By Sasha Fritzel
In this technological age, social media initiatives can make up a large part of a self-storage operation's marketing strategy. Businesses are expected to maintain pages on all the popular platforms, and customers have grown to expect the transparency and consistency in communication that social media allows.
One medium that has gained a following for marketing is the professional networking website LinkedIn. Growing exponentially, LinkedIn is ranked third for social media in terms of unique monthly users, according to eBusiness Knowledgebase, a website that offers online marketing and analytics. The outlet claims to have more than 250 million members. Once used only for jobseekers, LinkedIn has made consistent improvements to its features. The end result is a sleek, modern interface that lends itself well to all types of marketing.
Interacting With Customers
Much like Facebook, LinkedIn gives self-storage businesses the option to create a page members can find in search results, view and follow. Fan engagement is also similar to Facebook in that followers are able to “like” updates as well as comment and share.
LinkedIn offers an additional feature unique to its platform, which is the ability to view employees on a business page as well as job listings and company-culture information. This feature ensures your self-storage page is not only reaching customers but potential employees and business partners.
Using LinkedIn Pages
Engagement is key on LinkedIn. To reach the most customers, curating and creating sharable and interesting content is vital. Customers will be drawn to your page if they find your content interesting, so offer relatable, topical material. For example, self-storage operators can include tips for storing and preserving specialty items, organization, and household chores. The idea is to mix business promotions with useful and educational content so the page doesn’t appear too sales-oriented.
How often you engage is equally as important as the content you post. Companies that consider social media to be an essential component of marketing are more likely to update on a regular basis, which will lead to richer customer engagement. The website recently released its 10 Best LinkedIn Company Pages for 2013. The No. 1 pick was software company Adobe Systems Inc., which consistently updates its page multiple times per day.
In addition to company pages, LinkedIn offers a secondary page feature called showcase pages. These allow a company to highlight particular brands or product offerings separate from the company main page. Showcase pages are helpful for self-storage companies with multiple locations, as the brand page can be maintained separately, and each location can have a page of its own. They function very similarly to company pages, giving followers the ability to like, share and comment on content.
Meeting Occupancy Goals
For self-storage owners and managers, meeting or exceeding occupancy goals is a critical part of the business. The more storage units occupied, the better, and social media content should always be a part of the marketing mix to help achieve these goals.
LinkedIn is an ideal platform to advertise specials or promotions, either company-wide or just for specific locations. The audience will typically be comprised of professionals, so gearing content to that demographic will further boost occupancy. For example, college students looking for their first internship will likely be on LinkedIn, so lure them in with a summer storage special.