Frank J. Borkowski

Recently I presented a webinar that was an overview of social media, social networking, and viral marketing for builders and remodelers, but I ran out of time before getting to the most important point: Before you waste one second setting up a bunch of Facebook pages or “Tweeting” your Twitter off, you need to develop some clear objectives. What, specifically, do you want your social networking efforts to do for you? “Make some more sales” is nowhere near good enough. Of course you want more sales.

Social networking doesn’t cost much money, but it does burn up considerable time that you can’t afford to squander. Let’s say you want to sell three additional basement finishing jobs next year, one-third of those (one per month) from your Web activities. The good news is, on the Web, everything is measurable by design. I don’t have room here for the math, but let’s assume it works out that one sale will require 750 Twitter followers who convert to 375 blog subscribers and/or 250 Facebook “fans.”

Adopt an Organized Approach

In strategic planning we teach that an “objective statement” must be “challenging but achievable,” and have “a specific, reproducible outcome.” It also has to be in harmony with your company’s mission/vision (why you’re doing it) and be stated in such a way that you can brainstorm several strategies (the how) in order to meet your objectives.

With that in mind, a much better objective statement is: “Use social media to gain 750 Twitter followers, 375 Facebook fans, and 250 Blog subscribers per month to increase our qualified — ready, willing, and able — Web traffic by 35% year-over-year, closing one more $15,000 basement finishing system per month than in 2008.”

Now you have an Objective with a capital “O.” It’s specific, measurable, challenging but achievable, and it has one specific final outcome you’re shooting for (one more sale per month).

From this objective statement you will develop several strategies (the how) — specific things you will try on each of the social networking services. For example, a “basement finishing fan page” on Facebook along with a “Stay Dry Blog.”

Finally, you’ll develop an “action plan” (tactics — who, when, where). The number of posts per day or per week, who will make the posts, when you will look at analytics to see if you’re on track, etc.

This organized way of thinking about social networking is the opposite of just setting up a bunch of accounts and wasting time posting to them with no understanding of how they will bring you business or of a way to measure whether or not your efforts are paying off.

Remember, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. But the good news is that anything Internet-related has the measurement system built in; you just have to know how to use it (which is what we’ll talk about next time …). If you’d like some help getting your social media campaign together, give me a shout.

--Joe Stoddard is an industry consultant helping remodelers be successful with their technology. Reach him at Twitter,, or at

This is a longer version of an article that appeared in the November 2009 issue of REMODELING.