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The Quick-Start Twitter Guide for Self-Storage Operators: 3 Reasons to Tweet and How to Do It

Used effectively, Twitter can be an extremely powerful social media platform for self-storage operators. Here are three reasons you should be on Twitter and how to make the most of your efforts.

November 21, 2015

7 Min Read
The Quick-Start Twitter Guide for Self-Storage Operators: 3 Reasons to Tweet and How to Do It

By Dave Beltramini 

A recent study by HubSpot Inc., a Cambridge, Mass.-based company that provides software for inbound marketing and sales, found 52 percent of respondents had used social media to praise a brand; 35 percent had registered a complaint, and 30 percent had requested support. With approximately two-thirds of the posts on social media (including Twitter) being problem-related, it’s essential that self-storage operators know how to navigate the social world and make it a positive for their business.

Used effectively, Twitter can be an extremely powerful social media platform through which to communicate with current tenants, gain new prospects and drive more qualified leads to your website. Here are three reasons you should be using Twitter and how to make the most of your efforts.

1. Build Relationships

Twitter is quickly becoming the preferred platform for building and managing relationships with customers. Nearly 80 percent of the questions people ask businesses on social media occur on Twitter, according to the most recent quarterly report by SocialBakers, a social media analytics and publishing company. The remaining 20 percent are recorded on Facebook, according to an article on Wired.com.

Research from online magazine “Social Media Examiner” shows that when it comes to making a complaint, 42 percent of customers expect a response in under an hour, and 25 percent expect a response the same day. Given that Twitter is the preferred platform for customer complaints, having an active presence there will allow you to reach out quickly and transparently to show you value your customers and deal swiftly with any issues they may experience. Doing so results in higher loyalty than if there had been no problem at all. This really is a silver lining to the inevitability of customer issues.

Even if your customers aren’t the ones posting on social media, they’re watching how you interact with others. Whether it’s acknowledging their praise, resolving any issues, or helping them when and how they need it, your social media presence is always visible. The key takeaway is your prospects and customers have greater respect for companies that encourage feedback and respond in a timely and respectful way.

2. Drive Traffic to Your Website

Twitter is a highly effective tool to drive traffic to your website, where you’ll have the opportunity to convert those visitors into customers. Twitter’s partnership with Google means that when Google crawls and indexes for relevant information, your tweets will be accessed and delivered to searchers who are prospects for your business.

Research shows your Twitter followers are a valuable and engaged audience. For example, 70 percent amplify content for free through retweets (shares), and 43 percent plan to make multiple purchases from the businesses they follow. You can accelerate the value from your Twitter audience with a follower campaign.

Here’s another interesting insight: Twitter users are 181 percent more likely to be on Twitter during their commute. According to the “Social Media Examiner,” Tweets that go out at 5 p.m. have the highest number of retweets; tweets that go out at 6 p.m. get the highest click-through rate. This means you have a captive audience ready to receive great content and calls-to-action during the 5-6 p.m. window.

3. Be Social

You need to be where your customers expect to find you, and your customers expect to find you on Twitter. With 80 percent of Millennials (18-29 years old) and 76 percent of Gen-Xers (30-44 years old) looking for your business to have an active presence on Twitter, you can’t afford not to have a strategic presence on this key platform. Using Twitter as a customer-communication channel signals your company’s dedication to transparency, accountability and customer service—all key values for your Millennial and Gen-X customers.

Basics for Beginners

Many of the prospects you want to reach are already using Twitter to solve their self-storage needs. This quick-start guide will show you how to drive traffic, subscribers, leads and customers to your business.

Profile

  • Create a branded and optimized profile.

  • Use smart images that communicate your value. Make sure your cover photo and profile image easily explain what you do.

  • Create a searchable bio. Use keywords and hashtags that are related to your business to boost how often you show up in search results.

  • Pin your best tweet to the top of your profile so when potential customers visit, the first tweet they see is your finest.

  • Include a link in your bio to drive viewers to a current offer you’re promoting or to your website. Make sure your website links to your Twitter profile so you gain new followers.

Visuals

  • Tweet eye-catching visuals that relate to your copy.

  • The optimized size for visuals is 1024x512 pixels.

  • Images drive higher engagement, conversion and click-through rates.

  • Include a call to action in the image or copy. This is key, as visuals have a higher rate of being viewed than copy.

Copy

  • Optimize your copy. Include hashtags that are relevant to get your tweet seen in more search results.

  • Limit hashtags and keep your tweets short; 100 to 120 characters and one or two hashtags convert better.

  • Link back to your website whenever possible to convert more traffic into leads.

  • Use the 10-4-1 rule: 10 parts curated content, four parts owned content and one part promotional/lead-generating content.

Taking Twitter to the Next Level

Now that you understand the basics of Twitter, kick your efforts into high gear with the following strategies.

Rich Media

  • Make your tweets stand out with GIFs, videos and vines. You can include even more rich media from your website without using extra characters.

  • GIFs are converted into MP4s that auto-play.

  • Vines are short, looping video clips (six seconds or less) you can create yourself.

  • Use a ratio of rich-media tweets for every three to four tweets so they stand out on a user’s feed.

  • Conversion rates for tweets with rich media are nearly double that of text-only tweets.

Promoted Tweets

  • Get in front of your prospects by creating promoted tweets for lead generation.

  • Promoted tweets boost visibility for an offer you’re promoting by appearing at the top of relevant search results pages, and even in some third-party clients to name a few.

  • Only include one link in your tweet and no hashtags.

  • The fewer places people can click, the more people will click on your website link. Given that you pay for each click, make those clicks deliver!

Lead-Generation Cards

  • Lead-generation cards are your single most effective tool for lead generation on Twitter. They let you generate leads directly within a tweet in exchange for an offer, such as a demo.

  • They allow you to reach audiences you’ve been unable to access or target your content to specific lists of people.

  • Users need only click a single button, such as “submit,” with lead-gen cards to have all their user information automatically downloaded into your customer-relationship-management platform.

Here are some key takeaways about using Twitter to promote your self-storage business:

  • Monitor: Now that you’ve opened a powerful new customer-relationship and -service channel, you’ll need to be responsive.

  • Optimize for success: From your profile to your visuals, make sure you’re giving potential customers a low-friction way to interact with your brand offerings.

  • Test: Just as you would with any marketing channel, you’ll want to test copy images, timing and tweet length.

With Twitter use on the rise, it’s critical that your self-storage business has a presence. Follow the pointers above to maximize your social media efforts, and you’ll be rewarded with a loyal following.

With more than 15 years of digital-marketing experience, Dave Beltramini is vice president of digital performance at G5, which provides Digital Experience Management software and marketing services to the self-storage industry. The company’s offerings include responsive-design websites, search engine marketing, social media, reputation management, lead tracking and management, analytics, and client-performance management. For more information, call 800.656.8183; visit www.getg5.com.

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