take advantage of any existing connections to US organisations. Fans.TV’s contract with the CW Network tells potential customers that is has the ability to fulfil the requirements of a major contract and won’t let the customer down.
These are just some of the Australian companies providing social media products in the US. If you want to provide input on other successful Australian companies then comment on this blog or send me a message on Twitter (@simonboylen).
If you are interested in learning more about entering the US market then send me an email or tweet: