The storage industry has been slow to adapt to changes in the ways consumers research, analyze and reserve storage units. In the beginning of the self-storage industry, many owners/operators did not know what Search Engine Optimization, pay-per-click, Facebook, Twitter or blogging was. Now SEO and PPC are well known acronyms, and social media and blogging are the norm. The Internet and social media blow up was slowly integrated into the industry, and now more and more owners are taking advantage of the ease and effectiveness of online marketing tactics.
Many self-storage companies are now using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogging on a regular basis. If you are not a big company, an expert in the industry or someone who consistently posts relevant, high-quality articles, you are probably wondering how you are going to be found, followed and, taken seriously. Thousands of storage companies have embraced Twitter and Facebook in recent years. Social media is notoriously difficult to track in terms of conversions and ROI, so how do you know if you are getting anything out of your campaign? There is a method behind the madness of those constant 140 character Twitter posts and Facebook status updates.
It is often that you sit at your computer or look at your phone to check another company’s updates and tweets, or even update your own information. If you don’t check other updates much, do you think others are checking yours? You should be consistently updating your own information to become respected and trusted in the industry. Storage owners are busy trying to run their own businesses on a day-to-day basis. If your company is not a large operation, and probably does not have someone dedicated to social media, you probably don’t have enough time to sit around looking through the constant input of tweets and status updates you missed? You may or may not be missing some good information. The people and companies who use social as if it were spam advertising, or post “pointless” updates. They may be skimming over other good information while trying to get past all of the other stuff.
Really know your self storage audience and who are you tweeting and updating for. You should reach out to the customers, community, and owners. This does not mean tweeting at them. This means actually reaching out and asking them what you can improve, or asking others what you can do to get them to rent again. Social shouldn’t be about tweeting “50% off next month’s rent!!!” 20 times per day. Social should be about generating revenue through solid marketing and great customer service, as business has always been. Social media should be another facet of marketing and customer service because social by itself will not help you.
Eddie Munoz, San Diego Storage Onebyone
611 K Street B143, San Diego, CA 92101, USA