The following is a guest post by Lindsey Hazel. Thanks, Lindsey!
Growing your audience online is hard at first as an online business owner. You pick up a lot of new strategies and try to piece everything together as best that you can but it takes a while to find out which platform works best for you and your audience.
The best way to know if things are working for you is to check your stats. I know, statistics is a scary word at first, but let me show you why they are important for growing your audience.
I’ve always been a fan of before and after progress photos and looking at growth online using statistics is very similar to those. You can analyze where you used to be compared to where you are now.
By tracking your progress, you are able to learn what is or is not working for you. You don’t need to hire a pro to find out your own statistics and luckily there are a lot of free tools that you can use!
Here are three free tools that you can use to track your own business growth online:
Bit.ly is more than a link shortener, it’s a free tool that you can use to see where your audience is the most engaged with your links.
So instead of having a really long like https://www.hazelhaven.com/growthtracker, you can create a bit.ly link for bit.ly/trackyourgrowth.
By creating a shortened link:
- You can easily share the link on social media and blog posts
- You and your audience will be able to remember it better
- This is super helpful for things like webinars, challenges or opt-ins.
- You can track the statistics and analytics
- Learn where traffic/referrals are coming from
- Where your audience is located in the world
- Which links are performing best
- and more.
Here’s an example of a few things that you can track with bit.ly:
Later (For tracking Instagram analytics)
Later is an Instagram scheduling tool—it’s totally free and you get 30 posts to schedule each month.
Recently later added in analytics so you can check and see how your posts are doing. I know most people really care about the follower count on Instagram but Later allows you to see how your posts are performing through engagement with likes and comments.
If you’re interested in growing your Instagram account, this is a neat feature from this tool.
Here’s a quick preview:
The good news is that most tools have built-in analytics, the best news is that these tracking tools are free!
If you’re working on growing your Facebook page, you can check your Facebook analytics.
If you’re working on growing your Twitter account, you can check your Twitter analytics.
If you’re working on growing traffic to your blog, you can check your Google analytics.
If you’re working on growing your YouTube channel, you can check your YouTube analytics.
One way to track your growth is by tracking your stats every 30 days. At the end of each month, I like to track my follower counts and a few other things so I can see what’s working, what’s not working, and how to improve the next month ahead.
I use both of the tools above as well as my growth tracker sheet, I usually print it out and then type up the results in a Trello board so I can have the data in two locations.
You can grab your free copy of my growth tracker here.
Growing your audience online should be one of your top goals for your online business because you don’t own your social media followings but you do own your email list. By tracking which platforms are helping you grow you’ll have a better idea on what your goals should move forward.
Do you track any of your stats or analytics for growth? What tools do you like to use? Let me know in the comments below!
Lindsey Hazel is the online educator behind Hazel Haven. She helps creative business owners learn how to use the tools to grow their audience online. She’s an introverted extrovert who loves tech systems, dark chocolate and a strong cup of coffee. Be sure to join her Facebook group Creative Biz Haven or follow her on Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.