Expert Insights: The power of online reputation management

A self storage operator’s online reputation is everything. Before the internet, customers would rely only on a few recommendations from friends and family to choose a facility, but now, they have thousands of reviews right at their fingertips to sway their decision. With online reviews seen as a credible source, a couple of stars or even a comment has the power to make or break your business.

Managing your reputation online, whether it be on social media or popular review platforms like Google reviews or Trustpilot, is an essential way to build trust with potential customers and boost revenue. We recently caught up with the communications and reputation specialist, Rob Baird, to discover just how valuable online reputation management is for self storage operators, and how your facility can harness it to drive enquiries.

The key to building trust and enquiries

One of the first things a customer does when choosing a self storage facility is to look at their online reviews. These testimonials act as word-of-mouth advertising, providing them with all the information they need, from how good a facility’s customer service is to the quality of their security. Positive reviews not only help you build trust with tenants but can also be a key driver of enquiries.

“Enquiry generation is the lifeblood of any self storage business, in any market, and the way in which these enquiries are generated has shifted significantly with digitalisation having taken the sector to a completely different landscape. If the online reputation of a self storage operator is jeopardised in any way, it will significantly impact enquiry generation. It’s all about trust – without this, users of the product will simply go elsewhere,” says Rob.

Google is good for business

Google is known as the gatekeeper of the internet. It’s the first place customers will turn to find something and the last place they will go if they have had a bad experience. With so many people using Google as their preferred search engine, having a good reputation here is essential. “Google needs to be your friend,” Rob says. “With so many more people searching for self storage in Google, you need to ensure that your reputation on this platform is a positive one.”

Encouraging your tenants to leave a review on Google is a good way to build a credible reputation online. The more positive reviews you have here, the higher your chances are of converting enquiries into move-ins. This one is all about giving the best customer service possible.

A social operator is a successful one

Over the years, social media has evolved from a simple networking platform to an essential business tool. Many customers now use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to leave positive feedback, call a facility out on their errors or find out more information on its products or services. Being active in this space is an easy way to engage with your current tenants, find new ones and manage bad publicity before it goes viral.

“It’s critical that you use social media to engage with your audiences so that you are front of mind when it comes to the need for the product. Most often, the first place that people shop around for self storage is either on Google or social media. If the general narrative on your platforms is negative, they’ll very quickly be dissuaded from using your product.” Rob says.

At Digital First, we offer self storage operators a variety of specialised digital marketing services, including online reputation management and social media marketing. Whether you’re looking to increase your social following or Google review rating, we have the knowledge and experience to help brands stand out and succeed online. Contact us today to find out more or get a free online audit today.