There is no doubt that many of us have watched the explosion of Social Media (SM) in the last few years. We are confronted with it daily. More often than not, Social Media is in the news and most times for bad reasons.
Self Storage operators have two choices: Ignore Social Media or embrace it.
Embracing Social Media is the preferable option as you cannot ignore it’s penetration into our own lives and importantly our customers’ lives and potential customers lives. We only have to walk down a busy city Street and look at how many people are immersed in the world that is inside their phone!
What are they looking at what and what are they reading about?
Here are some very sobering statistics:
Facebook has 15 million Australian users, YouTube has 14 million visitors, Instagram has 5 million active Australian users, LinkedIn 3.7 million active Australian users and Twitter has 2.8 million active Australian users.
Consider that Facebook with 15 million Australian users cannot be ignored. I believe that it is a rich vein of potential business for Self Storage facilities.
There are plenty of social media outlets and 23 active social media platforms in Australia.
Which one do you pick to target potential Self Storage customers?
Facebook is the obvious choice with over 75% of the Australian population as members and at any given time of the day 3 million online. Facebook users are you and me, your brother your daughter, your grandmother and your potential customer.
Let’s explore how to target these potential customers.
Understanding what social media is the first step. The platform is designed to inform and to socialize and it’s very important not to mix up posting on social media and social media marketing or advertising.
They are two distinctly different activities.
Most Self Storage facilities have a Facebook page and it’s important to resist the urge to start posting away about units that you have for rent, unless you have 50,000 followers – which I seriously doubt.
Your posts will generally go unread and that’s because you do not have enough followers to make a difference. It’s very easy to become disillusioned with social media and claim that it doesn’t work. Posting something interesting is social media fodder. Make it interesting.
Self Storage staff should resist the urge to start posting pictures of storage spaces. On the other hand if you have a good picture like this one of a Bike stored. (see CSS pic) then that’s interesting.
While Facebook was not designed for advertising, from the outset it has become a very effective way to market businesses worldwide and Self Storage can use Facebook to good effect. Facebook has become for many millions their only internet experience.
It’s like a second Internet
Success in Facebook marketing comes from understanding two things. Your product offering and your target market.
Engaging advertisements target the market, placing those targeted advertisements into the market segments that you wish to attract will deliver success and it will flow through to the click through rate of your website. Targeted marketing messages can be very effective in driving traffic to your website and in turn to your promoted product via a landing page.
Targeted marketing campaigns with product offerings targeted to specific market segments in geographic locations relevant to your market works and is cost effective.
Facebook is an effective medium that can be used to target market your message and to drive traffic to your website which in turn if setup correctly should be able to deliver the message with an opportunity for the customer to buy, now, or in the future.
Other Social Media platforms
There are plenty of other social media platforms like Twitter, Yelp, BlogSpot, Pinterest, Google Plus and many more, but they all have one thing in common: a very high percentage of their users are also Facebook users.
LinkedIn is a business based platform and can attract business leads, although LinkedIn is becoming hijacked by non-business users.
Twitter particularly is about the moment at hand. Twitter is like a revolving carousel of information. Posts quickly disappear. Good for communicating news.
Other Social Media considerations
Online reputation is critical for Self Storage along with every other business. Complainers are generally merciless and if you have an unhappy customer the potential for them to take to Social Media to make your life difficult is very high. In a future article will discuss how to deal with difficult negative comments on your social media pages. Do not bite back. You won’t win with aggrieved storers online. The damage is done. Seek professional guidance.
Creating targeted advertisements and marketing material is a professional job and needs to be understood properly for it to be effective. Not only from a budget perspective but from the type of material that is posted and the target market that is required.
Social media marketing requires specialist social media management skills. Social Media marketing takes a lot of time and it takes time for the results to deliver. Self Storage staff can be part of the process by all means but it would be very easy for social media activity to consume the entire day and no owner will be happy with that!
To summarise, Social Media marketing is a very effective way to attract new Self Storage business, it’s cost effective and must be done in conjunction with the facility Website to maximize the value of the marketing offer.
Next time you bump into that person with the head down in their telephone, you want them to be reading one of your sponsored advertisements, not posting a rant about your facility.
The marketing team at R6 Web Design™ create engaging Social Media campaigns for many Self Storage facilities, including graphics and offers and those campaigns are successful.