Do you ever find yourself going to your self-storage facility’s social media pages knowing you need to post something, but are at a loss for what to say or the “right” thing to do? Does managing your platforms feel like “one more thing to get done”?
Like other marketing tactics, social media may take a little planning and intention; but it isn't something you can afford to skip. Due to all the limitations placed on people around the coronavirus pandemic, social media usage is up, keeping us connected even when we don’t see one another in person.
Here are seven social media tips that will help you increase engagement on your social media channels, build brand awareness and get your self-storage name out in your community.
Put Emphasis on the Social Aspect
COVID has changed the way we interact, but sometimes we forget that social media has, too. It isn’t just another avenue to distribute clever content, but a place to create conversations with your audience.
Let’s think of social media as a big networking event. Would you arrive with a stack of self-storage leasing forms and start handing them to everyone in the room without saying a word? #Awkward. You’d probably ask questions, laugh at the funny thing someone else said, and actively listen and participate in the conversation. You’d likely engage more than you share, and the same goes for social media.
It isn’t enough to simply post content from your self-storage company’s channels and then walk away with the social media box checked. To increase interaction and build relationships, you can like, comment, share, save and engage with your followers and peers. If you’re curious about the things they share and are an excellent online conversationalist, chances are your followers will be interested in what you have to say.
Build a Structure
It can be challenging to know what to say on social media, so you need to build a loose framework for the various kinds of posts you want to create. One idea is to align your content with the days of the week to provide an adaptable structure you can use repeatedly. If you need inspiration, consider something like this:
- Monday Motivation: Share something upbeat and inspirational to encourage your followers for the week ahead.
- “Tip of the Week” Tuesday: Share tips for moving and packing anything from family heirlooms to patio furniture to sporting equipment to lawnmowers or cases of wine.
- “We’ve Got You” Wednesday: Introduce your team and property and how you’re there to support tenants. These could be quick profiles on different staff members with a Q&A-style interview, or different facility amenities that create a better renter experience.
- Thoughtful Thursday: Moving is stressful, and a little support can go a long way. Team up with community businesses to offer discounts on the best burger in town; or give coffee-shop gift cards to the first five people who comment on your post; or share wellness-based activities to support your renters’ health. This thoughtful approach will help you support your local businesses and your renters. It’s a win-win.
- Friday Facts: Share tips, tricks and interesting facts about moving, self-storage and packing. Which items store well? What are the perks of storing in a climate-controlled environment? How should renters organize and label belongings so they’re easy to find?
Keep it Conversational
Social media is often fun, upbeat and playful. Don’t be afraid to show off your business personality. The tone and voice you set for your facility on these platforms should be a natural extension of the one you use for your broader brand.
Share Fun Facts
Pique interest by sharing an interesting statistic about your self-storage property, a quote from a tenant, a motivational excerpt tied to larger world events, or fun “holidays.” Even if you don’t observe certain annual traditions, you can still celebrate them on social media. For example, there’s Get Organized Day (April 26), World Simplicity Day (June 12) and International Fanny-Pack Day (March 12). We could all use a little more optimism right now, so consider celebrating Positive-Thinking Day (Sept. 13).
Worried your messages might not be that interesting? Think of it this way: If you find something motivational, humorous or helpful, chances are folks in your audience will, too.
Call out to the people you’re trying to reach. This simple and clear action will help you connect with your audience. Consider something like: “Calling all movers and shakers who are moving to ‘city name,’” or send a shout out to all the parents juggling childcare with working from home. Tag businesses or groups you partner with in your community. These signals help start the right conversations. Keep the ball rolling by continuing with a tailored message letting your audience know why they should pay attention to what you have to say.
Consistency and the 80/20 Rule
No one likes a braggy, spammy social media account. Even people who think you provide top-notch insights are likely to unfollow or mute you if you don’t provide valuable content. So, keep the conversation helpful, relevant and consistent. Don’t go on weekly posting sprees and post all your content for the week on Monday morning at 8 a.m. Instead, slowly trickle out a consistent message over the course of several days.
While it’s OK to brag about things your property is doing well, follow the 80/20 rule for social media. Eighty percent of the time, provide relevant, helpful tips and tricks. Then, for the other 20 percent, you can confidently share exceptional things about your business. Did you recently win a “Best of” award for your area? Share it. Did you upgrade your site’s lighting, locks or entry points? Tell followers about it. We all love a winner, but nobody likes a showoff.
Hashtags and Industry Experts
Adding paragraph of irrelevant, generic hashtags to your social media posts dilutes the conversation. It’s like the early days of search engine optimization when people used “keyword stuffing”—and not in a good way. Hashtags are the social media equivalent of keywords you target through digital advertising.
As such, they need to be tailored for your self-storage business. Use them to add context to your content and connect with audiences interested in that subject. To bring industry voices to the table, I recommend using #SelfStorage, #Storage and perhaps an area-specific hashtag for your city. Connect with industry experts through hashtags or by following them directly. It’s a great way to learn from others as well as gain inspiration for your own pages and posts.
Social media isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. I hope these suggestions give you inspiration to tailor strategies to your self-storage business and level up your online presence.
With nearly eight years of experience in the areas of account management and customer success, Adam Mackie has helped organizations improve their cross-departmental alignment to create a more customer-centric approach. As the senior director of the self-storage vertical at G5, he drives the operational efficiency and effectiveness of the sales and account-management organization to ensure self-storage operators use the full potential of the company’s products and services to meet their business objectives. For more information, call 800.554.1965.