Social media is a form of online marketing that many self-storage operators cast to the wayside. While most understand they should be using it, they don’t always understand why; and because it’s daunting to them, it often gets ignored. When done properly, however, social media management doesn’t take long.
It’s understandable if you question why being active on social media is important, what platforms are best for the industry and what types of content will engage followers. You just need to grasp a few essentials, and then you’ll be able to expertly implement your social plans and amplify your branding efforts. I’ll help you out with that below and also share few common mistakes to avoid.
How Active Should You Be?
Being active on social media is important because it helps you build brand awareness, increase your customer base, and connect with prospects and tenants. It can also boost leads and sales. Just having a presence isn’t enough, though. You must post, share and reply on your social pages to keep the audience engaged. This also helps you stay relevant in each follower’s social feed.
What Platforms Should You Use?
There are dozens of social media platforms, and it’s impossible to be active on all of them. Further, not all of them are worthwhile for self-storage. At the very least, create profiles on Facebook and Google Posts. Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube are also good places to build a presence. Let’s explore the two main ones I mentioned.
Facebook. It’s the largest social media platform in the world, with more than 2.4 billion users. To get started, you must first create a business page for your self-storage facility, which gives you the option to run ads and access Facebook Analytics. This is very different from your personal Facebook page.
To stay active, it’s recommended that you post once per day, but never more than twice per day. At the very least, post three times per week. Posting too little or too often will drop engagement rates and decrease brand awareness.
Google Posts. This is a feature on Google My Business (GMB). If you haven’t set up your business page, that’s the first step. GMB is an important part of search engine optimization and online marketing. It’s the profile that comes up when people search for your kind of business online. It includes information such as your facility address, phone number, hours of operation and a map.
Once you’ve created your GMB page, you can post text, links and images to this profile. The catch to Google Posts is each one only stays live for up to seven days, and only the first two are visible without scrolling. Because of this, it’s vital to post often—at least once weekly—to ensure you always have visible content.
What Should You Post?
The core of each social media page is your profile. Before you start to work on content, put some effort into those. While each platform has different requirements, make sure you’re filling in bios and adding information about your website, hours, address and more. Use your facility’s logo, and have a sharp, clean profile picture as well as a cover photo. Your information should be uniform across all platforms, so customers can easily recognize you.
After your profiles are optimized, then you can start posting. Creating content is where most self-storage operators struggle and fall behind. Still, it’s the way to build lasting connections with current and potential customers, drive people to your facility, and share your business value. To develop engaging posts, focus on these great categories:
- Videos of your property, staff, events and more
- Images of your facility and local community outreach
- “Personality” posts focused on anything that makes your facility and staff unique
- Storage-related tips, such as how to pack and organize a unit
- Seasonal and holiday-inspired tips
- Giveaways and special discounts
- Links to other blogs related to your business
- Links to other businesses that are relevant to your facility
- Statistics and infographics about the self-storage industry
- Sales pitches (you can post these occasionally)
When generating quality content, figure out the best plan for your business. Some people like to dedicate a short time every day to gather and post. Others prefer to devote a whole day once per month. Consider using a social media posting tool such as Hootsuite to schedule your posts and save time.
Social Media Mistakes
As with any new thing, there’s a learning curve when you start on social media. Mistakes will be made; but the more you use the platforms, the better you’ll understand them.
One of the biggest slipups made by business operators who are new to social media is posting the same information at once across all platforms. It’s important to stagger your posts, so you aren’t giving followers the same content everywhere simultaneously. This way, if they follow you on multiple sites, they’ll see different content when they switch between them.
Another mistake is ignoring comments and posts on your pages. It’s important to respond to everything. Whether it’s negative, positive, a question or a statement, reply in a way that makes the person feel his input is valued. This increases engagement with your fans and leaves a positive lasting impression.
To recap: Build your profiles. Post often but not too much. Be consistent with your brand messaging. Stagger your posts. Respond to all posts and comments. By following these simple guidelines, you’ll avoid any major blunders and have an active, engaging social media presence.
Now that you have a better understanding of which platforms to use and what to post, you’re well on your way to becoming a social media pro! This is a process that takes time to unfold, but in the long run, it can generate more digital traffic, create new business and add value to your branding. It’s an area of digital marketing that can’t be forgotten.
Kyla Kane is a content writer for Easy Storage Solutions, a provider of Web-based management software for small- to mid-sized self-storage operations. She’s been writing articles and blogs for more than five years, and specializes in content on outdoor recreation, self-storage and tourism. She graduated from North Dakota State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and tourism management, with a focus in marketing. For more information, call 888.958.5967; visit www.easystoragesolutions.com.