5 Actions to Determine Where You Spend Time Online
Reading Lindy West’s recent opinion piece in the NYT “I Quit Twitter and It Feels Great” was a solid reminder that I need to stop wasting time online. Like immediately.
So, I reached for the first thing I could fix instantly, which happened to be Twitter. I removed the app from my phone, and I deleted it from my bookmarks bar on my laptop.
For quite some time, I have wanted Twitter to be something it once was for me. Years ago the platform brought so much into my life; I made friends, got jobs, discovered opportunities, and it drove traffic to my old website and to this website you're now on.
Now it does barely any of that.
But beyond just gut and experience, I know this to be fact.
My analytics, growth, and engagement say it all to me: Twitter is a waste of time for me. And because I check my data often and am able to see trends, I know that this move has been a long time coming. My traffic from Twitter has been almost nonexistent since 2016. And the little engagement I get just isn't worth it to me, when other channels I use deliver so much more.
I know all of this because I track my growth, pay attention to where my community and clients are, run an audit once a year, and watch my numbers.
Paying attention to this data allows me to make an educated decision as to where I spend time online.
Let's talk about how you can use the same info to define where you spend time online!
It's in the data
Wasting time online is a real thing, that can have serious, detrimental effects on both our personal and business lives. And it's something I strive to eradicate in my life and yours.
Most of us barely have enough time to do everything we want in a day, so why squander our time on platforms that aren't delivering for us?
We’re all out here running around trying to figure out what the magic potion is for where and what our business should be doing online. As well as how we can do it in the most efficient way possible.
But guess what? There isn't a magic potion at all. You have the answers right in front of you! It's all in your data. You just have to know what to look at and for.
Everything I share with you below is how I decided to stop spending time on Twitter and remove it from my marketing.
Define where to spend time online
First, choose 2-3 social media platforms and no more! You don't need to be on any more platforms than that.
The next step is to pay attention to where your community is. There are a bunch of tactics to figure this out which we'll go over below. Always remember, that your current customers, community, and audience are the basis for your online presence. Without them, you've got nothing! So when you think about your online presence always come back to: where are your potential clients, actual customers, and your industry hanging out online?
Look at where your industry is: Do an audit of others in the same line of work and analyze where they spend their time and what they’re doing there. One of the best things about being a business online is that you’re not reinventing the wheel here. There are most likely hundreds if not thousands of businesses within your industry making it work online. You can learn from them by watching where they are and what they’re doing online.
Look at your analytics often (this blog post will help you), analyzing this data will give you information about where people are coming from to find your site. And knowing where this traffic is coming from clues you into where you should be spending your time online as a business.
Use this information to define where you spend time online: My analytics tell me that I get a ton of traffic from Pinterest and pretty much nothing from Twitter. Therefore I removed Twitter from my marketing strategy, and have made sure to double down on my Pinterest posting. Use this data to define what and where your marketing channels will be. This is different for each business. But use the above tips to figure out where you should be dialing into online.
Survey your current audience: Don't be afraid to ask your current customers and audience! Ask your customers, newsletter subscribers, and social media followers where they like to hang out most online and why. Tapping into this information will help you immediately figure out where your ideal clients are.
Check your engagement and growth: Monitor how your content performs and how your engagement and growth is. It's best to check in on these numbers at the beginning of each month for the previous month. Temper your expectations though, don't just pay attention to likes and comments! People are fatigued when it comes to commenting and liking. This means you may not be seeing visual demonstrations ON your content, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they aren’t paying attention. This is where your traffic helps to inform - make sure you're tracking your analytics each month. That way you can look back over your growth and see it happening!
Get into a groove!
All of the above will help you better learn about the health of your business online. Checking in on your industry, your data, and your growth helps to inform your decision making online. It also allows you to learn more about how to better market your business online.
This is an ongoing process and should be factored into your time as a business owner. Plan to do most of this once every month - monitoring your traffic, growth, and content engagement. And the rest once or twice a year - auditing your own online presence and industry and surveying your audience.
Be open to change and putting in the work, your business will grow because of it.