Social media has become a “go-to” resource for customers to research businesses, ask questions, and review services. It is one of the most powerful forms of word-of-mouth marketing online. This is why it’s important for self-storage facilities to be involved, and monitor their social media pages. Social media is a public representation of your company online and should be an extension of the community, marketing, and customer service efforts for your facility. It’s better to be authentic and genuine than trendy. If a customer engages with you on social media, you want them to walk into your facility and have the same experience.
Here are 5 basic tips to use social media to promote your self-storage facility.
Ensure All Your Contact Information is Up to Date:
This may sound like a basic, but customers often go to a company’s Facebook or Google+ page to obtain contact information quickly.
Also, consider posting the hours your team is available on social media. For example, if you only have someone monitoring the page business hours, Monday –Friday, let your fans know. A simple statement similar to the following can reduce confusion and frustration by your followers.
“We’re here to help you on Facebook 8AM-3PM Monday- Friday! If you need assistance after hours, please call us at 1-800-XXX-XXXX.”
Encourage Your Customers to Participate:
Nobody likes talking to themselves, so encourage your customers to get involved! If you want customers to engage with you on social media, let them know you’re there and make it easy for them to find you. Add social media icons to your website, emails and marketing materials. Also, consider asking your customers to review your location on social media.
Plan Ahead: Post Regular and Relevant Content:
Create a content calendar to ensure that your social media posts are diverse and frequent. When creating your content calendar, consider upcoming events, specials, holidays and then incorporate these into your plan accordingly. Your content should be a mix of informative, promotional and community driven posts. Be careful about posting too much about yourself, you’re serving a community let them know you’re there for them!
Establish your goals for your social media sites and associated measurement criteria. Common measurements used to evaluate social media are: reach, referrals, conversions, clicks, likes, shares and views. Evaluate your social media performance regularly and modify your content calendar if posts are performing as expected.
It’s relatively easy to create a social media page and post messages on your own time. Where it gets complicated, is when customers or potential customers want to engage with you on their time. Social media is “open” 24/7, and customers expect a response within a reasonable time frame. In fact, a recent study from social software provider Lithium reveals 53 percent of consumers expect a brand to respond to a tweet within an hour. That number jumps to 72 percent of consumers expecting a response if the tweet is a complaint about the brand or its products.
I am frequently asked how to handle customer complaints on social media. And, while we all wish our customers never have a negative experience with our facilities, the reality is: it happens. If a customer comments negatively on your social media channels, address it promptly and fairly. The way you respond can not only save your reputation with that customer and their friends, but it will also give confidence to future customers that you will resolve an issue in the event one occurs. The key is to not get defensive or delete the comment unnecessarily; that almost always ends badly for a business. The only reason to delete a negative comment is if it would offend another viewer. Check out our “Rules of the Road” for Facebook guidelines.
Toni Jones is the Director of social media for U-Haul International, Inc., where she leads a team of social media professionals dedicated to Making Moving Easier for U-Haul customers. Toni oversees all U-Haul social media initiatives including content development, customer support, marketing and analytics. She develops and maintains guidelines and training on social media for team members and affiliates across the U.S. and Canada. She also writes for the Moving Insider blog.