Social media summit 2015

Do Belgian companies deal with the social media intelligently? Their opinion? Find out here:

On a muggy Friday afternoon in June, we braved the traffic jams on the E40 and a European Summit to attend the Social Media Summit 2015. Our hope was to gain some concrete insight into how Belgian companies are scoring concrete results thanks to their intelligent use of the social media. In some respects, we are none the wiser.

Custom audiences 

Eccentric Danish travel agency Spies came up trumps with its double act with Komfo and its presentation and the hilarious video 'Do it for Denmark'. By crossing the Spies CRM data with social media data, Spies manages to build up a custom audience and to grab its attention worldwide by delivering the right message at the right time. The result of this intelligent approach is a 40% increase in sales during the reference period and a drop in the cost per acquisition of almost 70%. A strike home in other words and one that fuelled our hopes of being treated to other speakers who can prove that the social media anno 2015 are not just trendy and fancy, but do actually get the cash tills ringing.

Content distribution 

Stien Buedts, web channel marketer at Ikea Belgium delivered a well-substantiated and credible story of how they engage in content distribution. We all sat up when Stien told us how Ikea systematically refines its content. They actually make house calls to provide them with an insight into the regional differences. Did you know for instance that our Walloon neighbours don’t have an issue with giving their washing machine pride of place in the bathroom? In Flanders, that would be a definite no-no with the result that Ikea takes this into account for content-dissemination purposes. Obviously Ikea also engages in social media listening, organises competitions, runs a separate inspiration platform ( and learns from other online channels too. One of the conclusions is that the concepts ‘time’ and ‘convenience’, traditionally exclusively linked to e-commerce, are also crucial in a 'click-to-store' context. Amazing!

Focus on creativity

The no-nonsense input and striking examples of best practices and their worst-case scenarios of Dado Van Peteghem made for another interesting session. In light of the fact that 7 in 10 Belgian companies are incapable of developing a coherent social media policy and in the knowledge that 5 in 10 marketers will substantially increase their social media budget (these figures come from Social Kind), we discovered how some companies go up in smoke so spectacularly these days and how things should be done. The argument to focus on creativity instead of paid search is a convincing one. These days, 135 ambassadors on Facebook give you the exact same reach as a post targeted to… 1,000,000 individuals! At that, via the social media, a company is not unlike a ‘glasshouse’ for the social media expose the DNA of a company, nothing is embellished and above all… people, real people, are featured.

Flip the funnel

In other sessions, we got confirmation that the classic AIDA marketing model for the social media has been replaced by a succession of awareness, consideration, purchase and advocacy. In this way the funnel is being flipped from traditional marketing to micro-influencer marketing. Not so much the number of posts or the number of engagements matter but the insight you, as a brand, distil from these data. In that context, it is far more relevant for instance to home in on criteria such as 'number of comments per fan per post', on more qualitative data in other words. The name of the game is not to focus on short-term effects but on building a relationship with your fan base, on reinforcing those ties and, last but not least,… on measuring and fine-tuning your social media policy. So, in spite of all the social media measuring tools that are available, you should still be prepared for a fair portion of manual analysis. The more fans convince their friends to become an other fan of the product or service, the better.

And it’s precisely this aspect we would have loved to have heard more about because we feel that the multichannel marketing story doesn’t get half the attention it deserves: efforts on the social media must coherently extend to all other online and offline marketing endeavours.


If you find yourself wondering how we at The Reference managed to successfully resolve comparable issues then don’t delay and contact us to find out!

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