More than 50 million businesses use Facebook pages to promote their brands. However, social media has been relatively slow to gain popularity in the self-storage industry. Its effective use comes with a pretty steep learning curve, and many operators don’t see the point to investing in something with so little obvious return.
This argument has merit. Self-storage is an event-driven business, so you’re unlikely to convince someone they need the product if they don’t have a pressing necessity. Following this vein, it seems unlikely you’ll convince someone to rent a unit by connecting with them on social media. From this perspective, it doesn’t seem Facebook would be an effective tool to grow business.
Even so, it can’t be ignored. This summer, Facebook reached 2 billion users. That’s almost nine times the population of the United States. There’s simply no other platform through which you can reach that many people. Even if you’re only able to connect with a fraction of its users, your return will be far superior to your reach with print ads, door hangers, chamber meetings and bench advertising. Keeping that in mind, here are five ways Facebook can help your self-storage business.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a big, ugly term. It scares people because it’s often misunderstood; but it’s simple, really. You want your business to appear on the first page of search engine results because studies show 75 percent of users don’t scroll beyond that. Since self-storage is an event-driven business, you need to ensure you’re easy to find when potential customers search for storage in your area.
Social media profiles rank in search engine results. With effective SEO, you can rank with multiple pages on your website as well as your social media profiles. Theoretically, your facility could take up the entire first page of Google results. Additionally, social media pages affect local rankings. This is a huge advantage for a brick-and-mortar business like a self-storage facility.
To make your social media pages work for SEO, you have to populate them with content—preferably content to which people will respond. Engagement is the key. You want other users to like, share and comment on your posts.
Using Facebook effectively for SEO starts with profile information. The first 140 characters of your Facebook bio will appear in a search engine result. Include keywords and ideas about your business so searches can quickly get an idea of what you’re about. After you’ve optimized your bio for SEO, you simply need to focus on engaging your audience on your Facebook page and doing it often.
Facebook is a business, and it doesn’t want other businesses to benefit from its platform for free. The good news is it will let you benefit for little money. You can set a Facebook advertising budget as low as $5 per day. Considering how many thousands of dollars self-storage operators previously spent on Yellow Page ads, it’s baffling that so few are taking advantage of this inexpensive ad platform.