I got recently interviewed by Voka for their Entrepreneurs Magazine. Quite some people have been asking me to have the interview translated and put it on my blog. So here it is 🙂
Meet Joeri Billast: social media strategist who sets entrepreneurs on the road with social media such as Instagram and LinkedIn. In addition, he goes a step further than just being present on the channels, he sets out a real strategy. The target? Grow their business thanks to authentic content that delivers both likes and comments, but also profits. He is the founder and manager of digital marketing agency EFFICADO and will be publishing his first book “Get customers through social media” (work title) later this year.
In the past 20 years, Joeri Billast earned his first experiences in organizations such as Telenet and Cegeka and started BC Square, a company specializing in business intelligence and management reporting. “I sold that company in 2013.” BC Square’s success was the result of its social media strategies. “I have seen the internet and social media change the world. When I started BC Square in 2005, a platform like LinkedIn or Facebook was not nearly as popular as today. I did not have a network at the time, but to my surprise, this changed quickly. I became totally fascinated by these new developments and tried to take advantage of them. By trial and error, I turned my followers into customers and that way I was able to triple my business in one year. It is actually that know-how that I try to pass on to other entrepreneurs today. ” With his own digital marketing company EFFICADO, he assists clients as a personal coach for growing their business through social media. “I help them with new customers, extra sales to current customers, more leads, more registrations for their events,… In the second half of last year I recruited two colleagues, making EFFICADO a team that not only determines social media strategies, but also put them into practice. ”
Joeri Billast also provides training, seminars, workshops and webinars, mainly aimed at social media for entrepreneurs. “I offer online products like EFFICADO Image Redirect, which allows you to drive more traffic to your website through photos on social media. I am fully committed to creating marketing funnels, bringing your target audience closer to you step by step. Via social media, websites, emotions, expectations, concrete offers. I use a wide range of techniques and tools, which all have more or less the same goal: to reach potential customers quickly and cost-efficiently, to interact with your target group and ultimately to convert. ” And in the meantime he is also writing a book with the provisional title “Customers through social media”. “That book should definitely be on the shelves this year. I give the reader concrete tips that they can immediately apply to optimize their social media strategy. The common thread throughout my story are the five Cs.
The first C stands for Customer. It is important to determine your target group as specifically as possible. Social media such as Facebook give you the opportunity to focus on certain target groups and to exclude other irrelevant target groups. It is therefore necessary to choose your target group for the efficient use of social media.
C number two: Competition. Know who your competitors are, how they profile themselves on social media. Only then can you look for ways to be ‘different’, stand out. Brand social media posts compete for attention on consumers’ timelines.
This puts pressure to come up with the right Content, the third C. I always give customers the tip to work with a content calendar. That is a document in which you keep track of exactly what content you are going to share on which day and at what time. This way you will always share high-quality content with your target group and you will not miss out if you are short on time or have no inspiration.
Community is another C. Community is the new marketing. Groups are becoming increasingly important. In October, Google indexed more than 52 million Facebook groups. Three months later, that number has risen to over 620 million! Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg said last year that they are working on a big evolution to put the groups as central as our friends. View your company page on Facebook as your front yard, your Facebook group as your backyard. The latter is not for everyone, but for a group of people with a certain interest, where they can exchange ideas and share information. In the meantime, as the administrator and founder of such a group, you remain a player in that discussion. Facebook is also busy giving administrators, moderators and group members new tools to make joining a group and maintaining the quality of the group easier. I expect that many more functionalities will be added in the coming years.
The last C stands for Conversion or how many of my followers actually take action. It is becoming increasingly important to know and act on those figures. The conversion optimization process can deliver a lot for your company, but it needs to be handled properly. ”
TikTok and other trends
Social media continues to develop. Which trends should you as an entrepreneur keep an eye on? “The TikTok app is incredibly popular among young people and that does not seem to change in the near future. On the contrary. But video clips and live video are also becoming increasingly important on other social media. Advantages of live video: it is still free, you often don’t need any extra software, you will appear at the top of the feed anyway and you can cross post on several pages at the same time. From a business perspective, attractive opportunities are added, especially since LinkedIn now also enables live video. For the time being, this is still in the beta phase and the number of people who have access to it is very limited. I am happy to count myself among those happy few. Another trend? In 2019 we already saw the emergence of micro and even nano influencers: fewer followers, but a greater involvement with their followers. That great involvement combined with (much) lower amounts or sponsorships in kind, makes it interesting not to go for the large and expensive influencers. Instead, it is advisable to see who is relevant and making an impact in your own niche.”
Quality ↑, Quantity ↓
The challenge for the future, according to Joeri Billast, is the privacy paradox. “By this I mean that people are becoming increasingly aware of their privacy on channels such as Facebook and Instagram. Not a bad thing in itself, but on the other hand, they also expect more personal service. They only want to see things that are relevant to them. This can also explain the shift from sharing everything publicly to sharing in communities or closed groups. Communities will form the basis for social media in the coming years. Another thing to take into account: people are increasingly opting for a digital detox.” This term refers to the voluntary distance from your digital devices such as the smartphone, laptop and tablet. Plus everything that comes with it, such as internet, social media and games. To be clear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that people stop using these things completely, but they reduce their time spent on them. “When consumers limit their time online, it means they become even more selective when they are online. As an entrepreneur, this means that you will have to do your best to appeal to consumers. Quality of the content is therefore more important than quantity. ”