Many view social media as a way to communicate with their self-storage tenants and connect with those seeking the service. Others think it’s a waste of time, one more thing for the to-do list or simply not needed. I’m here to tell you, though, social media is necessary if you’re looking to reach a broader audience.
This isn’t to say that your facility location, awesome customer service and secure units aren’t an attraction. They are. But most people view self-storage as a commodity. Unless they’re looking for a place to store their precious items, they likely don’t give you any notice. You don’t sell food or clothes, or provide entertainment. People aren’t looking to “experience” storage. They seek it when they need it. So, while you’re a business in the community, sometimes you’re just “another” business.
If you’re active on social media, however, you’re a part of the community. You’re in the conversation. You’re interacting with your customer base (existing and potential) on a personal level. It’s not just “Hey, we have storage units, do you need one?” It’s “Hey, we are cool people and we want to get to know you.”
Some of you might think that only young people are occupied by social media. False. While it’s true the bulk of users are Millennials and Gen Z, there’s a huge number of Gen X and even Baby Boomers who scroll, share and post. Recent data shows 3.9 billion people worldwide are using social media. And your customers are definitely in this mix.
Is not being on social media hurting your self-storage business? Maybe not. However, if you’re in a busy market and three of your competitors are active on social media and you’re not, you’re then likely just competing on price. When it comes down to a few bucks here or there, they might choose to go with the storage operator who regularly posts on Twitter or shares on Facebook.
The reality is most us are all online for at least part of the day. We look at memes. We watch videos. We scroll through Instagram and Facebook. So why not share and participate? It doesn’t have to be some elaborate post that you labor over for days. If you see a lovely sunset over your facility, snap a pic and share it. Is there a local event that sounds like fun? Tell your followers about it. You can also praise a local eatery (be sure to tag them), talk about a new service at your business or simply send a celebratory message around a holiday. Announce a contest, grand opening or award your business received. You can even offer advice on how to pack breakables or what to do before storing a vehicle in a unit. The options are really endless and don’t require a hours of deliberation per post.
Keep in mind the goal is to be social. You’re not here to “sell” your service, really. You’re on social media to engage. So, just be yourself. Have fun and connect with your community.