March 14, 2018

Let’s get Social | The case for Self-Storage and Social Media

self storage social mediaSelf-Storage Marketing

Where do you put your marketing budget to use? As a ‘brick and mortar’ type of businesses that requires foot traffic as a final conversion step, marketing through large print types like front signs and billboards still retain value. But this is the age of digital and most of your prospects will look at your website long before they look at your signage. This article has a great comparison between the various marketing platforms and their ROI. So how do you get traffic to your website? That question has an incredibly complex answer that your marketing director (or partnered agency) will have to explain.

One of the main ways many see web-traffic is through Social media (just look at this thread from Self-Talk) Several people respond with the positive results they get from Facebook Ads. Facebook isn’t the only social media platform that’s getting the eyeballs of your target market. As Millennials enter the real estate market, purchasing their first homes and moving out of their current situations; they’ve acquired enough stuff to need some kind of storage solution. Millennials grew up alongside the internet and social media, so it’s no wonder that digital marketing is bringing in huge returns these days.

Getting Started with Social Media

Okay, you say, I get that social media is a popular marketing platform right now, but I already have a Facebook page that I post on occasionally, I’m not seeing the ROI in that. You’re probably right. Just having a page isn’t good enough. You have to optimize the layout, the static copy, and the content feed so that people see consistent, high-quality content from you.

Just slapping a picture of your facility on the header with your logo in the ‘profile box’ and posting occasional pictures of your managers isn’t enough. For social to really work for you it has to be approached as a bonafide marketing strategy. This means crafting images that are the ideal size and layout for each social media platform you’re on. This also means being as diversified in choosing your social media platforms as your target market. It’s important to be where they are.

Finally, there’s the content. Posting content on a regular basis will mean different things depending on your targets but is easy enough when you start with a solid plan.

Delegating the Responsibility

“Wow, this sounds like a lot of work.” That’s because it is. Managing a business’ social media page is a job in and of itself. That’s why it’s important to delegate. If you have a manager that is passionate about social media you’ve got gold. Partner them with your marketing manager or work with a marketing (or better yet social media marketing) agency to draw up a solid content plan they feel they can keep up with. It’s important to work with a professional for at least the planning stage, they’ll have done the research to give you a jump on what works and what’s not worth your time and money.

If you have the budget for it you can hire a social media manager full time to run your pages. A good social media manager will work with you to develop a strategy you like, get your content in advance so you can do quality control and even offer extras like blogging, graphic design work and analytics reports to show you how everything is holding up.

Now What?

Before you dive head-first into the global conversation of social media you have to understand the implications of what you can and can’t do. Social media is a soft pitch. Think about your own personal use of social media. When you see a hard ‘buy my stuff’ post, you keep scrolling. Your potential tenants will too. You’ll want to design your content plan with the tenant’s benefit in mind. It’s about trading value for attention. You provide value, they give you attention and when they’re ready to rent, they think of you first. But what does this mean practically?

Here are some ideas of the type of content to post to your page:

  1. Tenant Tips:

    This is something we’ve started to showcase on our own social pages to give you ideas.  Give them a nice visual and some useful information for them (think moving tips, storing tips, preserving delicate items, using pallets to avoid water damage, a list of what they can/can’t store at your facility…) Remember these are all about providing value!

  2. Giveaways and special discounts:

    are you running a ‘two months for the price of one’ promo? Are you giving away free boxes to the next 10 tenants that sign a 6-month lease? PROMOTE that! These kinds of posts are the best ways to get people on your page. Who doesn’t love a good deal or better yet, free stuff? Our capitalist American society can’t resist. These are the kinds of posts to boost and put some ad spend behind. The return you get will be worth it, even if it’s not immediate, it will get you followers who may lurk a while before becoming full-blown prospective tenants.

  3. Personality posts:

    these are harder to define. These are the fun posts. Catch your managers being silly, or get a current tenant’s permission to show a sneak peak into how well they packed their storage unit or how unique of a person they are. Your facility is unique in many ways, show off what makes you special!

  4. The sales pitch: 

    It’s important to ask for engagement on all your social media posts, but it’s also important to ask for the sale on occasion. These kinds of posts should be more rare (think 1 in every 10 posts for example) You want the majority of your content to bring value, but it’s okay to ask for some value in return.

Social media is a hard beast to tame, but so is self-storage, and look at you kicking butt and taking names. You can do it, you can be good at it, and you can seek professional assistance if necessary. Of course, you can also follow our social pages on Facebook, Twitter (don’t forget Protection Pete and Lil’ Pete), Instagram (Lil’ Pete is there too) and LinkedIn and steal our social media manager’s ideas… don’t worry, she won’t mind ;).