How many times have you heard that if you're not on social media, your business won't grow? Or read an article or someone's Facebook post detailing how Instagram/Periscope/Snapchat is the new social media platform you MUST be on to generate new clients?
Better yet, do you feel like there's not enough time in the day for social media because there are just too many places you feel like you're supposed to be at all times?
It's so hard to try and live in a biz bubble where you can focus on your own stuff, without all the noise from other holistic biz owners sharing what made them successful.
One was successful on Instagram, and make thousands from it each month. Another couldn't have had a 5-figure launch with Periscope. And don't forget how Pinterest brought someone else 50 new e-mail list subscribers every day of last year!
It's. freaking. overwhelming.
So, in 2015, I decided that I was going to forget about Facebook and Pinterest, I deleted my Twitter account altogether (*gasp*!) and just focused on Instagram. I invested in a program to teach me how I could grow my following and income from it. I upped my game in picture taking and styling. I blocked off time each week to take said pictures and to interact with other holistic nutritionists. I shared my little heart out with personal stories that generated tons of likes and comments. I doubled my followers. I included CTA's (calls to action) to click to read my blog posts and to get my free 2016 blog planner (which was super popular, by the way). I Instagrammed my little heart out.
And then, I was listening to a webinar on creating income on Instagram, and it reminded me that I hadn't checked my Google Analytics lately to see how many people were actually visiting my website from Instagram. Do you want to know what the grand total was in the last half of 2015?
8. 8 people. That's it. The first thought that came into my mind was "are you fucking kidding me!?!?". I've probably spent 2 hours a week (at least) for the past 6 months on Instagram, trying to generate traffic to my website. That's over 52 hours for only 8 people. That is a TERRIBLE investment of my time!
On the outside (i.e. what everyone else can see), I was killing it. A great conversion rate from people scrolling to liking or leaving comments is 3-6% on any one post, and I had posts average 7% to 10% interaction rates! I was curating my feed so it's beautiful! People were leaving comments that I was inspiring them, and how my pictures were so pretty!
And it didn't matter one little bit, because none of them were clicking to my website, none of them were joining my e-mail list, which means that I estimate the chances of them becoming paying clients was somewhere between zero and no chance in hell.
In the meantime, with me almost completely ignoring Pinterest and Facebook, do you know how many people came to my website from those two platforms over the same period of time?
Here's what I learned from looking at those numbers:
- Some biz people recommend choosing one or two platforms and crush it, because you can't be good at everything. I completely agree ... but I had chosen the wrong platform because people weren't actually converting to my e-mail list (where most of your $$ will be made).
- I love being on Instagram because I'm a very visual person who likes being inspired by pretty pictures. That's still totally fine if I want to browse through my IG feed on a daily basis just for shits and giggles, but I shouldn't have put all my business eggs in that pastel, impeccably styled basket because I haven't been finding paying clients on there. I can still take the same beautiful pics and write honest, soul-baring posts, but if I share them on Facebook I actually get clicks and to my website and people signing up to my e-mail list. I should have never moved my focus away from it. To tell you the truth, I was tired of Facebook and the lack of personal connection. It felt like everyone was just sharing links to stupid articles and crap that I didn't want to see (yes, I know I can unsubscribe from posts by those people, and I do on a regular basis), however, I didn't separate my personal and my business activity on it, and that's where I went wrong.
- I need to optimize my website better to actually capture the traffic that's coming from Pinterest and Facebook. When I analyze the traffic from Google Analytics, I can see that 90% of the Pinterest traffic is to one particular blog post on my health blog, which I migrated over from my old holistic nutrition site. Not very much of the traffic is converting to e-mail leads, mostly because I haven't optimized that post. I have it on my to-do list to put in an extra lead magnet to capture more of that traffic and create a better passive sales funnel. If I spend even one work day (7 hours) on that activity and can capture a measly 1% of the traffic from Pinterest, I could add dozens of people to my health list every month without even trying since that one particular pin is now generating shares and traffic in a 100% passive manner. The new sales funnel could generate a few hundred dollars a month from those leads, from a one-time, 7 hour investment of time on my end. Totally worth it! Most of the Facebook traffic is for the business coaching side of my website, so I don't see it as a priority to go back and optimize any particular blog posts (yet), considering that my priority right now is to get my first online program completed by March.
I obviously wasn't tracking my numbers very well if it took me over 6 months to notice that all my hours spent on Instagram weren't resulting in e-mail list growth. All of the growth was coming from Facebook, and I didn't even know it.
I won't let this happen again! I now have a monthly calendar reminder on the 1st of every month to update my social media numbers, and see which networks were sending me the most traffic to my website (and to which pages).
I also made a tracker so that I can keep all my numbers in one place (you can get it for free below!). Plus, you know what they say:
FYI: this is also why I record my income everyday of the year as I receive it on my biz money tracker. I am constantly aware of how much money I've made in my business, and it feels so good to see it grow throughout the year!
So, the big Q for you is: how do you figure out what social media platforms you should be on?
Answer: go where your ideal clients are.
Here's how you do it:
1. If you don't already have a website or e-mail list
Find 5-10 people who fit your criteria for your ideal client, personally send them a message or e-mail (or even old-school call them on the telephone), and straight up ask them what social media platforms they use.
Keep it to one question, and no more than 3 paragraphs. If it's too long, people are busy and will skip over the message because they will mean to answer it later, and never will. Keep a tally of the answers, and that's where you should start!
2. If you already have an e-mail list
If the majority of these people are your ideal clients (i.e. not your mom, family, or other people you begged to join your e-mail list so that you had someone to send it to), these people are gold, baby, GOLD! But only if they are your ideal clients. If they're not, follow step #1 above. If they are your ideal client, send out a quick, multiple choice survey that will take them no more than 2 minutes for them to complete. I use the free version of SurveyMonkey, as you can analyze the results quickly to get useful data.
If you anticipate having a hard time getting people to respond, offer an extra freebie for all who answer the survey. This freebie could be a coupon for a percentage off a paid program or product, a free meal plan, a sample of an essential oils, or a free yoga class. Get creative with this, and you could even generate revenue from it!
3. If you have a website but don't have Google Analytics set up
OMG, go and do this immediately. Seriously, follow the steps below to set up GA on your website NOW.
If you have a website hosted on Wordpress, click here to read an article and watch a video on how to set up Google Analytics account and link it to your website. I'd recommend using the Yoast Google Analytics plugin, which is what I used when I had a custom Wordpress site.
If you have a website hosted on Squarespace (like me!), linking your Google Analytics account to your website is super easy. Click here and follow the steps .... you'll be done in 5 minutes.
4. If you have a website and already have Google Analytics set up
The hardest part about having Google Analytics set-up on your account is remembering to check it! That's why I set the reminders in the calendar to check it on the 1st of every month, and update my social media tracker for the month that just ended. I can then decide if my plan for generating revenue in 2016 is going as planned based on this extra info, or if anything needs to be changed.
First, log into your Google Analytics account, and click on your website name to expand it. Then, click on "All Web Site Data".
Below is what the reporting home page will look like. You'll want to click on the date range in the top right-hand corner, and change it to the range that you're interested in. For example, I update my tracker monthly, so I usually pick a range for just the month I'm interested in. The below example is the for the last 6 months of 2015.
For your overall social media referrals, in the left hand menu click on Acquisition > Social > Overview, and GA will show you the total number of sessions (i.e. the number of times your website was visited in the time range you chose, including repeat visitors) referred from the biggest social media platforms. Record this in the tracker.
Note: not all social media platforms are tracked through Google Analytics. For instructions on how to track your referred website clicks from platforms like Periscope, download the free social media tracker below.
To track what your most popular content is from each social media channel, so you can optimize it to capture new leads and e-mails addresses, in the left hand menu click on Behaviour > Site Content > Landing Pages. This will show you which pages are most popular for people to visit in general, whether they were coming from social media or not.
To figure out what landing pages people visited from just social media, you can chose a secondary dimension at the top of your data chart. Click on "Secondary Dimension", then choose Acquisition > Source.
Now you'll see a new column beside every landing page that shows the amount of traffic to that page from each individual source. I wouldn't track every single page on your website, but maybe the top 5 or 10, and record those numbers in tracker.
NOTE: if you click on each column name, it will sort the data according to that column. For example, you can click on source and it will show all sources together (as seen below), click on landing page to see all the numbers together for one specific page, or click on sessions to sort the data from highest referrer source to lowest (or vice versa).
Alright, enough about this social media tracker, right? Here's what included when you download your own free version below:
- a downloadable or cloud-based spreadsheet organized into general tracking, clicks to website, and popular content tabs, with complete "How to use" directions attached (including how to navigate through Google Analytics so you don't have to keep coming back to this blog post)
- instructions on how to track referrals from social media sites that aren't part of Google Analytics
- done-for-you e-mail script for becoming a social media detective to discover where you ideal clients are actually hanging out on social media
- a 10-question marketing survey to send to your e-mail list to find out where they are on social media PLUS extra questions to help you brainstorm opt-in offers, blog ideas, and paid one-on-one or online programs
Ready to start working smarter and not harder on your social media? Sign up for your free social media tracker!
Next year is poised to be a fantastic year for us health and wellness practitioners, I can feel it. I know so many of you are ready to start your practice, launch a big online course, or to see more one-on-one or group clients than you ever have before.
Personally, my essential oil team is growing by leaps and bounds, and I'm trying to get my first online biz course completed (my goal is by March!), so just like you, I know I have to work smarter and not harder.
I'm not in the place yet, financially, to hire out my social media, so until I am I'm planning on working this tracker to the bone so I can squeeze every ounce of productivity out of my social media time.
I wanna know: who is setting up Google Analytics who hasn't used it before? Who just checked their numbers on GA, and were you surprised like I was? Who's ready to be a marketing and social media detective? Raise your hands in the comments below!