Editor’s note: This post was originally published in December 2013 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

You’ve got your social media profiles up and running, but now you have to gain a following. It can certainly seem overwhelming with sources all over the internet telling you a thousand different things you need to do to optimize your social media presence.It doesn’t have to be complicated, though. You can manage your self storage social media in just a few minutes a week.

There are simple, easy ways to increase your visibility on social media platforms – little things that don’t take more than five or ten minutes. If your self storage business is small and just getting started, there’s no need to hire a social media expert to target your audience in a clear and engaging manner - you can DIY it! Here are a few simple steps to improve your social media presence:

1. Promote your social presence everywhere

And we do mean everywhere. As a small business, it’s essential to have all of your social media platforms integrated with each other. Your Facebook should be just a click away from your Youtube page, which (of course) is only a click away from your official website. This is all easy to do, and if you set your accounts up well, it’s already done. Providing links to everywhere you are online is also great for your SEO, and it helps users easily orient themselves to figure out where to go to rent and check out pictures of your facility. In the example below, RH Rebel Storage uses their Youtube descriptions (below the video player) to share all their most important info and links from around the web with users.

The description of RH Rebel Storage's YouTube video.

There are also ways to promote your social media presence off the web. Be sure to put links to your social media on your business cards, and try advertising social media promos on your facility’s sign. The most important thing is to engage your customers. There are lots of ways to remind them to “like” you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter – you can verbally ask them when they’re in your office, leave a little reminder on their invoices, or offer a discount or promotion for renters who like your Page on Facebook. It doesn’t take much to get someone to follow your storage facility online – it’s just a click of a button – as long as you keep your brand fresh in their minds.

2. Time your posts

This is one area where some social media marketers like to go crazy and get incredibly technical and scientific. Even marketing pros struggle with the timing of their posts, but for small businesses, it doesn’t have to be so complicated. Just check out what times seem to work best for your favorite social media platform, and try to post your updates then. If you notice you get more responses at a certain time of day or day of the week, take note of that and post more during those times.

The most important thing when posting on social media is being consistent. If you post three times in one week and then forget about it for a month, you’re not going to keep the interest of your followers, so try to keep the posts coming consistently. Once or twice a week should be enough for most small storage facilities.

3. Engage your audience

This one you’ve probably heard before, but it is worth repeating. Engage your audience. It’s called social media for a reason. Users aren’t looking for an endless stream of ads and coupons and robotic marketing speak – they want to talk to real people. So talk to them in a casual voice, respond to their questions, address their complaints, and join the online community with your brand’s unique personality. This will help prevent negative online reviews and bad publicity while also strengthening your brand and attracting new customers.

There are countless stories online about a company drawing an upset customer away from one of its competitors all because of an angry Twitter post, so keep your eyes open. It doesn’t take very long to search some keywords related to storage and see what’s been said recently on any given platform.

4. Thank your customers

In addition to answering questions and addressing complaints, one of the easiest ways to improve your social media presence and your customer service is simply thank customers who post on your page. If they share a compliment or a nice story, respond genuinely with gratitude. They’re doing your business a favor by providing you some good (and free!) press, so do them a favor and let them know their effort was appreciated.

5. Be creative

A huge part of social media is entertainment. Users want to see a funny picture or read an interesting news article, and self storage is no different. You can join in on fun social media posts and show your brand’s personality. If you find something amusing online, and it is on-brand, share it on your social media page! If you can’t find anything creative online that is right for your brand, you can always create something. Even if you’re not a Photoshop wiz, it’s easy to snap a quick pic with your smartphone or write a fun whiteboard message to start the conversation.

The big takeaway: Your followers want to know they’re not following a robot. Whether you post about your new manager or a local charity event, your goal is to be down-to-earth and draw the attention of people scrolling through their newsfeeds. If you find that one particular kind of post draws more attention than others, consider making that kind of post more often.

6. Use hashtags

Hashtags are the words you sometimes see crammed together after a pound sign (#). Hashtags categorize your post with an easily searchable tag - when a user clicks on the hashtag, it will take them to all the posts with that hashtag from around the site. They’ll make your posts more visible, so it’s very beneficial to your brand to use them - just don’t overdo it!

For example: Say you’re a new resident looking for self storage in Kansas City. You might search related #selfstorage hashtags to see what’s been said about a storage business near you. As a business owner, you can search through hashtags yourself and see what people are saying about your company or self storage in general. You’ll also learn what hashtags are popular and trending in your area so you can use the same ones and maximize your visibility.

7. Clean your pages of spam

Everyone gets spam. The bigger your web presence, the more you’ll get. So take a few minutes each day to read through comments on your page (which you should already be doing) and delete the ones that are nothing but spam. Don’t delete legitimate complaints or negative comments – address those. Simply delete spam that was obviously posted by bots or comments with no value or relevance to your page.

Most importantly, don’t let social media overwhelm you. Social media is only one branch of marketing, which is only one facet of running a business. You shouldn’t spend too much time trying to make your profiles perfect or hire a social media expert that puts a strain on your budget.

The tips outlined in this post are quick and easy steps that any self storage owner or manager can take to improve their company’s social media presence. You don’t have to try to tackle them all at once - just start using them as you get the opportunity, and with just a few minutes each day, you’ll slowly see your likes, shares, and social media leads increase.

For more expert tips on how to manage your social media pages efficiently (and bring in leads, too!), check out our latest free ebook with social media post templates and easy-to-use checklists.

Click here to download our free social media ebook.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this blog post, you may also like: 10 ways self storage businesses should be using video (with examples!), How users search for self storage + the #1 reason why you shouldn't obsessively Google yourself, and 5 creative ways to use Twitter to drive leads.