Roofing professionals unplugged: Streamlining information with technology

Roofing professionals unplugged: Streamlining information with technology

marzo 04, 2024

Estimated Reading Time: 5 min.

In the fast-paced world of roofing, the internet can act as a valuable tool to stay informed about industry trends. Learn quick tips to add to your daily routine and improve your digital literacy.

How many times a day do you check your email? Do you devote a certain amount of time to keeping up with industry updates and other social media to help you stay ahead? It may seem tedious and never-ending when you’re already struggling to keep your inbox organized, but staying informed about industry trends and news in the roofing business is extremely important, especially as a small business owner.

Tools exist that make it easier to monitor the internet in an era of nonstop information. By incorporating some or all these tools, you can become more efficient and knowledgeable about industry-specific conversations, updates to legislative changes, your company mentions in the media. In the same amount of time as it takes to enjoy your cup of coffee each morning, you can significantly expand your understanding of the ever-changing roofing landscape.

RSS feeds

According to Wikipedia, RSS (Rich Site Summary, often called Really Simple Syndication) uses a family of standard web feed formats to publish frequently updated information: blog entries, news headlines, audio and video. For example, I have RSS feeds for industry publications and association websites including online resources like

For some this may be obvious and already in use, but I continue to find that assuming people use or even know about technology shortcuts is presumptuous. For those of you who have not used RSS feeds, simply go to your favorite web browser (I use Google Chrome) and search for RSS Feed Extension. Add on the one that works for your browser, and you can begin subscribing to your favorite sites. By subscribing to a website RSS, the user does need to manually check the website for new content. Instead, their browser constantly monitors the site and informs the user of any updates. The browser can also be commanded to automatically download the new data for the user.

I find that the RSS feeds save me time and I can find nuggets of information that I could easily miss. Keeping pace with roofing information is critical and the feeds are helping me. Be sure to subscribe to industry sites like the NRCA and Taking the time to subscribe to roofing-specific sites will help keep you up to date and if the article is of interest, it is easy to click through to learn more.

Google alerts

Google alerts are easy to set up and a great source of information. You should have your company name as an alert. Again, go to your favorite browser and type Google alerts in the search bar. You will need to set up a Gmail account if you do not already have one.

By setting up a Gmail account you can sign up for alerts that simply send you an email when your company is mentioned. Whether it is your company, your name or industry trends that you want to track, setting up alerts will keep you informed on what is being posted on the internet. There is also a growing concern for companies to protect their branding and reputation. In fact, reputation risk is a major worry for all businesses. Google alerts are a great way to stay aware of what your customers, competitors or the public are saying about your company.

Understanding trends is also important. Google alerts can help you track important legislation, codes or technologies. You may see alerts from forums where these topics are being discussed or from association pages. The WSRCA, NRCA and RoofPAC post information on legislation and regulations regularly and by tracking them through alerts and RSS feeds you will be able to make changes quickly, so your business is not compromised.

LinkedIn and Facebook groups

Social media offers an easy way to join or to start conversations online. If you are not active on LinkedIn, you should be. It is there for professionals to link up with other professionals in their industry. Not just link up but share information through groups and posts. I receive alerts from LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter when people post to a conversation that I am active in or where we share areas of interest. Yes, this adds to the emails but for me it is a quick look, and I can determine if I want to switch over to the social media site or not.

There are also cloud-based services like Hootsuite that help you manage your social media posts. This is better for people actively posting. If you are mainly interested in getting information and staying current then by simply going to each social media site and clicking on settings and communications, you can select the type of emails you would like to receive. In Facebook you can also determine the people, companies or posts that you want to see first by specifying that on their sites.

Roofing-specific websites

If you have the time to comment or engage in ongoing conversations with your fellow roofing professionals, it is well worth your time. Industry specific forums like what is available on offer online networking that is very important for staying in the know. For many, it is also a way to get help. By asking questions on forums or social media you will receive information that you can sort through for what works for you and your company. Often you can visit contractors out of your immediate area and pick up important business tips and ideas.

With the current labor concerns, contractors are also looking for help and jobs. LinkedIn offers great services for jobs including email alerts for when there is activity on a posting. This is a good site for management positions. When looking for crews, offers a wide range of online classified options. By utilizing sites like and LinkedIn you will be able to connect concerning jobs and much needed labor. Through the forums you will stay in touch at ground level with the ever-changing landscape of roofing. So, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy a couple of tweets, RSS feeds or alerts tomorrow morning. It may make a major difference in your day.