Sponsored By

Using Instagram to Promote Your Self-Storage Business: 5 Tips for Insta-Success

If you think your self-storage business doesn’t need Instagram, think again. Learn how to develop a strategy using this social media website to spread your brand message.

September 8, 2015

5 Min Read
Using Instagram to Promote Your Self-Storage Business: 5 Tips for Insta-Success

By Melanie Thaden

If you think your self-storage business doesn’t need Instagram, think again. The mobile photo/video-sharing app is no longer just another social media channel used for sharing pictures of perfectly crafted meals and cats. It’s quickly evolving into a highly useful tool for building a company’s brand. If you haven’t started taking advantage of it, you need to start now.

As with any social media tool, just having an account isn’t going to bring any benefits. You have to use it correctly and develop a strategy. Not sure where to begin? I’m here to help you not only understand why you should consider using Instagram for your business but how to do it the right way. Plus, I’ll demonstrate how other self-storage companies are already taking advantage this amazing social media platform.

Why You Need Instagram

Instagram has quickly gone from a trendy iOS-only app to a massive social network with Android and Web presence, and it hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. With more than 300 million monthly active users, chances are your target market is already on Instagram—or about to be. It’s the fastest growing major social network, according to an article on Re/code.com, a website that offers technology analysis, news and reviews. With two-thirds of users between the ages of 18 and 44, it’s particularly useful if you’re interested in reaching a younger audience.

A recent study by Forrester Research, an independent technology and market-research firm, found Instagram blow other social networks out of the water when it comes to delivering engagement. Instagram users are 58 times more likely to like, comment or share a brand’s post than Facebook users, and 120 times more likely to engage than Twitter users. This shows Instagram may just be the best social and mobile platform out there for brands to reach audiences that are willing to engage. If you’re not marketing on Instagram, you’re missing out. The following five tips will help you get started.

Tip 1: Show Off Your Culture

Instagram is all about being creative and fun. Share photos of your company picnic, employee interactions or a short video tour of your office. Users love to see what goes on behind the scenes of their favorite businesses. Sharing snapshots of your culture not only shows off your brand, it makes your followers feel special in that they have access to exclusive content.

Tip 2: Highlight Your Products or Services

Instagram is the perfect platform for showing off products or services of which your company is proud. If your storage property has a big retail store packed with products, brag about it. Do you offer free use of a moving truck for new customers? Take a photo of your branded truck. Check out some of your competitor’s profiles, see what they’re doing, and think about how you can do it better.

For example, U-Haul International Inc. shows off its rental trucks and storage units on its Instagram page and encourages followers to do the same with the hashtag #uhaulfamous. Extra Space Storage Inc. posts photos of employees sharing their favorite storage and packing tips, while Public Storage Inc. displays behind-the-scenes snapshots, including the making of its float for the Rose Parade.

Tip No. 3: Use Hashtags

Effectively using hashtags is one of the easiest ways to expand your reach. While creating your own hashtag is a great way to encourage engagement, when you use existing and trending hashtags, it’s an easy and effective way to engage your brand in already existing social conversations.

Tip 4: Encourage Participation

Include calls to action in your photo captions to encourage comments and shares. Ask questions to begin conversations, and urge your followers to tag their friends in the comments to increase reach. Start a movement by asking users to share photos with a unique tag that’s related to your brand. As I mentioned above, U-Haul is doing this with #uhaulfamous.

Another great example is @nikerunning. Nike asked followers to share moments of their running adventures with the hashtag #runfree and experienced amazing participation. Offering incentives for participation in the form of Instagram contests is another good way to get things started.

Tip 5: Have Fun

Instagram is about sharing moments—your moments. Have fun taking snapshots of your company and products. The filters and editing features of the app give you the opportunity to be creative and really create unique posts. If you’re looking for ideas, try some of these easy ones:

  • #TBT (throwback Thursday): Share old photos of your company’s past. It could be a picture of your facility before a renovation, a staff photo from last year’s Christmas party, or a funny memory everyone will love.

  • #WCW and #MCM (woman-crush Wednesday or man-crush Monday): This is a great way to feature an employee who’s excelling. Share a fun picture to give this person the recognition he deserves in a fun way. Be sure to tag him in the caption.

  • Animal adventure: One of my favorite companies on Instagram is @carrotcreative because they feature #dogsofcarrot. The company’s office is pet-friendly, and its employees frequently upload photos of their happy pooches in the workplace. If your office isn’t pet-friendly, snapping photos of pets sporting your branded gear is just as fun.

  • Hyperlapse videos: Here’s another fun way to create a unique post. You can give an office tour, show the making of a product, someone drawing a picture or chart, or just any creative activity. Hyperlapse takes your video and fast-forwards it, giving it a really cool effect.

Having a good mix of professional and entertaining posts is the key to a successful Instagram account. Posting only photos of your self-storage facility isn’t going to gain you much engagement. Think about what you would want to see as a follower of your company and let your creativity flow. If you don’t enjoy creating your posts, your followers aren’t going to enjoy viewing them either.

Melanie Thaden is a marketing coordinator at Go Local Interactive, a full-service online-marketing agency that manages digital advertising for nearly 20 self-storage companies. She's responsible for assisting in a variety of marketing efforts and business-development initiatives, such as heading up the company's content and social media. For more information, call 636.696.9434; visit www.golocalinteractive.com.

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

You May Also Like