How to embrace Pinterest for your business
Amy Daniels |February 08, 2016
If you’re a storage operator, chances are you’ve considered using social media to engage with potential customers and draw in more leads. Perhaps you already have a Facebook page up and running, or maybe you’re learning the art of tweeting. But with an average daily user count of 1.36 million and a demographic that shares close similarities with self storage renters, could Pinterest be a social network that’s more powerful than you originally thought?
Pinterest’s customers are likely your customers
One of the most compelling reasons for storage operators to use Pinterest is the fact that its users are strikingly similar to the core demographic for self storage renters. The majority of pinners are female, have some level of disposable income, and are at least 25 years old: matching almost perfectly the most common customers for storage facilities:
Along with its demographics, Pinterest shares related interests with the storage world. Some of the most commonly pinned categories on Pinterest are DIY and Crafts, Home Decor, Technology, Holidays and Events, and Gardening — all of which directly relate to storage.
How to approach Pinterest and why it’s different
One of the great things about Pinterest is that you don’t have to produce loads of original content to get involved and succeed. There are two ways to engage in topics, which will improve your facility’s visibility to your prime customers:
Add your own content, whether it’s from your blog, your website, or even from another one of your social media accounts. Share and organize content you find (called re-pinning), be it from people you follow on Pinterest or storage-related blogs like SpareFoot or ISS.
What should you talk about and pin?
Because each Pinterest account is organized into “boards” (or categories), it’s easy to share pins that relate to a variety of topics. Let’s break it down so you can keep a steady stream of topics cycling through your Pinterest account:
These kinds of pins are those that should immediately come to mind as a storage operator: organization, cleaning, college preparation, and home renovations. Whether you post an original blog post with storage tips or you find an interesting infographic from SpareFoot, sharing storage related content is a simple, effective way to get involved.
Location-specific and target audience topics
These kinds of topics are those that may not be relevant on a national scale — and that’s okay. By honing in on topics that are useful for your general area, the pinners you reach are more likely to utilize your services. These kinds of topics could include articles or pictures about:
Seasonal storage and weather tips for your area
Tips for cycling through seasonal clothing
Points of interest in your city and/or state
Facts and pictures about your local college
Camping ideas (especially if you provide vehicle storage)
Unique features of your facility
One thing you may not have considered is that there are other businesses on Pinterest, many of which are concerned about the same things as you (management, marketing, ROI, accounting, operations, etc.) Not everything you pin has to be geared toward suburban moms. In fact, sharing ideas and accomplishments from your business could potentially attract commercial customers in your area.
An extremely good example of a facility that uses this approach is Manhattan Mini Storage. Their Pinterest account has 26 boards, broken down by categories like “Reasons to get storage,” “Apartment style,” “DIY,” “Small spaces revamped,” and even “Amazing ads.” This last category features advertisements they’ve used for their storage facilities, and that board alone has 365 followers. By sharing the operational side of self storage, you can connect with other business owners and entrepreneurs, and you may even connect with facility owners in other regions (a quick way to earn yourself some referrals when their customers move to your town).
You don’t have to limit yourself
Of course, the more storage related your pins are, the more they’ll be relevant to leads for your facility. But take a look again at Manhattan Mini Storage. Some of their “off-topic” boards include “This made us laugh,” “Eat up,” and “Animals we adore.” Sometimes simply being a fun, active member of social media is enough to spread your reach — as well as make it easier to maintain your account with fresh content. Just think: If you enjoy the process of pinning, you’ll naturally spend more time doing so. Can you say the same for all of your social media accounts?
A guide to mastering the Pinterest pin
You already know what kinds of topics to pin to get involved. But how can you best optimize each pin that you add to your profile? Check out this visual to learn about the elements of an effective Pinterest pin, whether you choose to share your own content or re-pin what you find:
A guide to mastering your Pinterest profile
Finally, there are a few simple tricks for making your Pinterest profile the best it can be. This diagram will give you an idea of what your profile should look like (using “Westwood Self Storage” as a fictional example):
Take a look at each section of a Pinterest profile, checking that your account matches up along the way:
Next, make the best use of your boards, which users can choose to follow instead of (or along with) your Pinterest profile:
Build followers by finding people who live in your area (potential customers), following storage facilities in different regions, and searching for accounts you find inspiring or interesting.
Now get to pinning!
When used in conjunction with your other social media accounts and marketing efforts, Pinterest can be a great way to increase brand recognition for your business. Many of the topics that are most popular on Pinterest are related to the storage industry, and many of its dedicated pinners are prime customers for your facility, making it a fun way to engage with customers and get your name out there.
For additional resources on social media, head to How to Run Your Self Storage Social Media in 30 Minutes a Week, 7 Simple Steps to Improve Your Social Media Presence, and 6 Tips for Running Your Storage Facility's Social Media Accounts.