So you decided to finally get your business on Facebook, but you’re not sure where to start. Big brands with millions of followers can be intimidating, but don’t let that scare you off! Local and regional businesses with a small budget can be just as successful at driving leads and building a customer base on social media as the big brands. And you don’t need to be an expert at marketing or create a complex campaign schedule to get started.

With a little planning, you can set up your self storage business on social media and make scheduled posts a painless process week to week. Check out our five easy steps to get your social media presence started on the right foot.

Person using Facebook at a desk with colorful binders.

#1: Create goals.

Before you jump in, the first step is figuring out what you want to get out of your social media account. Do you want to generate more leads? Increase community engagement? Raise awareness around your company’s community service and charitable giving? Set some goals for your company’s social media presence.

  • Set S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-sensitive. A S.M.A.R.T. goal for your business could look something like this: “For Facebook we will share photos that communicate our company’s dedication to customer service. We will do this by posting three photos a week. The target for each is 10 likes and 5 comments.”

  • Be realistic. It’s unlikely that your social media presence alone is going to turn around a failing business or increase your revenue by 300%. Set realistic goals that you can start working on in the short term and long term.

  • Don't be hyper-focused on retweets and likes. These metrics really don’t tell the whole story. Dig into social media analytics and track leads generated from social, web referrals, and your overall conversion rate.

Person using snapchat on their iPhone.

#2: Find inspiration.

Not sure what to post? Scroll through the social media pages of industry leaders like Extra Space Storage, SpareFoot, and Inside Self Storage to find post inspiration. Keep your brand’s image in mind and think about your goals as you’re looking for inspiration. Save your favorite posts using bookmarks in your browser or a bookmarking tool like Pocket. Bookmark things as you go, and you’ll gather post ideas that you can use week after week.

Another great tip for finding inspiration: Set up Google Alerts to notify you of news stories and blog articles that are relevant to your social media account. Get daily notifications in your email whenever “self storage” or your town’s name appear online. Don’t be afraid to repurpose content with your own spin on it.

Person using Facebook on the laptop with blue fingernail polish.

#3: Form a consistent brand image.

Consistency is key when it comes to online presence. You want your followers and the community to know what to expect from you and to consistently deliver on those expectations.

  • Show a familiar face. Your profile image, bio and cover image should be consistent across all of your social media accounts so that users can easily identify you. Once you find an image you like, stick with it. Don’t change it too frequently, or users won’t recognize you.

  • Identify your voice. Choose how you want to interact with your target audience. Do you want to project a funny, relatable vibe? Share motivational, thought-provoking content? Respond to comments using “we”, “I” or third person? Determine the voice of your brand and stick to it. I recommend writing down guidelines for all of the managers on your social media account.

  • Post consistently. Keep it consistent so that your target audience knows when and how frequently to expect your content. Routine is vital to social media success. Make a social media posting schedule that ties in with your overall goal and your brand’s image.

Person taking a picture with Instagram of a bridge in the woods.

#4: Make a plan.

Your social media schedule doesn’t have to be a complex Excel spreadsheet of content strategy. When you’re first starting out, keep it simple!

  • Start with a calendar. Mark down how often you want to post, where and when. For some, this might be as simple as posting once a day, three times a week. Not sure when to post? Check out your audience’s engagement using your page’s analytics to see when your audience is most active online. Or use the Facebook standard: 3PM is the most popular time of day for Facebook views and Thursday is the most popular day of the week for users to be on Facebook.

  • Save ideas for later. Remember those bookmarks that we talked about? If you see a post that gives you a great idea for something to post next week, save it in your calendar reminder so that you can easily find it when you need it.

  • Use the rule of thirds. If you’re still not sure what to post, try using the rule of thirds. Using these rules, you can make sure you’re not posting repetitively or annoying your audience with your content.

    • 1/3 of your posts promote your business
    • 1/3 of your posts share news, ideas, or stories related to the self storage industry
    • 1/3 of your posts are community oriented or just for fun

An iPhone with Twitter login screen and a cup of espresso.

#5: Evaluate your success and make adjustments as you go.

You’ve been executing your plan to a T, posting on your schedule, and maintaining a consistent brand image. Now is the perfect time to check out how you’re doing in relation to your goals by digging into social media analytics.

  • Track the number of likes, comments, followers and shares your social media page is receiving.

  • Check out any feedback you’ve gotten. Have your reviews spiked? Are you seeing a common trend in your comments?

  • Look up what your most popular post was (measured by likes, shares, and overall engagement). Compare it to less popular posts. What did you do differently?

  • Track website visits driven by social media using Google Analytics. Is your social media presence helping you increase leads and conversion rates?

It’s okay - even expected - that your social media plan may need a few adjustments as you learn more about your target audience and business goals. The most important thing for your social media page is to avoid being stagnant. Continue to post new content, engage with the online community, and be present online. Having a rich social media presence helps build trust with consumers and establishes a consistent online brand for your business.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this article, you may also like: A Quick and Easy Guide to Social Media (Infographic), How to Run Your Self Storage Social Media in 30 Minutes a Week, and 7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Social Media Presence.