Can you imagine 80% of your sales leads originating from just 2 minutes of effort per day? That is the level of success that our friend Kapil Kapur is currently enjoying on social media, focussing specifically on LinkedIn and Facebook.
We’ve had the privilege of working with Kapil’s company, Fingertips Intelligence for the last three years. He provides a range of bespoke data services from database design to spreadsheet automation, although Kapil’s tongue-in-cheek summary is “taking the hell out of Excel”.
With a masters degree in Mathematical Modelling and Numerical Analysis from Oxford University, you could be forgiven for thinking that his success in social media is down to some sort of deep knowledge of their algorithms and a thoroughly analytical approach. The reality is that, despite his numerical credentials, Kapil is a natural marketer.
Sell benefits, not features
“I don’t tell people ‘I sell database services’ or ‘I design spreadsheets’” says Kapil. “Instead I explain what the benefits will be. For instance ‘we allow you to make better decisions by collating information faster and in a more structured fashion’.”
Understand barriers to buying
Kapil is also very aware of the barriers to purchase among his target audience. Whether it is a fear that their investment won’t pay off or confusion as to what to expect from such services, Kapil’s regular posts on both LinkedIn and Facebook mean that followers get frequent examples of real-life successes that his clients enjoy as a result of his work.
This benefit-centric approach is the key to Kapil’s success online, along with an understanding of where his customers spend their time. “I’m a B2B* company and I get the best engagement from LinkedIn and Facebook. I find Twitter too fast-paced to achieve any quality conversations.”
By dipping in and posting regularly, Kapil is in effect keeping Fingertips Intelligence in the front of his audience’s minds. Rarely do people make a significant investment decision based on one social media post. “You’ve got to be patient,” advises Kapil. “I’ve been active on LinkedIn and Facebook for over 2 years now. For the first 6 to 12 months I wasn’t getting much traction. Now I get quality leads that convert every single month from these two channels.”
Kapil has in the past written and published articles in LinkedIn’s native system but hasn’t noticed any specific pay-back on his time and effort. Another seemingly counter-intuitive strategy that is working for him is not chasing followers. Kapil has less than 100 followers on Facebook and yet still gets monthly enquiries from this channel.
People can take a very long time to make up their minds about a company, particularly if it means establishing new working relationships a new supplier as well as the prospect of changing processes and systems. As the old adage goes; ‘slow and steady, wins the race’.
Make time for social media
For anyone who think they don’t have time to get active on social media, Kapil has some very simple advice; “make time for it.” “I only spend about 2 minutes a day writing a quick post explaining how we have helped a client, then read and comment on a few updates or articles that other people have posted. I feel like I should be planning more, but at the moment, what I’m doing is working.”
Kapil’s efforts at online engagement may ultimately be self-serving, but his interactions with other people on social networks is genuine. He reads things that he finds interesting, he comments when he can add value and help others. In return, people follow him back and his reputation as an expert in his field grows.
Another string to Kapil’s bow is the quality of his services. Some of his database models were regarded as being of “exceptional quality” by the external auditors, KPMG. And when asked if he had any tips on handling negative feedback online he simply shrugged and said, ‘we haven’t had any negative feedback so far’.
I would like to imagine that even his company did have the misfortune to experience a vocal, unhappy customer online, that he would meet any comments with the same calm and pragmatic approach that he applies to all other aspects of his business.