Today nearly everyone (and their pets) are on social media. Social media isn’t simply a distraction used to fritter away idle hours. It’s a medium – some might say the medium – through which we engage with others and consume information. Consider these findings from the Yellow Social Media Report:
- 69 per cent of Australians use social media.
- 30 per cent of people use it to research brands, businesses and purchases.
- 63 per cent of those that used it to research a purchase went on to make that purchase.
At last count, Australia has over 15 million users on Facebook, 14 million on YouTube and around 5 million on Instagram. So while cranky commentators may continue to rail against it for narrow reasons, forward-thinking businesses are taking advantage of social media’s potential to grow their operations and maximise their results. If you feel it’s just too hard to start, then we are here to help.
The Power of Social
Self storage facilities can take advantage of social media in a number of ways. For one, it will nicely slot into – and enhance – your existing strategies and operations. A large part of running a successful business is simply getting the word out and promoting yourself.
When it comes down to it, it’s about awareness. Bringing your particular angle to a potential customer’s attention and educating them about it is often half the battle. But when it comes to social media, there are some important pointers we need to keep in mind:
1. It’s a two-way street.
Social channels allow you to push your messages, but remember that unhappy customers will find your social channels an easy way to vent. Take advice from social media specialists and always reply appropriately to comments.
2. Your social persona is an extension of your brand.
Never do anything to compromise your brand online. Use your brand as the guide and whatever you post, ensure it is consistent and representative of your brand image.
3. Keep to the 80/20 rule.
Social posting and social marketing are two very different things. People use social media for leisure, so you stand to make headway with interesting posts rather than mere advertising messages. If you post what your followers or fans want, you won’t go wrong. A good rule of thumb to use here is the 80/20 rule. The lion’s share of your posts need to be interest or engagement pieces. 20% of your posts could share deals, discounts and promotional content.
4. Monitor and measure.
Measuring results will help you understand what’s working and when it’s time to course-correct. At a minimum, you need to measure metrics for reach, fan or follower numbers and engagement.
Create a Facebook Brand Page for your self storage facility; that way you get access to business features including Facebook Insights and contests. While you will need a personal Facebook account in order to create a Brand Page, your social followers won’t see the connection between the two accounts, if setup correctly (which is generally considered a good thing!).
Use the cover photo to show off your brand’s personality. Have some intro videos showing off your facility and some of your popular features. If you have a blog, you can recycle the content for a Facebook page. Post images of your neighbourhood. Ask questions and post interesting stats. Show images of what happens behind the scenes of a self-storage facility. Use a few relevant hashtags to help spread the word beyond your followers.
A great source for content ideas is your customers. Talk to them, survey them and use the ideas to drive engagement on social media. Remember, the golden rule to drive engagement is to post what your target audience finds engaging, so get into their heads.
Take advantage of Facebook contests. Get creative with photo contests, word jumbles, guessing games and have some enticing prizes ready.
YouTube is a great channel to host videos of your facility, promote the features that you offer, and show off what happens behind the scenes. Get happy customers on a testimonial video which you can share on your other social channels.
Instagram is another underused channel, which is a shame because you can do so much with images and video. Similar to Facebook, you can host contests and get your followers to upload images or videos to your stream. Since Facebook owns Instagram, the cross-posting of content between these platforms can be automated.
Businesses simply cannot afford to ignore Google+, simply because it helps boost your Google search ranking to some extent. Continue to post images, blogs and videos through Google+ as you would through your other channels. Reach out to your customers and ask them to leave reviews on your Google+ business page. This is a great way to help your business to stand out in the search pages. Google has a fantastic resource for businesses to help you get started.
The best part of social media is that it is free. With some sensible rules in place, you will find that you can navigate the social media landscape for business successfully.
Storman is the largest provider of storage management software in Australia & New Zealand and is trusted by award-winning self storage facilities across the world. Download a trial or request a callback to find out more.