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  1. #1
    teri_l's Avatar
    teri_l is offline Administrator
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    Default Social Networking: Friend or Foe?

    I see some of you posting about using social-networking services such as Facebook and Twitter, so I wanted to put this question out there: How do these tools really affect self-storage? Friend or foe?

    I just posted a blog about a self-storage company that faced a PR nightmare thanks to a disgruntled customer who took his complaint to the streets--literally. Staged a protest, which was quite bad enough, but then he posted the video on YouTube. E-mailed everyone he knew. A guy who drove by the protest also Twittered about it.

    Ah, the power of viral media. What do you think?
    Teri L. Lanza
    Editorial Director
    Inside Self-Storage
    www.insideselfstorage.com

  2. #2
    Autodoc's Avatar
    Autodoc is offline Mod eMeritus
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    After reading your blog (I admit it's the first I have read - my bad) my first comment has to be to the manager of the facility in question --

    why do you not lock your vacant units? This would have avoided the entire mess! It also keeps people from doing the "self upgrade" or from dumping trash. I have to say you brought this one on yourself.

    To the issue of Social Networking -- most of these people have a very short attention span -- their interest in a subject lasts just as long as it takes to go to the next subject or video of interest to them.

    Sure, I have pissed off my share of people - mostly because they refuse to follow the rules. Am I worried that they will "voice their opinion" on twitter or face book or any of the other sites - no.

    You have to remember that people pull these stunts mostly because they never grew up - they are still throwing tantrums because they don't know how to handle things as an adult or they want to get their 15 minutes of fame.

    Social Networks allows them to get their 15 minutes of fame 10 seconds at a time.

    Just my .02c -- for what it's worth these days.
    Wayne
    Jamestown, ND


    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

  3. #3
    Texanadian is offline Senior Member
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    Totally agree with you on the locking of the empty units, Wayne. That was the first thing that came to mind when I read the article too. As for the social networking, I'm willing to try it as a marketing tool. I do think that all the facebook, twitter, etc. is contributing to collective ADD.

  4. #4
    MisterJim444 is offline Senior Member
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    Teri:

    The Hollywood Story needs to be repeated and repeated to both owners and managers. There is no escaping the social networks and the potential for harm and good that they represent. Everyone needs to learn their way around this exploding virtual world.

    I was just on a site called www.Ning.com. Their “claim to fame” is: “Ning was started with a simple premise: when people have the freedom to create a new social experience online, uniquely customized for the most important people and interests in their lives with no effort, no cost, and infinite choice, the world is a better, more colorful and certainly more interesting place in which to live.”

    In less than a few minutes I was able to create a new stand alone network site called “Self Storage Consulting”. So the tools are already in place already even beyond Facebook YouTube and even Twitter. There will be no end to the ease with which anyone can have a presence on the internet and available to the entire world. Remember there is no fact checking or standard of Truth or even Conduct in WWW.land – Wild Wild Web!

    I have been recommending to clients for over a year now to get proactive on these various sites. In addition to having a platform to fight back against a disgruntled customer should that become necessary, in today’s market place you never know where that next lead and future renter will be exposed to your facility. The other behind the scenes reality is that most reporters are increasingly searching the internet for anything and everything about a business they are doing a story on - positive or negative. Wouldn’t it be great that they see the things that you are doing supporting your community like Toys for Tots – Thanksgiving Food Drives, etc. which you can be posting on your various social network sites. It is definitively not time for an ostridge imitation when it comes to dealing with the social network blogosphere.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  5. #5
    alexlekas Guest

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    once again, technology outpaces man's ability to use it responsibly. At no point, apparently, did the tenant take ANY responsibility for putting his stuff into the wrong unit. Instead, he goes on a half-cocked tirade about how 'the man' has once again kept him down with the facility getting absolutely no recourse, not even an apology for the hammering it took. It's like former Labor Secretary Raymond Donovan famously asked after being acquitted on charges of corruption, "where do I go to get my reputation back?"

    We've often heard the accusation is made on page 1, the retraction on page 21. This facility will likely rebound, people have short memories, and in the overall scheme of things, how many folks are really aware that there was a dispute of any kind. Still, it's like cameras in cell phones and accounts on Facebook and MySpace. How many folks thought they were sharing an inside joke with friends, only to learn the hard way that their foolish actions are accessible by anyone, including the companies at which these people had applied.

    MisterJim makes a good point regarding the need to learn your way around social networks. My concern is the lack of social grace that comes with them. Chat sites like this are in the minority in that we do not degenerate into verbal foodfights when discussing topics. No one questions another poster's intelligence, upbringing, genetic trail, etc. Sadly, we are the exception. Not hard to see how that can carry over to the social networking aspect that technology brings to bear.

    I'm of the mindset that, with the media and media tools, it is infinitely better to be proactive than reactive. "No comment" does not make a story go away; it just keeps your side from being aired. It is not that hard to talk to the press without actually saying anything; most journalists instinctively get that there are limits as to what certain folks can say.

    This speaks to other threads about having a media plan; dealing with this new avenue has to be part of your plan. Like every other medium, this is just a tool. Use it wisely.

  6. #6
    managers2 is offline Member
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    I've commented about services and products on my blog for several years now.

    I've been contacted by Fancast, Netflix, ect. Companies do frequent social networking sites.

    These days, one needs to be aware of this and take responsibility. It's true that people will move on but remember this is another type of Word of Mouth.

    How many of us have purchased a product or service based on Word of Mouth? Blogs and other social networking sites are no different.

  7. #7
    alexlekas Guest

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    managers2,

    the one difference that I see is the anonymity afforded by these vehicles. Look at how many folks blog under pseudonyms. The typical word of mouth recommendation comes from someone you're speaking with face to face or someone whose name you know. I'm not saying these newer means of communicating are bad, just that - as Teri's story shows - they give people the ability to throw bombs with virtually no repercussions.

  8. #8
    Gina6k's Avatar
    Gina6k is offline Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by alexlekas View Post
    Look at how many folks blog under pseudonyms.
    Therein lay my dilemma; use my name or the company name. Some days I'm not sure where one stops and the other begins. Since my signing up was motivated by capturing (or attempting to at least) a new customer base I selected the company name. I'm not a fan of the anonymous stuff, ergo using my real name on this forum. As my grandmothers and parents taught me; take responsibility and if you can't say something nice...

    Did you all notice the article on the ISS website regarding Facebook? Seems us old, feeble folks, especially us women are taking over Facebook! Dang, guess it's time for me to try to get with the program.
    Last edited by Gina6k; 14th April 2009 at 12:34 PM. Reason: missed a thought
    Gina 6k
    CochraneStorage dot com
    Morgan Hill, California
    twitter.com/CochraneStorage

    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!
    I am not an attorney, just an experienced manager who is willing to share what I have learned. Your thoughts, practices or opinions may vary and neither of us may be right.

 

 
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