With so many social networking options available it might be difficult to choose the one which is right for your self storage business. On the surface, all these services seem similar. However, if you take a closer look, you will see the rich marketing value they hold, especially Twitter.
Here are some helpful tips for using Twitter to promote your self storage business:
- Ensure that your tweets are informative and relevant.
As the business owner, your tweets will always be relevant to you. But the real challenge is getting others to care about what you are tweeting. Shameless self promotion has its time and place however it won’t get you very far in the “twitterverse.” For example, you can tweet about your self storage business but also include information about general self storage news to keep your followers interested.
- Pay attention to the character limit.
Twitter limits the amount of characters on a tweet to 140. Although there are many third party programs which will allow you to post beyond the standard limit, the average Twitter user will not be willing to read a one paragraph tweet. Try to get essential information out to your current and potential followers in the least amount of characters possible. Remember, you can say a little and still manage to communicate a lot.
- Do not spam other Twitter users.
In your over-zealousness to communicate information about your self storage business, you might find yourself responding to tweets where others might not even be mentioning self storage. Users often find this annoying and will not be hesitant to report you as spam. Once this is done, your account may be suspended and permanently closed.
- Read and respond to mentions.
Whenever another twitter uses the ‘@’ symbol and then writes you name, this is known as a mention. You can use mentions to see when people are writing tweets about your business or twitter accounts. Responding to these mentions will show your customers that you are interested in what they have to say and will assist in building a better business-consumer relationship.
- Designate a real person to write your tweets.
While automated Twitter programs might be helpful for tweeting messages about promotions, specials offers and standard information, you will want to avoid sounding like a robot. Twitter works best when you are able to create a dialogue. Who wants to talk to a computer? You will have to check your mentions frequently to see what others are saying about your business and respond to them in a timely fashion.
- Link your Twitter account to your mobile device.
Whether it’s your tablet, or mobile phone, there is a Twitter app for just about every device. Having access to Twitter on-the-go gives you more flexibility in creating and maintaining your various Twitter campaigns. You also get alerted whenever you have a new mention therefore you can respond accordingly without having to manually check it.
Now that you have an idea of which direction to follow when promoting your self storage facility on Twitter, here are a few helpful applications which you can link to your Twitter account to enhance your profile even more:
- TwitVid and TwitPic
With these applications you can post videos and pictures of your facility. For example, you can make videos of the various unit sizes you have so that potential customers can have a better idea of what is offered. You can use these videos or pictures to give a tour of your facility. Be sure to consult with Twitter’s Terms of Service to ensure that your postings are not in violation.
This application gives you a detailed account of everyone who has unfollowed you. There is a free account which gives you access to your unfollower history for up to seven days and a premium account which allows you to search beyond that. You can even choose to unfollow those who are not following you back or those who have recently unfollowed you. This is helpful because you don’t want to follow people who will not reciprocate your follow and actively contribute to the discussions you might decide to post. Remember that every twitter user can freely follow up to 2000 people. After you reach that 2000 mark, Twitter limits the amount of additional persons you can follow. The limit varies by user and is based on the individual’s ratio of followers to following. Twitter will inform you of your daily or total limit once you have reached it.
This URL shortener is useful if you want to include a link in your tweet but do not want to use your entire 140 limit on the link. While the ‘new’ Twitter now shortens URLs automatically, it does not shorten them to the length which bit.ly can—which will end up saving your valuable characters.
- Twitter for (mobile device)
As previously mentioned, there are several Twitter mobile applications. However, you need to link the mobile application to your Twitter account before you are able to fully access the various features. When using these third party applications, keep in mind that Twitter imposes a rate limit; a restriction on how many times you can request data from its services in an hour. The current limit is 150 times per hour - this includes all searches, tweets, and following/unfollowing actions.
So, you have your apps and a plan in mind on how you’re going to target potential customers, you just need to brush up on your Twitter etiquette. Following these best practices for Twitter will ensure that you reach your audience while adhering to the rules and regulations of the service:
- Do not copy Tweets.
While Twitter states that it does not intervene in personal disputes between members; it is generally frowned upon to copy a tweet without giving credit to the original poster of the tweet. If you see a helpful self storage hint or advice for self storage, do not copy the tweet and post it as your own. If you wish to share it with your followers, you can ‘Retweet’ the original poster. There is a retweet button conveniently located at the top of your Twitter profile so that you can share the tweets of others with your followers.
- Use hashtags appropriately.
Hashtags are denoted by the ‘#’ symbol and used to mark keywords in a tweet. Do not use hashtags which are unrelated to your post simply to have your business or topic recognized. For example, if you are posting about self storage and #FacebookMessenger happens to be a trending topic, do not include this hashtag in your post just because everyone is talking about it at the time. If you are posting about Facebook Messenger, then that is permitted. However, a tweet such as “Check out our awesome self storage facility #FacebookMessenger” would be considered spam according to Twitter’s terms of service.
- Do not harass others about following you.
It is perfectly fine to send a tweet asking someone you follow for a follow back. However, the use of automated bots to message and invite other users is strictly prohibited. There is no guaranteed way to get others to follow you because unlike other services such as Facebook, you are not automatically “friended” simply because you choose to follow someone. Consider posting relevant and valuable information about the self storage industry and others in the industry and even those who are not, will possibly follow.
- Do not post copyrighted content.
Remember to always include a link which gives credit to the original author of whatever you are posting. Never pass copyrighted content off as your own as this has legal implications.
At this point in time, you are almost a Twitter pro. You have been briefed on the marketing aspect and are aware of the do’s and don’ts. Now, after you follow this guide, how will you know if it works? Most advertising professionals will tell you that it is impossible to measure the ‘effect’ of advertising; we can only measure the effect of our communication efforts. With that in mind, we can take a look at the key elements to consider when evalutating your success on Twitter.
Your follower count is not reliable to evaluate whether or not your communication efforts are successful. While it would be ideal to have thousands of followers, it is better to streamline your efforts. Instead of looking at your follower count, you can instead look at how many people are actually responding to your tweets. If you have 1,500 followers, yet less than 10 are replying daily, then you can tell that the accounts following you are either inactive, spam or run by people who simply wanted a ‘follow back’.
The number of retweets you get is also another useful way of evaluating your efforts. If you are posting helpful self storage information then others may want to share it. If you notice that no one is retweeting your information, then you might want to consider revising your strategy. Do not simply post information about how great you business is. Ask the question: Why should others be interested in this? If you cannot answer this easily, then consider posting something else.
Tweeting about special discounts and promotions is an excellent start. You can use Twitter as a platform for informing potential and existing customers about the groups you may offer discounts to - college students, military members and which days these discounts apply. Also consider asking customers for they Twitter handle, if they have one, when they sign up for a storage unit so that you can find and connect with them.
Twitter is a great service for business promotion. However, if it is not used in the correct manner it might end up doing more harm than good. Your self storage business has a lot to gain from having a Twitter account as it is a great way to connect to others in the industry and even to keep an eye on your competition. If you follow the tips and recommendations we have shared, then you are well on your way to designing a Twitter campaign that should adequately complement your other marketing and advertising efforts.