Sponsored By

Unraveling the Mysteries of Social Media Algorithms: A Primer for Your Self Storage Business

Social media algorithms are mysterious and misunderstood. They’re also critical to building a self-storage brand, so it’s important to understand what they are and how they work. Here’s a primer to help you improve the visibility and engagement of your posts.

Andrew Todd

February 3, 2024

4 Min Read

“Mysterious” and “misunderstood” are two good words to describe social media algorithms. If you aren’t familiar with what these are and how they work, it can make the quest to improve your business’ online presence more confusing and overwhelming. Unfortunately, you can’t afford to ignore them because they’re critical to the success of your self-storage brand.

To help strengthen your social media content creation, here’s a primer on algorithms and how to improve the visibility and engagement of your posts.

Some Basics

A social media algorithm determines which content your self-storage customers see in their feeds. It uses thousands upon thousands of data points to sort, rank and ultimately determine what gets displayed to whom and when while also learning which types of content individual users prefer to consume.

Except for Twitter, most social media channels don’t reveal how their algorithm works; however, most will tell you where to focus your efforts. For example, when Reels became a thing on Instagram, the platform kept emphasizing its use in the app.

To find out what types of content each social media platform emphasizes and learn about updates, I recommend subscribing to their newsletters and blogs. It’s also a good idea to follow their executive teams. Finally, consider subscribing to other credible newsletters, such as the one for Social Media Today, to gain an outside perspective and keep up with pertinent news.

Content Creation

When creating content for your self-storage operation’s social media platforms, it’s important to keep the algorithm for each in mind. Every channel favors different types of material, but they all distribute quality content, meaning that it’s intentional, original, unique, valuable, trendy or entertaining. Don’t expect an algorithm to boost your posts if you aren’t putting in the effort.

By the way, be wary of YouTube videos that claim they’ve hacked XYZ’s algorithm and uncovered how to game the system. If you play by the rules, you’ll win. If you cheat, you may see some short-term gains, but I promise you’ll experience long-term losses.

The potential benefits of tailoring content to a platform’s algorithm are organic growth of your social media account and, hopefully, new customers. A potential drawback comes from developing algorithm tunnel vision, in which you become so focused on creating one type of content you think will rank well that you lose sight of your brand identity.

Things to Keep in Mind

Ranking signals play a role in the visibility of social media content, so it helps to keep them in mind. Though these vary greatly between platforms, generally, the more authentic likes, comments, shares and saves you receive in a given timeframe, the more positive signals an algorithm will see and consider.

The keyword here is authentic. Don’t fall into the trap of buying likes, comments or followers to boost your numbers. Algorithms never favor counterfeit engagements.

The biggest mistake self-storage operators tend to make when creating algorithm-based content is to post boring or “salesy” material. The way to get exposure and build a following is to make your business seem interesting. You can’t only talk about how great your facility is or push the latest promotion. It’s OK to do that once in a while, but for the most part, you want to stay away from those types of posts.

Long-Term Strategies

If you’re putting out quality self-storage content on your social media channels and not seeing immediate results, don’t give up. Keep trying new things until you find what works. Sometimes all you need is one good post to get noticed.

Once you find a successful direction, keep up the momentum with more relevant posts. Just know that what works today may not work tomorrow, which is why it’s important to stay up to date on any algorithm changes using the resources previously mentioned.

Social media algorithms favor quality content, so listen to your gut. If you create something you aren’t super excited about, don’t post it. In contrast, if you can’t wait for others to see a piece of content because you absolutely love it yourself, that’s a good indication that others will like it, too. Keep in mind, however, that if you’re drastically different from your core self-storage demographics, this approach may not always work.

Ultimately, if you take the time to understand what each social platform’s algorithm favors and work toward crafting self-storage content that meets those criteria, you should see positive growth in visibility along with better customer engagement and conversion.

Andrew Todd is senior manager of social media at Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust and management company. When he joined the company in 2017, he was the only social media professional. He helped grow the team and program to what it is today. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, where he studied business marketing and multi-media design. For more information, email [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Andrew Todd

Senior Manager of Social Media, Extra Space Storage Inc.

Andrew Todd is senior manager of social media at Extra Space Storage Inc., a self-storage real estate investment trust and management company. When he joined the company in 2017, he was the only social media professional. He helped grow the team and program to what it is today. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Utah State University, where he studied business marketing and multi-media design. For more information, email [email protected].

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter
ISS is the most comprehensive source for self-storage news, feature stories, videos and more.

You May Also Like