There’s no denying it: Social media is a boon for businesses that know how to use it to their advantage. Just take a look at Storage Asset Management (SAM).

Founded in 2010, SAM manages more than 270 stores today, encompassing more than 17 million square feet of self-storage in 33 states — pretty impressive, given the company launched with only 22 management contracts. In fact, SAM’s growth can be directly attributed to its ability to harness social to connect with customers and mine referrals, increase and improve its online presence, and understand customer sentiment.

As a self-storage third-party management company, SAM’s responsibilities include managing operations, marketing and accounting for its third-party owners. It’s the marketing component that really presented a challenge for the growing company: First, SAM found that it needed a way to manage and respond to service and site reviews; second, SAM wanted to grow its review volume across many locations; and third, it wanted to improve its SEO so that the company appeared higher in regional searches. SAM quickly identified that customer reviews would become an important element to overcoming these challenges, as approximately 50% of its customers have never used storage before and online reviews are typically the first place they would turn in their research.

Reputation management

As an early tech adopter, SAM was unafraid to use technology to better manage online customer reviews and gain more sources of customer sentiment and insights. The company determined that a reputation experience management platform would help. SAM turned to Reputation, settling on three of its solutions.

The first is Reputation’s Reviews solution, which helps SAM take control of listing reviews and enables review responding through social media. The second is Review Booster. This solution helps SAM increase its reviews per location on Google, with a goal of three new reviews per location, per month. The last solution is Insights, which helps SAM understand the customer feedback it receives across social sites and identify trends in customer sentiment.

Because Reputation pulls in feeds from a range of social media sites and delivers them to a single in-box, it became much easier for SAM’s social team to manage feedback from the 76 brands it represents. The team no longer must spend time scouring each brand’s Facebook page for messages to respond to. Reputation also allows SAM to see the data and metrics behind Google My Business messaging activity. For example, SAM sees the average length of response time to customer inquiries on a given page and whether the page is receiving more customer service or sales messages.

With Reputation, SAM has had some considerable success. In fact, by implementing Reputation, the company has seen a 78% spike in overall review volume — the company did obtain new managed stores, but its ratings also increased from 4.6 to 4.7. In addition, a 65% increase year-over-year in Google review volume from 2019 to 2020 improved the search rankings for each location. SAM has received 857 more Google reviews fed into its Insights trend analysis, and it has experienced a 12% open rate increase with Reputation’s Review Booster (vs. standard review requests).

With help from Reputation, SAM is able to harness the power of the customer voice across social media to grow its own business.

Melissa Stiles is the Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Storage Asset Management (SAM), where she is responsible for the direction of marketing for SAM and its managed self-storage facilities.

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