Twitter for Self Storage Operators & Movers, Part 6: Tweeters & Tools
Sara Heins |April 23, 2011
Here it is, my friends: The final chapter on using Twitter for self storage & movers’ marketing. I hope this section serves you well as a quick reference guide while you become more strategic with your tweets. Here’s what’s covered: Tweet Key , Twitter Goodies , Accessory Sites , and Industry Tweeters .
As I write this, Twitter is actively testing and changing features to prepare itself for monetization. The company hopes to earn cash from advertising and message broadcasting (just like Google or FaceBook). As a result, many of the features I’ve covered in this series may be tweaked by Twitter in the coming months. Still, for quite some time it will function the way it does today.
Remember, Twitter doesn’t work well for anybody as a get-rich-quick marketing tool. Its purpose – and its power – lie in helping you strike up connections, build your brand story, and deliver trust.
If you’re paying attention to the tweets throughout your Twitter community – and you should be – you’ve probably noticed that people often use distinctive commands and abbreviations. This unique shorthand makes it easier – and often necessary – to communicate in fewer than 140 characters. Refer to the following key to “translate” shorthand messages and to become a more effective, concise tweeter:
@username The symbol @ signifies a public reply to a tweeter. It will look like this: @NinjaSelfStore
D @username or DM @username “D” or “DM” signifies a private direct message, like this: D @NinjaSelfStore
hashtag (#) A hashtag is used for easy searching on Twitter, like this: #yourcity or #contest (people love contests!)
RT @username This means “retweet,” as in “this message originated from someone else and I think it’s worth forwarding,” like this: RT @NinjaSelfStore
PRT @username This means “partial tweet,” as in “I am forwarding a piece of someone else’s note but not the whole note,” like this: PRT @NinjaSelfStore
MT @username This means “modified tweet,” as in “this message originated somewhere else and I changed it a bit, like this: MT @NinjaSelfStore
HT @username This means “hat tip;” it’s a way of attributing a great link to another tweeter, like this: HT @NinjaSelfStore
via @username This signifies that a tweet was started by someone else or can be attributed in some way to another tweeter, like this: via @NinjaSelfStore
#followfriday__ or #ff Put this before a list of users you think are worth following; these are usually sent out on Fridays, and they’re great for letting people know they have your attention
Intentionally, I have not included a glossary of conversational abbreviations like LMAO or IMHO. Since we’re talking about self storage marketing and not American Idol Fan Club, I recommend against using SMS (texting) lingo. Some shorthand is okay, but millenial-generation shorthand is annoying and distracting. You want to be understood in a split second.
Did I miss any Twitter shorthand? Please comment below.
Twitter offers several handy tools and tips on its own website. I suggest that you spend a few minutes exploring the Twitter Help Center to learn more. Twitter’s entire site is built to be easy.
You can learn how to do it too, in Twitter Goodies. Twitter lets you customize the widget to your site’s colors, and it looks really nice [if you have good taste that is, wink wink]. Even better, it adds fresh content to your page—and everybody knows: Google lu-u-urves fresh content.
By the way, if you’d like your Twitter feed to appear in the “Description” area of your StorageFront page, call Rick at 913-469-0997 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep your eyes open for new developments on Twitter. It seems like things are constantly changing. For example, it has recently launched a location feature (Twitter Places) to interface with FourSquare. That will likely be expanded in the future.
Check out these tiny accessory programs that make Twitter even easier, handier, more educational and more fun. Oh yeah, there are a lot of ‘em, with more in development all the time. Don’t underestimate the growing influence of Twitter.
Bit.ly URL shortener and statistics tracker (free)
Brizzly Web-based Twitter dashboard, lets you manage multiple Twitter accounts (free)
HootSuite Lets you manage many social accounts (free; iPhone app is $2.99; Premium has fee)
Klout Identifies influencers on topics across the social web
MapMash.in Displays trends big cities; allows checking on keywords to see what’s talked about
Monitter Lets you monitor the Twitter world for a set of keywords, watch what people are saying
Paper.li Read Twitter like a daily newspaper, helps filter through the noise (free)
PollDaddy Create a poll and send it to your followers in seconds (free)
QuoteURL Groups different tweets from different people into a single page with its own URL
Seesmic Helps you manage and build your whole social community directly in your browser
SocialOomph Helps manage your Twitter accounts and communications ($0 to $29.97 per month)
Tlists Lets you search by topic, see popular lists, or create your own list (free)
Trendistic Shows big-picture Twitter trends (free); win followers by touching on what’s hot!
Tweepi Twitter follow management, with statistics (free)
TweetBeep Twitter alerts hourly by email (this would drive me to drink—before lunch, that is)
TweetDeck Software (must be downloaded) for managing multiple accounts (free)
TweetMeme Those little green buttons that let you tweet the article you’re reading (free)
Twitlonger Lets you make your tweets longer than 140 characters via link to whole tweet
TwitPic Lets you share photos on Twitter, real-time (free)
TwitterCounter Tracks the top Twitter accounts based on number of followers (free)
Twitterfeed Automatically feeds your blog content to Twitter, FaceBook and more
Twitterrific Keeps Twitter open on your Mac desktop
TwitterTimes Presents Twitter like a daily newspaper, helps filter through the noise (free)
Twtpoll Ask questions, get feedback “in seconds” (free)
WeFollow A Twitter directory by the founder of Digg; add yourself, it’s free!
yfrog Lets you share photos and videos on Twitter, real-time (free).
StorageFront’s team has been active on Twitter for the past several months. In that time, certain industry tweeters have caught my eye by offering much more than the “me-me-me” ads and self-promotional tweets that are so prevalent today. These tweeters offer timely news, valuable advice, clever marketing and fun interactivity.
Please comment below this post if you would like to recommend another tweeter for the list. If you’re interested in following more “web marketing influencers” outside of our self storage focus, email me; I have a huge list.
@StorageFront At StorageFront, several people “tweet”—Rick, Marc, Chris, Lesley, Mia, CJ, Steve, and even some dudes from our development hive. However, Twitter is generally managed by me (Carrie) with help from Tom. We talk web marketing tips for operators, storage tips for renters, links to interesting stories we’ve read, links to our blogs, responses to marketing questions, random observations, and shouts out to our peeps.
@MiniCoMessenger To quote MiniCo’s Twitter profile, “Since 1979 Mini Storage Messenger has delivered information to the self storage industry.” The industry media channel’s tweets mainly cover mini storage news and webinar announcements. Say hey to Poppy.
@SelfStorageMag Inside Self Storage (ISS) magazine tweets about industry happenings, news releases, recent magazine articles, conversations from the Self Storage Talk forum, and other topics of interest to self storage operators, managers and vendors.
@SelfStorageTalk I’m assuming Ozkan Kenes is the search marketing guru over at eMove based on his Twitter bio, “Love to work on Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Online Consumer Behavior, Affiliate Marketing, Business and Web Analytics.” Ozkan tweets about self storage news, real estate / investment, and search marketing.
@SelfStorageAssn The national trade association for the self storage industry sometimes – not often – shares news, announcements and conference updates of interest to SSA members.
@SelfStorAll aka @StorageWannabe Paul Reynolds up in Vancouver has only been active on social networks for a couple of months, and already he’s a pro. I recommend following and learning from Paul. He’s filming videos to post on YouTube, socializing on FaceBook, and diversifying tweets on Twitter to be of interest to both the local Kamloops community and the self storage industry at large. That’s ambitious.
@MoishesMoving & @MoishesStorage I have long admired this New York based company for its excellent branding and marketing campaigns, including terrific blog posts and tweets. Itamar Kestenbaum is the company’s Twitter representative; he posts a quality array of advice, links, and one-on-one conversations.
@MovingPro North Star Moving in California tweets ideas and resources throughout the day for finding reliable moving services and for easing a relocation.
@jsdrftng Jason Setzer in Adkins, Texas is a self-proclaimed tech geek who drafts construction drawings for self storage. Some of his sundry tweets are technologically erudite, probably better suited for the nerds among us… Like me.
@OrganizeClosets The OrganizeClosets.com website offers tips and tricks for building closet systems. Even though it isn’t directly related to self storage or moving, it offers a lot of different advice and blog posts throughout the day—things that you could pass on to your customers & followers. However, let me warn you: @organizeclosets tweets too much. Sometimes it seems like they’ve taken over my Twitter window.
@CleverTips Like OrganizeClosets.com, Jacquie Ross tweets declutter and DIY strategies. She’s a good source of ideas and advice for renters and relocators.
@DanaAndShosh This odd little indie film project about two vastly different women living together in a storage unit adds a touch of irreverence to the self storage industry. And like I’ve said in previous blog posts, I get a kick out of self storage’s funny side. Self storage itself is a pretty ridiculous concept that thrives because we’re a pretty ridiculous bunch of mammals. Anyhoo, word to the conservative: don’t follow. The Dana and Shosh show is rated “P” for potty mouths.
@NinjaSelfStore Ninja Self Storage tweets the lunatic ravings of a self storage mad man—er, make that self storage mad monkeys. If you need self storage, you should probably rent Ninja Self Storage. “Or don’t. It’s your life, man.”
Here’s to Successful Tweeting
Thanks for following me on this trip down Twitter Lane. If you have any questions or suggestions, just tweet us! (Or post a comment below).