SpareFoot StorageWhen you hear the words “social hospitality,” the storage industry doesn’t necessarily come to mind.

The storage industry probably elicits memories of angry auction people on a television show, or the summers between your sophomore and junior year of college.

Nevertheless, it is a massive industry that is starting to realize the effectiveness of utilizing social media.

Now, how does something like the storage industry fall into something like social hospitality?

Let’s start with the word hospitality. When you need storage, all you are looking for is a secure place to store your things for an indefinite amount of time. Having a wonderful facility manager to guide you through your experience can definitely make a difference. At its core, the storage industry is very service based.

Storage facilities are starting to learn that utilizing social media can be used to their advantage. By using Twitter and Facebook, facility owners can have conversations with their customers, answering questions and concerns regarding their specific location or services.

Through these avenues, they can also announce deals, promotions, and further extend quality service to their customers.

Sadly, there are some facilities that use social media as an avenue to reroute customer complaints. Of course, addressing complaints is not always a bad thing, but balancing between the two is a necessary act. Engaging customers is far more successful than being merely a constant stream of apologies.

Social media is especially useful to the very small mom-and-pop-owned storage facilities that don’t really have a voice in the industry. Considering advertising can be a bit pricey at times, being able to promote through social media is a viable option for those that have the commitment to maintaining a strong online presence.

The storage industry is starting to wake up and realize the importance of having an online presence. Granted, some facilities do a poor job at maintaining it: One facility’s Twitter stream is filled with at-replies apologizing to complaints while asking their customers to email their concerns.

Others extend their hospitality by engaging current and future customers through conversation and getting to know exactly who uses their facility. The important thing to remember is that storage is a service-based company and listening to your customer is key. If one can translate that digitally through social media, social media can be a successful endeavor for anyone in the industry.

This guest post was contributed by Joseph Ver. Joseph is a student at Saint Edward’s University in Austin, Texas. He enjoys watching movies, going out to eat, and complaining about his homework and projects. He works for SpareFoot, a company that helps customers locate storage in their area.