When things like MySpace and Facebook first began to pop up they were a cool way to reconnect with friends from childhood, high school, and college like people had never seen before. Who hasn’t had fun reaching out to an old friend through one of those mediums? As time went on they became even more popular places to play different games as well. Social media and fun and games quickly became one and the same.
As time went on, marketers began to notice that there was something else which social media could be tapped for—advertising. People like to frequent businesses where they not only get a good deal, but feel a little connection as well; like the company knows them personally. What better avenue than social media to convey the message that we like you and we have great prices?
“Social media is all about socializing, engaging, and reaching more people to help drive more business,” says Stacie Maxwell, director of Marketing at Universal Management Company, a self storage management company in Georgia. “…Social media is rapidly replacing traditional word of mouth between friends and associates, and thus falls directly into many companies’ marketing strategy…”
Using social media as a marketing tool especially works in an industry like the self storage industry where the product is relatively the same and competitors have to work a lot harder to differentiate from one and another. The trick there can be in figuring out who is going to do it, how much they are going to do, and what they are going to say.
“Worse than not having a presence in social media is having a presence but not keeping it updated, as this shows your potential customer a lackadaisical attitude…” Maxwell said.
There are different strategies that owners and managers can take when it comes to having employees get involved with social media on behalf of the company. It may be tedious and time consuming, but giving them a script to work off of is one way. You know exactly what they are going to say and do not have to worry about them taking any artistic license.
Another option would be to limit the access that your employees would have. That way if they do say anything inappropriate or simply wrong the damage can be minimized.
As big as the use of social media has become (online users spend roughly 12.7 percent of their online time on social media sites), if your company has a big enough bottom line it might be worth it to hire someone strictly for the purpose of social media marketing.
The use of social media in the self storage industry is not something that will be going away anytime soon. If you’re not already actively exploring it, you might want to start doing so soon before you find yourself and your business getting left behind.
“4 Strategies for Allowing Staff to Use Social Media.” Inside Self Storage; 29 June 2011.
“The Social Media Array.” Self Storage Now! ; Second Quarter 2011.