A social media strategy is a vital part of any self-storage facility’s marketing efforts, but it isn’t a “set it and forget it” scheme. You need to revisit and refresh it once in a while. The social media landscape is constantly evolving, and your marketing must change with it.
Every social strategy should begin by identifying your target audience. Who are you trying to reach? Next, create engaging content for that audience, tailoring it to their preferences and needs. What will draw them and keep them coming back for more? It might be informative or entertaining. Whatever it is, it must be relevant to those consuming it. Finally, promote that content. How will you get it in front of people? You can try social media advertising (paid), organic reach (unpaid), or a combination of both.
Once you’ve done all this work to set your strategy, it’s time to rest, right? Not exactly. There are three reasons why you should regularly update your social media plan. Let’s go over what they are and the changes that’ll have the best impact on your self-storage online marketing.
Reasons to Revisit
The first reason why you may need to update your self-storage social media is your target audience has changed. Your customer base is constantly in flux, which means you may need fresh ways to reach prospective renters. For example, let’s say you’ve noticed a lot more young adults living in your area. They prefer platforms like TikTok and Snapchat, so you’ll want to incorporate those into your campaigns.
That said, new platforms emerge all the time. If you want to make sure you’re using the most current ones to reach a young audience, try visiting a college website and see which socials they’re using. They keep their finger on the pulse of this segment, so it’s smart to follow their lead. They can show where you should be online.
Another reason for a refresh is the social media landscape has changed. Platforms rise and fall in popularity. Sometimes they switch branding (think Twitter, now X). New ones are emerging all the time, and existing ones update their algorithms. You need to constantly evaluate which platforms are best for your business and know how to use them effectively. Throttle back on any that fail to enhance or support your self-storage brand goals.
If you need help making decisions about certain platforms, start by looking at the audience analytics and comparing them to previous periods. You also might benefit from an online search to see if a specific platform is still relevant to your target demographic. You don’t want to waste resources on a platform that doesn’t support your online presence. Change is OK and often required.
The third reason you may need to reevaluate your social media strategy is your business goals are changing. As your self-storage operation pivots to find its place in a competitive market, so should your marketing. For example, if you're launching a new product, you'll need a campaign to generate awareness and excitement. This means selecting the proper platform for the target audience and remaining relevant to current digital trends. The gist is to keep your goals at the forefront and ensure your social strategy supports them.
When to Update
Now that you understand why it’s important to refresh your self-storage social media, how do you know when to do it? Watch for the following signs:
Your engagement is declining. If you aren’t seeing as much audience interaction with your social media posts as you used to, it's time to update. Typically, you should review your data monthly; but for this determination, it may be better to compare figures year over year. Remember: It takes at least three months for a marketing campaign to accrue significant data. Don’t pull the plug too early or you’ll waste resources.
Your reach is shrinking. This means fewer people are seeing your content. This could be due to several factors such as changes in a platform algorithm or a decline in your audience's activity on social media. It’s also possible that your posts are irrelevant to the platform you’re using.
Make sure you’re adding content that adheres to audience expectations. For example, creating large blocks of heavy text for a platform that’s primarily used to post video is a surefire way to end up with a shrinking reach. Tailor your posts to the platform and remain current on trends.
Your competitors are doing better. If other self-storage operators in your area are seeing more engagement and reach than you are, it’s time to step up your game. Compare your posts to theirs and determine key differences. It might be the style, tone or visuals.
Don’t be afraid to check out what others doing. This is how you can ensure you’re creating similar, if not better, content. Copying your competition isn’t ideal, but if they’ve gained followers where you’ve lost them, see what types of posts they’re creating. This could be a way for you to improve.
If you know it’s time to update your self-storage operation’s social media strategy, here are a few things you can do:
Review your analytics. This’ll give you a good understanding of how your current efforts are performing. When looking for historical trends, compare the numbers to a previous quarter or year, never month to month.
Survey your audience. This’ll help you understand their needs and wants and how they're using social media. You can also use data analytics for your target audience. This is a money-saving strategy that requires little legwork.
Research new platforms. There may be some that are a better fit for your self-storage business. Find out what type of content they promote and who spends time there. This is the best way to ensure you’re in the right place to meet your goals.
Talk to your social media team. They can give you insight to what is and isn’t working. Your marketing staff should know which platform is best for each market segment. You can also do your own research with a quick online query like “social media for [target audience].” While the results may vary, it should give you a starting point.
Updating your social media strategy can be a lot of work, but it's worth it to ensure you're reaching your self-storage prospects and achieving business goals. What works today may not tomorrow. It’s vital to be aware of current trends, your target audience, company goals and your analytics. Be ready to adjust as necessary.
Mohala Johnson is the director of Web technology for Tellus Development Ltd., a real estate and development firm that operates more than 30 self-storage facilities in the Southeast. With more than 10 years of management and customer-service experience, she handles the company’s digital and print marketing. Writing has always been a passion of hers, and she’s excited to share her knowledge with the self-storage industry. Connect with her @MohalaJohnson on X or www.linkedin.com/in/mohalajohnson.