4 Steps to Help Self-Storage Operators Get the Most From Facebook's Graph Search

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Upping the ante on the search game, let’s imagine a person has also engaged with the content you’ve posted on your page. Now your page is even more likely to show up in his friend’s Graph Search. That means growing your network and focusing on engaging that network is paramount.

2. Post images frequently. If you want to be as engaging as possible on Facebook, you must post images a majority of the time. There are a couple of reasons why.  

First and foremost, Facebook gives priority to photos in newsfeeds. If you want to show up and engage your fans, make photos your No. 1 focus in terms of content. The more you engage with your fans, the more likely their friends are to be exposed to your content.

Second, recent marketing studies show that images are the No. 1 form of content users engage with on Facebook. By simply posting an image alongside a link to your website, users are more likely to not only like your image, but also follow your link.

3. Create a Bing business profile. If during a user’s search Facebook does not find any relevant content within its social network, a supplemental database kicks in—Bing. This means Facebook will rely on pulling results from Bing (not Google) in the event it can’t produce its own social results. The first thing you need to do to prepare for Graph Search is claim and complete a Bing business profile.

4. Encourage reviews on your Bing profile. This, of course, is the next step after completing your business profile. Any business with a healthy four- or five-star rating on Bing is going to come up at the top of Facebook Graph searches.  On the flip side, any businesses that do not have a Bing profile with great reviews will be summarily weeded out.  

Many businesses find that incentivizing reviews (good or bad) is the easiest way to approach this. However, local business review websites such as Yelp and Bing usually discourage businesses from doing so.

You can also try to be creative in how you ask for reviews. Create a “review corner” in your lobby with coffee, candy bars or snacks, where your customers can leave reviews from their mobile phones while relaxing or enjoying a treat. Provide Bing “review cards” at your facility’s front desk with instructions for your customers on how to leave reviews. Urge your managers to ask your customers for reviews personally, and do everything you can to ask for reviews in newsletters and on your website.

Facebook’s Graph Search is still in beta but is live for a large group of users. This is the perfect time to get your social strategy in order and prepare your Facebook page and content to benefit from this new and effective local business tool.

Katelyn Murray is a marketing manager with EZ Storage, a self-storage facility with three locations in the Boston-metro area including Framingham, Natick and Newton. For more information, visit www.ezstoragenow.com.

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