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Teri L. Lanza,
Vice President

Tony Jones,
Contributing Editor/Store Manager

Amy Campbell,

The Right Way to Build Your Self-Storage Brand in Social Media

By Amy Campbell Comments

Since social media came onto the scene a few years ago, self-storage operators have grappled with how—and if, really—it fits into their branding, marketing and customer service responsibilities. The biggest question then and today is: Can social media websites help attract new self-storage tenants?

There’s no doubt Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare and other social media websites have changed the way people interact online. In fact, according to a blog on Mashable, which follows website and social media trends, there’s a reason social media has taken off: People like to share.

For a self-storage business, this can be a very good thing as word of mouth is and will always be the best kind of branding for your facility. However, some operators have struggled with how to get their message across in social media outlets without giving a hard sell. Posting a special offer is not “social-media interaction.” Really, it’s an advertisement on a social-media website. And this is not what people want to see on Twitter or your Facebook page.

Instead, the idea is to build your self-storage brand on social media much like you would in your own community. But instead of joining the chamber of commerce, you’re creating social-media accounts. Would you walk up to a person at a chamber meeting and start selling your facility? Maybe hand out a business card and a coupon? Of course not! Instead, you’d engage that person in a conversation that may or may not be about your facility. You start to build a relationship, which will, hopefully, lead to increased sales. This is the same approach you should take when it comes to social media.

Tweeting a discount or a direct advertisement will likely not gain much attention. In fact, it will do just the opposite and repel people from following you. But if you were to Tweet about an upcoming youth game in which you’re the sponsor, that’s more interesting. If you offered free rent to the local chapter of the Red Cross or made a donation to a charity, that’s also worthy of a couple of tweets or a posting on your Facebook page. Just keep the message more about the charity and less about your company. Again, you want your social-media messages to be constant, but subtle. Show your community how wonderful your self-storage facility is through your actions rather than your chest-thumping.

For more tips on making the most of social-media websites, read these articles from the ISS archives:

If you’ve yet to embrace social media at all, you probably should—at least on some level. You don’t have to dedicate dozens of man hours every month to keep on top of your social-media accounts. Instead, keep it simple and be true to your self-storage brand. If you do, you’ll attract followers and earn more business.

Be sure to follow ISS on Facebook and Twitter.

Do you use social media? Has it helped you get new customers? Share your thoughts by posting a comment below or on Self-Storage Talk


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