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Making Friends and Fans on Social Media: 3 Rules of Thumb for Self-Storage Operators

Posting content and images on social media is an excellent way to connect with existing and future self-storage customers. Before beginning, however, there are three rules of thumb every facility operator should know.

So, you’ve created a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media account for your self-storage brand. Now what? How can you use these platforms to communicate with existing customers and entice new ones?

When it comes to getting our message across on social media, there are three rules of thumb. While you should keep these in mind, you can also tailor them to your brand’s style, rules and regulations.

Rule 1: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say

It’s important to stand by your posts. To gain the public’s respect (and following) you must mean what you say and say what you mean. This might seem like a simple task, but it requires a bit of foresight. When writing a post, ask yourself: “Are there different ways this statement can be interpreted? Should the words or phrases be changed so there’s less confusion?”

Read your posts as if you know nothing about your self-storage company or the services you provide. Be as specific as possible when needed. And, if you make a mistake and it gets caught, honor it. You can update the post and make any adjustments after the fact. Which brings us to the next rule of thumb.

Rule 2: Never Argue

Everyone is entitled to his opinion, so let it be. We’re human and we make mistakes. Admit when you’ve messed up, then update the content and move on. Don’t try to hide or deny it. You never know if someone has a screenshot. The Internet can be an unforgiving place, so tread carefully when it comes to negativity.

If you do find yourself in an online battle, be polite. Try to steer the conversation offline by providing a phone number or e-mail and ask the person to contact you to further discuss the problem. Don’t continue to engage online, as things tend to escalate quickly and you might find yourself in quicksand.

Rule 3: Proofread Your Content

Don’t just slap something together and hope for the best. This includes checking your posts for grammatical and spelling errors.

This is also true for images you plan to post. Take the time to edit, crop and adjust them so they look professional-ish. You don’t have to spend hours removing every imperfection, but you should at least have crisp, clear images, cropped if necessary. If you don’t have the funds for photo-editing software, look online. There are some free versions that might suit your needs. You can also find royalty-free images or even buy stock photos. A note of caution: Double check the usage licenses on images before you use them.

Remember, the Internet is a vast and wonderous place. Know who you are and how you want to be represented, and then go out and craft that post or image for the public. Tell them your story and why they should be a part of your inner circle. Making friends and fans online is pretty easy as long as you’re honest and entertaining, remain professional, and always use spellcheck!

Mohala Johnson is the director of Web technology for Tellus Development LTD, a real estate and development firm that operates more than 30 self-storage facilities in the Southeast. With more than 10 years of management and customer-service experience, she handles the company’s digital and print marketing. Writing has always been a passion of hers, and she’s excited to share her knowledge with the self-storage industry. Connect with her @MohalaJohnson on Twitter or www.linkedin.com/in/mohalajohnson. For more information, visit www.tellusltd.com.

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