Social Media. So what? Part II

Continuing from last week’s post regarding social media; the second session from the virtual conference I attended was presented by Neal Schaffer, President of Windmills Marketing. Neal took a closer look at the strategic role that Twitter plays in the social media landscape, provided potential usage scenarios for any business on Twitter, and provided tips on how to strategically maximize Twitter for businesses.

So why is social media, Twitter specifically, so important? Well, 23% of our time on the Internet is spent on social media sites, with Twitter being one of the most popular social media tools. Tools? Twitter is not just a place for you to let people know what you had for lunch. It gives you the opportunity to communicate with your customers, prospects, partners, and network. It works in two directions: Twitter enables you to keep your followers educated by posting information about your business and industry, which positions you as an expert in the field. You can also use Twitter to follow others in the industry and keep abreast of trends, conversations about products, etc. Re-tweet the good stuff to your followers, and polish your image as the expert.

Below is a brief summary of three popular social media sites. Use it to help you decide which social media network will be best for you and your business.

I hope you enjoyed this series and will seriously consider using social media to help grow your business. And remember; social media is a commitment, NOT a campaign!

Oh and by the way, here are the links to our social media sites!

Twitter

Facebook

YouTube

World’s Best Roofing Blog

Social Media. So what? Part I

Recently I attended a virtual conference about social media. Five “experts” each discussed a different social media outlet and how they can help users connect with “followers” and “fans,” i.e., customers and potential customers.

Some of you may be thinking, “social media, so what? I’m a roofing contractor and social media doesn’t apply to me.” You may want to think again, because social media is here to stay! Social media is all about engaging with your customers and positioning yourself as an expert in your field so people look to YOU when they have questions. After reading this post I challenge you to do a search on YouTube or Twitter for Duro-Last Roofing or even roofing in general. I think you will be surprised at what you find and how many of your colleagues are using social media to talk about roofing, showcase projects, offer installation tips, and promote their businesses.

In this blog post and the next, I want to share some notes from two of the speakers that I felt were important to think about – not only with social media, but for marketing your business in general.

President of UnMarketing, Scott Stratten’s definition of unmarketing is doing what comes naturally, vs. being forced to do things that make you ill. What does this mean for your business? Staying true to beliefs. Focusing on the customers and prospects that matter and becoming the expert in your field. Here are my take-a-ways (Scott speaks in Twitter which means he uses 140 characters or less) that can be applied to any business:

  • Everybody’s a marketer in your company, not just the marketing department.
  • Know, Like, Trust. People do business with those that they know, like, and trust.
  • People spread awesome.
  • Social media doesn’t make something better, it just amplifies it.
  • Choose one social media platform and build from that.
  • Social media doesn’t change the fact that relationships take time.
  • The worst thing a business can do is set up a social media account and not listen.
  • People do business with people, not logos.

Building relationships (followers/fans) through social media is just like building traditional relationships with customers. It takes time for them to trust you. By engaging in social media such as Twitter you need to listen to what people are talking about and offer your expert advice on the subject. Engagement is vital for both social media and building relationships with your customers. After all, how many of your customers come from referrals?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject and invite you to share with us links to your blog, Facebook page, or Twitter handle.

In my next post, I will discuss Twitter’s importance for business.

Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. Adds Standing Seam Metal Product Line

Duro-Last Roofing®, Inc. has added a standing seam metal product line to its roofing system offerings. The new line will enable authorized Duro-Last contractors to provide a standing seam roofing installation to meet virtually any aesthetic requirements. The new standing seam program includes metal production capabilities provided by a nationwide network of independent regional manufacturers.

Depending on the installation location, roof panels will be produced at EXCEPTIONAL Metals’ Saginaw, Michigan, facility or by one of the regional manufacturers. All panels will be produced under the authority of EXCEPTIONAL® Metals, a division of Duro-Last.

Profiles, showcased below, will be available for architectural, structural, and flush wall/soffit panel standing seam applications. Paint and substrate warranties of 25 years and 35 years are available for panels, depending on the substrate metal they are made from and the finish that is applied.

EM 150SL

The 1-1/2″ Snap Lock metal roofing system is designed to be installed quickly, reducing labor costs, and offers the designer a concealed fastener and clip application that allows for expansion and contraction.

EM 150SS

The 1-1/2″ traditional mechanically seamed metal roof system enhances the architectural appearance and is engineered to exceed most wind-load requirements in the country. The seamed profile allows the designer the ability to specify various applications. The concealed fasteners and patented articulating two piece floating 150 Mitchell Clip assist in minimizing the appearance of oil canning.

EM 175S

The 1-3/4″ Snap Lock profile provides a continuous interlocking metal roof system. The system offers the designer a concealed fastener and clip application that allows for expansion and contraction. The Snap Lock metal roofing system can be installed quickly, reducing labor costs. This profile offers a simple installation and provides very high wind uplift resistance.

EM 200S

The 2″ mechanically seamed metal roof system enhances the architectural appearance and is engineered to exceed most wind load requirements in the country. The versatility of this profile’s engineering allows the designer the ability to specify both low and steep slope applications. The concealed fasteners and patented articulating two piece floating 200 Mitchell Clip assist in minimizing the appearance of oil canning.

Flush Wall/Soffit Panel

The Flush Wall/Soffit panel is designed for wall, fascia, and soffit applications where a flush or flat appearance is desired. Flush wall/soffit panels are available with optional stiffening beads and ventilation and are not intended for use in roofing or mansard applications.

?Up on the Rooftop…

Roofers pause

Out jumps good old foreman Claus

Down through the punch list that he’ll employ

To keep buildings dry

And bring owners joy!

As each year goes by, we are more appreciative of the great team that makes Duro-Last Roofing the industry leader that we are. This has been especially true in 2010, despite the economic challenges that everyone faced. We are proud of our team that has delivered exceptional results for 2010.

We want to wish you and yours the best of holidays. We sincerely believe that family comes first, and hope that you will have many opportunities to enjoy good times with your loved ones. As you celebrate, please keep in mind that there are many around us who are not as fortunate. We encourage you to help those in your community who may be in need.

All the best for a safe, healthy and happy holiday season!

Merry Christmas from the Duro-Last Board of Directors.

National Franchisee Association Annual Franchisee Summit

Duro-Last was privileged to sponsor the Burger King Franchisee Association’s Annual Summit meeting September 13-15 in Washington, DC. It was exciting and truly an honor for me to go to Capitol Hill to lobby side-by-side with small businesses.

Restaurants and organizations such as the Burger King Franchisee Association are an important group of customers for Duro-Last. We sell a lot of roofing systems to these businesses, and it’s in our best interest to help them remain viable. These are challenging times for many, who are wrestling with tax and health care issues that could have a profound effect on their business operations.

We met early on Tuesday morning over breakfast in the Hyatt Regency ballroom. A group of 400 franchisees and vendors from all over the United States prepared for afternoon meetings with senators and representatives. Keynote speaker Newt Gingrich briefed us on the upcoming 2010 mid-term elections. The general session included speakers Katie Hays and Caroline Harris from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Susan Eckerly from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, and Brendan Flanagan from the National Restaurant Association, all of whom are involved in lobbying and voicing the needs of small business. They briefed us on relevant bills in Congress and reviewed with us how to lobby effectively while on Capitol Hill.

Senator John McCain was a surprise guest, and his lunchtime presentation included a question and answer session. It was very exciting and we all were pumped to go.

I was teamed with eight Indiana business owners, and we had appointments to visit the offices of Senators Dick Lugar and Evan Bayh, and Representatives Dan Burton and Joe Donnelly. They were not available, but we were able to meet with their legislative assistants. The lobbying was fun and challenging to say the least, especially with those who did not see eye-to-eye with our positions on the bills.

Washington is full of surprises. After going through security and getting into the Capitol building, we were directed down the marble staircase to the basement, where there was a trolley system to take us to different parts of the Capitol complex. There were restaurants and little shops down there as well. We were escorted by rail from the Hart building to the Russell, then to the Rayburn, and ended up in the Longworth building. All we had to do was get on the right elevator and figure out which floor to choose. Who would have thought you could do all that from the basement! Can you tell I’m from the country?

Our evening back at the hotel included an extravagant dinner and remarks from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. What a live wire she is! Keep your eye on her over the next few years. The highlight of the evening was an appearance by Barack Obama – actually, impressionist and comedian Steve Bridges. He had the crowd roaring with laughter.

All in all, it was an incredibly rewarding experience and an honor, on behalf of Duro-Last, to stand up for the small businesses of America.

Account Development Coordinator, Lindy Beuthin, discussing the benefits of a Duro-Last roofing system.
Senator John McCain addressing the crowd.
Captiol Hill

Code of the West

In these challenging times, perhaps it may be helpful to turn back to what some might call a simpler time – the time of the Old West. James P. Owen, Wall Street veteran and author, laid out the “Code of the West,” which offers some interesting ideas that we can apply to our business and our careers.

Live each day with courage.

It takes courage to keep heading out into the unknown after rejections and failures. It’s risky, but you need to get up in the morning and keep getting back in the saddle.

Take pride in your work.

Don’t get sloppy. Put out the best service you can, provide the best product you can, and back it up.

Always finish what you start.

A job half done is a job undone.

Do what has to be done.

Sometimes what has to be done is difficult or uncomfortable for us. But if it has to be done to accomplish the goal, just do it.

Be tough, but fair.

Sometimes it’s difficult to come down hard on someone, or to not back down when faced with unreasonable expectations, or to put up with unethical competitors. Always take the high road and stick with sound principals.

When you make a promise, keep it.

There’s no better way to build and maintain credibility than by keeping promises. Trust adds value to what you are selling.

Ride for the brand.

Sit tall in the saddle when you are representing the company. Others will be more interested in what you’re selling if they sense your devotion to it.

Talk less and say more.

If you hear what they are saying you will be able to respond to their needs – for information, service, products.

Remember that some things aren’t for sale.

Don’t sacrifice integrity and honor for short-term gain.

Know where to draw the line.

Duro-Last Contractor Advisory Board Meeting

On Thursday, August 19th & Friday, August 20th the owners and senior managers of Duro-Last® met with the members of the Duro-Last Contractor’s Advisory Board in Chicago. On Thursday, the group watched the Chicago Cubs take on the San Diego Padres from the rooftop of 3639 Sheffield Avenue, located directly across the street from Wrigley Field’s right field wall. The group enjoyed food and drinks while watching the Cubs fail to execute the fundamentals of baseball, including covering home plate.

On Friday morning Duro-Last senior managers updated the Advisory Board on the 2010 sales year to date and corporate goals. Some of the highlights of the meeting included: Tim Hart explaining how and why Duro-Last received the 2010 Oregon Sustainability Award, Keith Gere’s engineering update and proposals for new products, Steve Przybylski’s elaborate and in depth manufacturing update, and Art Gilles’ new product offerings from EXCEPTIONAL® Metals. The contractors, led by Contractor Advisory Board President Michael Faught of Roberts McNutt Inc., then offered their insight and input, including: future opportunities for advertising & marketing including the exploration of a national advertising campaign, how to attract and retain more national accounts, new product offerings, and their desire to see more warranty options in the future.

Everyone at Duro-Last would like to convey their sincere appreciation to the members of the Contractor Advisory Board. My grandfather John Burt, the founder of Duro-Last, always said that he got some of his best ideas from the people who installed the product . . . the contractors! That’s still one of our guiding principles: listening to the customer. The Duro-Last family would also like to extend their thoughts and prayers to George Bock of Mid-Western Commercial Roofers. George was recently involved in a car accident and was unable to attend the meeting; however Michael did a great job of conveying George’s key points. We look forward to see George and all of the members of the Contractor Advisory Board at our next meeting in Orlando, just prior to the 2011 National Sales Seminar.

– Jason Tunney, Executive Vice-President.

Duro-Last Contractor Advisory Board members in attendance

Chairman, Michael Faught, Roberts-McNutt Inc., North Little Rock, AR

Jimmy Breault, Breault Roofing Inc., New Bedford, MA

Allen Clark, Clark Restoration & Custom Roofing, Cropwell, AL

Steve Leslie, Competitive Commercial Roofing, Hood River, OR

Curtis Nicholson, Western Roofing, Golden, CO

John Thurber, All Elements Inc., Rogers, MN

Ted Witbeck, Ted’s Quality Roofing, Coaldale, Alberta

Dave Bridenbaugh, Pro-Tek Exterior Services, Cincinnati, OH

Gene Fowler, Sentry Roofing, Covington, IN

Ken Kelly, Kelly Roofing, Naples, FL

Don LaFerney Jr., LaFerney Inc., Kingsport, TN

Michael W. Morss, M.W. Morss Roofing Inc., Romulus, MI

Stuart Parsons, Parsons Commercial Roofing, Waco, TX

Larry Tombaugh, Tomkat Roofing, Streator, IL

Bob Walcik, Jaco Construction Inc., Clute, TX

Larry Winkler, United Roofing & Sheetmetal, Bryan, TX

Duro-Last contractors Curtis Nicholson, Ken Kelly, and Michael Faught at the Cubs game.
Gene Fowler, Bob Walcik & Dave Bridenbaugh listen as Mike Morss addresses the Contractor Advisory Board.
Michael Faught, Chairman of the Contractor Advisory Board, addresses the meeting.
John Burt's daughter, Kathy Burt Allen, with Mike Morss at the Contractor Advisory Board.

16th Annual Steak Fry!

On Wednesday, July 28, 2010 the Michigan employees of Duro-Last® Roofing, Plastatech® Engineering, Ltd., EXCEPTIONAL® Metals, Creative Impressions® and Tri-City Vinyl® were treated to an appreciation luncheon of rib eye steaks, baked potatoes, salad, and rolls.

This annual event has taken place at all of our locations every summer for the past 16 years. Over 365 employees were served by the owners of the companies. During the luncheon, employees were able to purchase tickets to take a turn immersing members of senior management in a dunk tank. Over $175.00 was raised, and all proceeds were donated to Hidden Harvest, a Saginaw, Michigan, charity.

All employees were given a chance to “Spin to Win” fun prizes, such as restaurant gift cards, hats, golf shirts, and first aid kits – where everyone walked away a winner. In all, the day turned out to be very successful with cooperative weather and everyone having a great time.

Spin to Win Wheel
Spin to Win Wheel
Dunk Tank
Steak Fry Food Line

A Personal “Merry Christmas” Greeting from the Duro-Last Board of Directors!

This may sound odd, but the weather conditions in Saginaw Michigan at this time of year are less than desirable. Here at the Duro-Last World Headquarters in Saginaw, the average high temperature in December is just 35 degrees. The trees are typically bare, and when there isn’t snow on the ground, all we get to see is yellowed and dead grass and empty farm fields. Due to our northern location there are just nine hours of daylight here in December and even fewer for our more northern brothers and sisters in Canada. Conversely, Miami has 10½ hours of daylight in December and Houston has 10

Duro-Last Finalizing Plans For 2010 National Sales Seminar

Duro-Last Roofing, Inc. will hold its 2010 National Sales Seminar Monday, January 25th through Wednesday, January 27th at the The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona.

The theme of the upcoming Seminar is Partners for a Strong Tomorrow. “Partnership” is a word that has long described the bond between Duro-Last and each contractor that sells and installs our roofing system. We’re proud to claim that it’s much more than a “manufacturer-customer” relationship.

Our National Sales Seminar is intended to strengthen and celebrate that partnership. This annual event honors authorized Duro-Last roofing contractors for their sales achievements during the previous year, and provides a forum for the exchange of ideas that can improve business operations, gain product proficiency, expand market opportunities, and drive sales success.

This year’s Seminar will feature General Session speakers Scott McKain and Steve Gilliland. Breakout Sessions will include presentations from Duro-Last staff and guests Onlee Bowden and Tony Rubleski.

Since our beginning, Duro-Last has recognized the value of community involvement. So, in conjunction with our Seminar theme, we will be recognizing contractors who have been active in making the world healthier, safer, stronger – in short, a better place to live for everyone. We’re calling our program “Partners in Goodwill,” and it will be our privilege to pay tribute to these exemplary citizens during our event.

Another unique feature of the 2010 Seminar will be our “Rooftops of Tomorrow” exhibition. We are pleased to be able to welcome several companies who will demonstrate their photovoltaic and vegetative roofing systems to Seminar guests.

Although ongoing economic challenges confront the construction industry, Duro-Last contractors continue to demonstrate a solid commitment to our business and to providing exceptional value and service to their customers. We take great pride in honoring them at this event.

PartnersStongLogo