When is the right time to spend money on your social media? And when should you rely on your content to push your efforts forward?

It’s not easy to figure out the best way to grow your social media reach. There are benefits and drawbacks to both organic and promoted efforts. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons.

To be clear, we’re not talking about paying for content. That’s a different discussion, although at RT Marketing, we’re obviously big believers in hiring a professional marketing firm! Great content, as outlined here, is the key to a successful social media strategy.

Organic growth

The most notable benefit of focusing on organic growth is that it saves money. While technically free, there’s still the cost of time for you, your staff or outside help to create and post content.

To do it right, though, requires a lot of time and research. Asking an office manager or salesperson to squeeze this into their day is probably not the best way to get it done. You’ll want to pay attention to what types of posts work best, what times of day are most read and other trends.

Generally speaking, the best time to post on Facebook is weekdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to Sprout Social. (Other studies have shown similar timeframes.) Wednesday is the best day, Sunday the worst. Instagram is almost exactly the same. On Twitter, weekday mornings are best, while Saturday is the worst.

We have seen similar results for our work with our remodeling clients. As for content, we’ve found the most engagement occurs when sharing photos and updates on completed and ongoing projects. We’re blessed to be in industry with great visuals! Homeowners love to see examples of your work.

When it comes to content and timing, you’ll want to experiment with your posts to see what gets the best results, as your audience may be different. To do it right takes time and effort.

Paid social media

Whether it’s promoting your posts or creating ads, paid social media probably needs to be part of your marketing plan. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for most companies to get the reach they want through organic efforts only, especially if their network is small.

With the ability to target users based on location, age, interests and other demographics, and the relatively low price, it’s easy to experiment with and see immediate results. It will help you get your message out more easily and broadly.

The important thing to remember, though, is that it’s not a replacement for knowing your client and the type of content they want to see. A lousy paid post is still a lousy post.

When should you boost?

Whether it’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or one of the myriad other options out there, knowing when to promote a post is important.

You’re not going to boost every post, so identify your goals. Trying to build brand awareness and land more followers? Then you want to be looking at promoting your most popular types of posts – probably project photos. Have a special deal or discount? Then make sure there’s a call to action and focus on that post with a promotion or advertisement.

Take the time to target those promotions properly. Facebook and others offer turnkey options that will auto-select your audience and placement. While those suggestions might be helpful, in many cases you’ll end up with your ad showing up with people you have no need to reach. Avoid any sort of auto-boost offering as well. Just because a post performs well doesn’t mean it’s one you want to spend money to promote. Algorithms can’t totally replace your own good judgement.

Don’t overdo it. Showing up in someone’s newsfeed to often and they’ll probably end up blocking you.

Just like with your organic social media, test and experiment to find out what works best for your goals. When you’re ready to grow your social media, RT Marketing is here to help. Just fill out the Contact Us form and we will get back to you.