Get 'Pinned' on Pinterest: Why This Social Media Site Is Awesome for Self-Storage Operators

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By Debbie Lamb

According to the Pew Research Center's Pew Internet & American Life Project, as of May 2013, 72 percent of online U.S. adults use social media networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest. The predominant users of social media are between 18 and 29 years old but, most recently, the 50-to-64 age group has increased to 43 percent.

One of the sites with a huge user base is Pinterest. This relatively new social media platform, launched in 2010, has exploded in usage over the past few years and now has more than 70 million users, 80 percent of which are women. There are also more than 500,000 business accounts on the site, including self-storage companies Extra Space Storage Inc., ezStorage, Manhattan Mini Storage and Uncle Bob’s Self Storage. This article explores what Pinterest has to offer self-storage operators, and how to make the most of “pins.”

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network where a user can share and discover new interests by posting images and videos. Or as the social media site describes itself: “Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” A pin is an image or video you add to the website. Pinning is the act of visually sharing content. Repinning is sharing another person’s or company’s content.

Your pins are put on boards, which are usually focused around a central theme. You can follow company pages as well as individual boards. Following another person’s page or board is the major form of engagement on Pinterest. On average, Pinterest buyers spend more money on items than those from any of the five big social media sites, according to a 2012 report from comScore Inc., which provides analytics for digital-based products.

How Do You Use It?

Setting up a business account on Pinterest is simple. A setup wizard on the site will walk you through the steps. Once your business page is up, you can start adding photos of your self-storage facility, other interesting photos or even storage tips.

To promote your new Pinterest page, share the URL with your social media fans and followers. Add “pin it” buttons on your website and the Pinterest icon to your e-mail signature, newsletters and other marketing materials. Finally, place correct description tags on your website photos so people can pin them to their own pages.

There are many ways to use Pinterest as part of your self-storage marketing efforts. To get users to engage with your boards, create a user-generated board where customers can upload their own images. Create boards to showcase your facility and services as well as your employees, customers and special events. Infographics are another great visual. These are great for sharing statistics, a story about your business or interesting organizational facts.

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