Finally, after months of begging, I was able to catch the development team on the right day and convince them that updating our company blog was the most important task on their list. To be honest and fair, the business development team at USstoragesearch.com adds more wish-list items to our development teams’ project list than we should ever be allowed to and they do a terrific job of keeping things humming around here (hopefully I capitulated enough to stay on their good side!).
The USstoragesearch.com blog has been overdue for a makeover for some time now. The current blog is just over 3 years old and hasn’t seen a significant upgrade since its initial launch. We actually began planning for the blog upgrade more than a year ago. At that time we knew we wanted to communicate with better content and more often. As is the case with many companies though, keeping up with communication just wasn’t something we ever left enough time for. We had plenty to say and share, but at the end of the day blogging and using social outlets properly was the easiest daily task to put off until tomorrow. Our content ended up being forced at times and that wasn’t how we wanted to share with our members and our customers.
So we laid out a plan at the beginning of last summer and have been following it ever since. The first thing the core group here knew we were in need of was someone to keep us on track and to hold us accountable to meeting our goals. We had interviewed dozens of “social media” candidates but nothing was striking the right chord. We didn’t need someone who could recite the how-to’s of corporate communication. We needed someone to help us develop a blended voice, could engage our customers and members and who understood where we wanted to be at the end of a 6, 12, 18 and 24 month period. Enter Laura Gee. Laura was a journalism major with corporate communication experience who had also spent time teaching English in public schools for various age groups. Perfect–someone who can help us develop the content, edit it and smack our hands with a ruler when we stray from the path we set.
Laura joined us full time last summer and has been the most important part of our “communicative growth”. After the addition of Laura we found need for other team members in the content and social media areas of our company. We have steadily sought out and added the right people and have gotten Mitch, Kevin, Kristin, Janel, Aaron, Ryan…the team keeps growing.
The outwardly visible changes started showing up at the beginning of 2012 in our social media outlets. Through the end of last year you could say that we were sporadic sharers via the various social media outlets we had available to us. When we did share, it wasn’t with engaging content nor was what was being shared being tailored to the vastly different audiences. That had to change and it did at the beginning of this year. Today, our posts on Facebook and our Tweets have a purpose and rarely will you find the same message posted across all outlets at the same time (when you do it is something like today’s first social post of the day that translates across all audiences). We communicate with our Facebook Fans with content and posts they will find interesting and want to see. Our tweets are directed at a different audience altogether, as are our Google+ posts.
After several months we felt as though we were starting to get a handle on our short-form communication via social and it was time to look at our company blogs. We now had a diverse content team and the ability to produce content that people actually wanted to read and would engage with. We still weren’t ready to tackle the primary USstoragesearch.com blog so step one was a new blog. Several months ago we launched our Everything Home by USstoragesearch.com blog to test ideas and to work on building up a trusted content team. The readership and following of the Everything Home blog has blown us away. This was originally intended as a first run at a new blog format and a place for content that wasn’t a direct fit for the USstoragesearch.com corporate blog. Our writers have done such a good job of producing quality writing that monthly unique visits to the blog were in the tens of thousands within 120 days of the launch of the new blog and readership continues to grow month after month.
Do we expect Everything Storage by USstoragesearch.com to be as big of a hit? We hope so. We will have the same content team many of you have come to know and love, plus several new additions. The team has been charged with writing unique, quality articles that will be of use to you. Not every article will apply to everyone of course, but we think what we have on the drawing boards will be information worth a few minutes of your day.
The site will be broken down into 5 primary sections:
–Getting The Most Out of Storage: These articles will be tailored to the self storage consumer who will benefit from moving and storage tips. That doesn’t mean these pieces won’t hold value to self storage operators, too. We hope you will share these tips with your customers to help their move and overall storage experience a better one.
–Storage Industry News: This section will contain original news stories and shared news stories from the storage industry. We plan to keep it short and give you the who/what/when/where/why in an easily digestible format so you can stay current on the latest news without losing much of your day. If there is something you would like us to write about let us know. If you have news about your storage facility you want to share just send it over to us at [email protected] and we will share it under the Storage Industry News section for free.
–Self Storage Marketing: These articles will be aimed at storage operators concentrating on storage marketing and management.
–USstoragesearch.com News: The new blog will also be a great place to keep up with news from and about USstoragesearch.com.
–Working at USstoragesearch.com: We are excited to add a new section designed to give you a better idea of the team working for you at USstoragesearch.com. Meet the team, see what we do for fun, check out career opportunities and learn a little bit more about the culture of USstoragesearch.com.
As always, we welcome your input and constructive criticism. If there is something you would like us to write about let us know.
We sincerely hope you enjoy Everything Storage by USstoragesearch.com.