By Jana Basler
You wouldn’t think tweeting about toilet paper could be that interesting, but Charmin’s tweets are gold. Seriously, go follow them right now. With more than 74,000 followers, the company is killing it at Twitter marketing by tweeting out creative and hilarious content, sharing bear-y cute graphics and hosting fun voting contests. It perfectly jumps on trending topics and hashtags (like #dogshaming and the Rio Olympics), and the company always shows its relevance.
So what can your self-storage business learn from this toilet-paper legend? Check out the following five tips on how to increase your lead traffic on Twitter.
1. Use a Social Media Management Service
So maybe you’re already using a social media management service such as Sprout Social or Hootsuite, but are you using its analytics effectively to hone in on your audience? You can set up these services to monitor relevant hashtags for you, discover new customers, and even track followers and conversations. This kind of social listening can provide you with a much deeper understanding of your followers and their friends (aka your customers). And after you know what kind of content your followers (read: customers) want, you can market smarter. After you’re able to tap into what content is shared and what’s ignored, you'll be able to grow your social media account quickly.
Social listening follows your audience for you so you can start using relevant hashtags and jump on trending topics. It also helps you cater content marketing to your audience’s lifestyle and online preferences. And, of course, the better you understand customers’ demographics, the more effectively you can market and sell to them. It’s totally worth it to use social media management services so you can gather important data on your audience and keep tabs on your competitor's content.
2. Host Interactive Contests
Interactive contests are a fun way to spice up social media, and they’re also a really effective lead-generation (lead-gen) tool. Offer a prize that’s related to your self-storage business, such as a free 5-by-5 unit for 90 days or a moving-truck rental. Make sure the prize is enticing enough that it incentivizes people to join. Ask them to vote, like or share your content to win. For the most lead-gen opportunities, add a “gate” to your contest by asking people to like your content or share their e-mail address. Your strongest leads are the people who are willing to share their information with you.
Making your content creative and fun is also crucial to getting people to play. Cross-promote your contest on your company’s blog, website or Facebook page to get even more users to vote and participate. After hosting a few successful contests, you can start upping the stakes and give away prizes not related to your self-storage business. Host a themed contest using trending or local events, such as your local high school's homecoming week or the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s March Madness. Partner with popular local businesses for more ideas that your community will love. Here are some I like:
- Viewer’s choice: Ask followers to vote on a mascot for your business. Your favorite idea wins a prize.
- Likes for prizes: Ask followers to share their best moving tips. The tip with the most likes wins a self-storage-related prize.
- Guessing game: Play a guessing game by hiding an Easter basket and asking followers to guess the number of the storage unit in which it’s stashed. The person who guesses the closest wins the basket filled with gift certificates and goodies from other local businesses.
- Scavenger hunt: Partner with local businesses to host a community-wide scavenger hunt. Post clues on your social media page and ask followers to share their picture with the item to get the next clue. Give prizes to the first five finishers.
3. Tweet Lead-Gen Content the Right Way
If you’re spending time tweeting and still not getting the results you want, you might need to take another look at your lead-gen content. First, start by strategizing your call to action (CTA). Your CTA needs to be enticing enough that people are willing to exchange their name and e-mail address for it. This could be anything from a free e-book to free first month’s rent at your facility.
After you’ve created an enticing CTA, get creative with your content. Your lead-gen tweets should be short, original and to the point. Keep hashtags to a minimum so the focus stays on your CTA link, and always include a high-quality, click-worthy image. Twitter users are looking for the personality behind the brand and tend to ignore promoted tweets that sound too salesy. Make sure your tweet has personality by avoiding basic, boring content.
- Bad: We’re the No. 1 self-storage company in Kansas City. Click here to get the best deals on self-storage in your area! (Link goes here.)
- Good: Got some extra junk in your trunk? Sign up for $1 rent for your first month and get hot self-storage deals in KC. (Link goes here.)
When in doubt, keep it simple and fun.
4. Create Share-Worthy Images
Remember this important statistic from HubSpot: Social media content that’s paired with a relevant image gets 94 percent more views on average than content that's shared without one. You don’t have to be a graphic designer or pro photographer to make share-worthy images for Twitter. Editing apps like Canva, illustrio and Pixlr can help you make attention-grabbing images for your tweets, even if you’re not design-savvy. And you don’t need to spend a fortune investing in a camera, either.
Make imaginative images for your tweets with editing apps and use pictures from your phone. Remember to always include a great pic with your Twitter content to double your views and follower engagement.
5. Follow Up on Lead-Gen Tweets Quickly
Once you have leads coming in from Twitter, don’t lose them! Nurture them by keeping the conversation going. First, take the conversation somewhere private and listen. Remember that many self-storage customers are going through a difficult move, job change, divorce or loss of a loved one. Thank them for reaching out to you and be a friendly and compassionate listener.
Once you know their pain points and what they’re looking for, share relevant information and point them in the direction of a solution. Maybe they need somewhere to store their grandmother's baby-grand piano and wine collection, so you share the specialty wine-storage page of your website and offer a deal on a climate-controlled 10-by-10 unit for the piano. Don't forget to give them your contact information, and be sure to enter the lead in your software’s lead-tracking system.
The takeaway? Twitter offers huge opportunities for smart marketers. Harness the power of social networking for your self-storage business by applying these five tips to your next campaign.
Jana Basler is a marketing-content writer for storEDGE, which offers a comprehensive suite of technology solutions designed specifically for the self-storage industry. She enjoys bringing technology, Web marketing, and industry news and tips to self-storage owners and managers. For more information, call 913.954.4110; visit www.storedge.com.