By Erich Noack
LinkedIn is an often overlooked piece of the social media marketing puzzle. The platform is used by millions of professionals to connect with key players in the business world. By employing this medium as an everyday part of your self-storage marketing strategy, you can boost your business exposure, attract customers to your services and enhance your overall success. Online marketing really boils down to one thing: exposure to your target audience. Below are three ways that LinkedIn can assist your efforts.
1. Local Exposure
LinkedIn will boost your local exposure by connecting you with key people in media fields. Users range from young professionals to CEOs of major companies, making it a natural resource for users who are networking for jobs or building a basis for further communication. This means people of every imaginable career and profession are connected using LinkedIn. Most important, media members from your area, including news networks and newspapers, are more than likely on the platform.
Teams consisting of journalists and editors are using LinkedIn as an integral part of their story-creation process. By connecting with members from the surrounding community, including business owners just like you, they’re reaching out to their audiences to learn what stories are important to them. Many topics and ideas for today’s feature articles and news stories come from connections the media has built using LinkedIn.
Connect with your local newspapers and reporters. Request connections between your business and the local news station. If your facility is involved in a community event or organization, make it known. Media outlets in your area already have a larger audience than you do; if they feel compelled to produce a feature about your facility, then you’ll automatically increase your exposure to the local community.
2. Business Networking
LinkedIn can help create meaningful and mutually lucrative relationships between your company and others in your area. Think of your company’s LinkedIn connections like a giant web, with users branching off of the central hub that is your business. These connections link to other users and businesses, continuing to branch out and creating a massive map of links and connections. While not unique from other social media platforms in this regard, LinkedIn does allow you to promote your business by directly connecting you to other companies with which you share a clientele.
You can cultivate meaningful partnerships with other companies in and around your community under the presumption that you’ll both reap rewards. Other companies are seeking to increase their market exposure as well, so connecting with them will increase exposure for both parties to clientele in related fields. In other words, LinkedIn will connect you with people looking for services related to self-storage.
For example, use LinkedIn to network with moving companies in your area and nearby cities. Send them a connect request explaining your position and motives for a mutually beneficial partnership. Those customers looking for moving services may also be looking for self-storage and vice versa, expanding both companies’ customer base.
3. Lead Generation
LinkedIn also can be a source for lead generation through connections, groups and content posted on discussion boards. Since it’s purely a business-oriented channel, it holds more value than other platforms for creating lasting connections. LinkedIn groups collect businesses and professionals from similar fields in one place, allowing users to collaborate on topics pertinent to their area of expertise. It’s a good idea for your company to join groups set aside for local, state and national self-storage organizations. Contribute to the conversations by posting content.
Last year, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner described a three-part plan for the future of his company. It included expanding the platform’s scope and making it the definitive online professional publishing platform. LinkedIn is already a great resource for gaining customers, and these future additions to the platform should enable you to use your groups to further spread your expertise directly to your target audience, increasing your credibility and desirability.
By definition, LinkedIn links you with clients, potential employees and other businesses. Building links with these unique visitors will lead to more connections, allowing you to build a web of people who are currently in need of self-storage or looking for work in your field, or may be in the future. Use the platform to attract potential customers and employees, redirecting them back to your company website where they can learn more about your operation.
Connect with every person and organization that views your profile. LinkedIn maintains analytics of these numbers, making it simple to know who is following you, viewing your profile, etc. Send them a message with your connection request, informing them why you’re a great company to consider for storage or employment. Cite your industry knowledge and the services you provide. Expanding your connections and continuing to be part of the online conversation will generate both customer and employee leads.
If you don’t already have a business profile on LinkedIn, get one. Much like on Facebook, you’ll need a private account before you can create your business page. Once you have it set up, don’t abandon it! Use it every week (more than once if you have to) in conjunction with your other social media accounts. If you need some help getting started, check out Linkfluencer, an online tool that provides free webinars and training materials for getting the most out of your LinkedIn business page.
Your self-storage business should be using LinkedIn, not only as a way to attract young professionals to your company as employees, but as a means of gaining exposure and strengthening your business. If you can effectively use the platform to increase exposure, create meaningful partnerships with similar companies, and become part of a larger, business-oriented group discussion, you’ll reap the rewards of long-term success.
Erich Noack is a content writer at storEDGE, a platform of integrated self-storage products designed to help operators boost rentals, track leads, manage their operation and maximize return on investment. He enjoys helping to develop unique strategies for Web marketing and the opportunity to advance small businesses through the use of language. For more information, visit www.storedge.com.