This post was originally written by Mia Iverson.

I know in the past we’ve talked about the power of Twitter here, but as I was perusing my usual sources, I came upon “21 Twitter Tips From Socially Savvy Companies” – a rather intriguing, and robust article about engaging with your customer base and audience via Twitter. The companies outlined in “21 Twitter Tips…” range from software to shoe corporations, so I see no reason why the self storage industry can’t take advantage of this social media platform as well.

While you can go read the full list by Brian Solis at Fast Company, I’ve taken the opportunity to highlight the top 5 here.

No. 1: Special Offers

At best, even the most qualified information sourced from the most trusted contacts will receive only a cursory overview. The trick is to concisely introduce the value up front. If the offer is compelling and affiliated with their interests, the consumer will make the connection to personal value and benefits and click-through to redeem the special or coupon when ready or so inclined.

In self storage language, this means that whatever product or offer you are promoting to either your current renters or potentially new ones, it must resonate with your company and reflect what you stand for. It also needs to make a connection with your renters as well. Ask yourself, why would a renter want to click through and take advantage of this deal? Is it in their best interest? What does this offer say about us as a company? Food for thought.

No. 2: Ordering

While the distance between introduction and action is only separated by a link, many businesses are using Twitter to log orders.

Ever think of twitter as a capacity to communicate directly with renters and secure their unit through social media? While there’s no way to track such leads like you can through, Twitter is a reasonable and amiable way to reach out to customers and take care of their storage unit needs.

No. 3: Word of Mouth Marketing

Solis used Moonfruit as an example in this case study.

Moonfruit offered 11 Macbook Pros and 10 iPod Touches to celebrate its 10th anniversary… One month following the completion of the contest, Moonfruit site traffic was up 300% and sales also increased by 20%… Wendy White, Moonfruit’s CEO, realizes that there’s a fine line between effective and destructive #tweetowin campaigns: “Such campaigns must be courteous and fit with a company’s brand, lest you draw the ire of the Twitter-sphere.”

In this case, the self storage industry can offer many things to its followers on Twitter. It could be one month free rent. Free truck rental. 50 percent off a truck rental. Discount on packing supplies. You name it! The possibilities are endless. And with just one tweet, with just one special offer, who knows the kind of traffic you’ll get. Possibilities are endless.

No. 4: Conversation Marketing

Zappos (@zappos) doesn’t necessarily market on Twitter; instead, it “unmarkets” via conversations and engagement. At current count, 436 Zappos employees use Twitter, including CEO Tony Hsieh. For the record, Tony has over 1 million followers.

Engage with your twitter followers. One great thing about Twitter is the one-to-one interactions that can take place on its social media platform. Tweet about what’s going on behind the scenes. Pose questions that would interest your customers. Let it be a back-and-forth conversation, letting your customer base see a more personal side of you and your self storage facility.

Drum roll please….

And last, but not least!

No. 5: Customer Service

…director of digital care at Comcast, uses Twitter to help 200 to 300 subscribers a day. Frank and his 10-person help desk receive direct questions, but also proactively seek out complaints. His key to success lies in his desire to earn relations, not bark advice or chat people up.

A great way for renters to ask advice, request assistance, gain your attention, or even complain if they want, is via Twitter. You can address customer concerns, questions, and needs directly using the Direct Message feature (DM). Be a “service-focused” facility for your renters. Pay attention and communicate.

The article continues with great tips and details on how to effectively wield that twitter account that I hope all of you have set up. It touches base on the importance of business development, mobile marketing, user-generated change, and hosted conversations that generate traffic and referrers.