5 Tips for Facebook Success
by Holly Fiorello
We don’t have a choice on whether or not we do social and mobile, the choice is how well we do it. If you look around everyone is on their mobile phones, most likely checking their emails, scrolling through Facebook, reading trending hashtags on Twitter or adding a video to their SnapChat story. Mobile drives more than 50 percent of E-commerce traffic, and I see that number grow month over month. Marketing 101 - Be where your audience is. They are on social media.
In fact, there are more people on Facebook than there are in any population in any country. Yes, Facebook has more active users than there are people living in China. That is crazy! Social media levels the playing field. A one store brand has just as much ability to be a rockstar as one of the REITs in terms of community engagement and driving leads. No, self storage is not the sexiest business, but that doesn’t mean we have to be duds online. Stay with me here, and let’s go through my top “5 Tips for Facebook Success.”
- What’s your Goal?
- Measure and Adjust
- Plan and Use Time Saving Tools
- Listen and Engage with your Community
- Use Advertising
What’s your Goal?
Determine what your social media goal is. If we take a step back, and look at our self storage overall marketing goals, we can all agree on one thing; we want more quality leads so we can have more tenants and more revenue. In order to convert our traffic into leads, whether in the form of phone calls, email reservations, or online rentals, we’ll need a well optimized website with a landing page that makes it easy and attractive to commit. Once we have our website set up to convert leads we can set up our social media goals. Begin with the end action in mind, and work backwards from the optimal customer experience vantage point.
Facebook has a very rich advertising platform. Whether your goal is brand awareness, more likes, more visibility, engagement, or funneling traffic back to your website, Facebook has many tools to assist. Do you want them to like your page? Call, submit a contact form, or complete a reservation or a rental on your website?
Although many facilities are looking to grow their Facebook followers by “likes” that is really just a “glamour” metric. If we stay true to our goal of getting more leads to our well optimized website, we are going to focus on funneling traffic to raise our lead count. We can accomplish this by incorporating call to actions on our cover photo to funnel traffic, making sure the website is listed in the “about” section, and creating a post with a high-quality image, engaging content asking for action and a website url.
Measure and Adjust – business.facebook.com
That which we measure - grows. There are two types of social media managers out there. Those who post based on a hunch and those who post based on using Facebook insights and business analytics. Facebook insights will help you understand what posts perform the best with your target audience. Do posts with videos perform better than posts with photos? What time of the day do you receive the most impressions and engagement? You can learn all this and more using Facebook insights.
If our goal is to drive traffic to our website, Facebook insights will show us how many people clicked on our ads.You can use another free tool, Google Analytics, to learn if the goal was completed and whether you can attribute it to your Facebook marketing strategy.
Plan and Use Time-Saving Tools
There are many tools out there to help you save time and be more efficient with your campaigns. My personal favorite is a scheduling tool that goes by the name of “Hootsuite.” Hootsuite allows you to devise a content plan and bulk upload your statuses to be auto posted on the date and time designated. Look at a calendar and pay attention to holidays, and seasonal items that correlate with storage as well as community events. Starting out, post two to three times a week. That’s 12 status updates in a month. It would take you less than a half hour to create your calendar after you get the hang of it.
Another great feature that Hootsuite has is “Hootlet.” Hootlet is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to curate posts from your browser without having to open up Hootsuite.com. If I am on the Texas Self Storage Association’s website and I want to share the agenda for the TSSA Conference, I can click on Hootlet in the corner of my browser and it will add the post to my queue. I can update the content of the message, and Hootlet will automatically shorten the URL for me.
If you are not already plugged into your community and community events, then Google Alerts will be your new best friend for finding content. Visit google.com/alerts and create alerts for your town, community, storage, etc. Now you will receive a daily email from new websites, blog posts, and events that were added to the web the day before. You can create a folder in your inbox for all of these daily alerts and when it is time again to create your content calendar for Hootsuite you have a folder rich with sharable content that your audience will be engaged with.
Listen and Engage with your Community
It’s not enough to auto post status updates and keep our fingers crossed that something good will happen. We are creating a community and in order to stay relevant we must engage with it. When someone comments on the post, respond. Pay attention to what the community is sharing. Find local influencers who also have a social media presence. Interact with them. Share their content. A great example of this is finding a realtor, and sharing their updates, liking their updates and commenting on their posts. In the social media world, any kind of engagement is social currency. As marketers, we are more likely to support other marketers who support us. By spending just a little bit of time every week, our reach begins to grow.
Facebook, by far, has the absolute best advertising platform that is currently out there. They know their audience inside and out. Think about all the mundane things that Facebook knows about you. What foods you like, songs you listen to, videos you watch, words you use, how old you are, where you live, where you visit, who your friends are, who your mom is, what she likes, when you get a new job, etc. Facebook has even come out and said that they can predict when you will break up, divorce and move. How incredibly powerful is that?
Not only are they able to predict life transitional moments that are important to self-storage marketing, they can replicate your demographics. Facebook now has the ability for you to upload your customer email list and Facebook will search for those users on their platform, find them, and create an audience with similar attributes. Facebook is targeting your demographics for you, so you can have a higher conversion rate. That means a much lower ad spend with better quality leads. Take a little bit of time to set this up right, and receive a rich, high-quality lead source. Spend less money and get a bigger reward.
Facebook is an incredibly powerful platform that has the potential to drive more traffic and leads than you have units available. With just an hour a week you can run an effective social media program for your self-storage facility. We are, perhaps, the most connected generation in history and Facebook gives us the opportunity to be a part of that.
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