Flooring, Doors, and Windows to Shape Your Décor

During our recent #decortrends chat, participants had insightful ideas of how to spruce up the home’s décor.

Image credit: @DODByBrownWood

Our co-host @windowworksCA shared that “Dark wood is trending, especially in restaurants and bars, to give them a ‘homey’ feel.” Expanding upon the topic of flooring, @windowworksCA continued, “Agree that sustainable flooring is very big. Cork, bamboo, and more are beautiful.” @aecdaily added, “#Sustainability is important! If we can use #recycled content like the National Terrazzo & Mosaic Asoc, that’s good…” For flooring colors, @best_flooring stated, “We can’t say it enough: grey, grey, grey! Grey tones are hot sellers for us.” @best_flooring further stated, “Luxury vinyl flooring is becoming a popular option too. It is waterproof, unlike some hardwood.”

@Dodbybrownwood stressed how “Windows can make the room” while @tonisabstyle cited, “Moulding plays a huge part in window and door dressing.” However, one shouldn’t disregard the benefits of window film. @windowworksCA mentioned, “Window film is pretty and prevents glare.”

Participants were also equally enthusiastic about barn doors, pocket doors, and novel door designs.  “Barn doors are never going to go out of style and I can see why,” stated @pureplumbingLV.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have attended our #decortrends chats. We appreciate all the keen insights, tips, techniques, and ideas shared throughout the years.

While #decortrends is on hiatus, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com to see and share other inspiring ideas.

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Home Décor Choices for Millennials and Boomers – Any Generation

Image credit: DODByBrownWood

Are décor and design dictated by generations – does a millennial think differently about home décor? Or is design purely a personal decision? During our latest #decortrends chat, our participants shared how generational decisions may or may not affect design decisions.

Image credit: @Revashelf

Whether millennials or boomers, homeowners are searching for products that make their home feel unique and customized to their lives. They are willing to allocate a significant part of their budget to ensure that décor items also endure. As @revashelf mentioned, “Young homeowners are willing to splurge on items that have a huge return- high quality materials & long-lasting…”

With the diverse and plentiful décor and color options available, the need for personalization is paramount. “Millennials are exposed to many options & examples of what they could do, however, still want to make it unique,” shared @ncontours.

To make the most of space, an “open concept is big. Lots of storage options is a plus,” shared @jorgensonlocker. Living large in a small space continues to be popular across generations. “Think living large in a small space is important to both boomers/millennials,” stated @windowworksCA.

Image credit: @WindowWorksCA

Limited room sizes mean optimizing the space with creative ideas. Added co-host @DODByBrownWood, “We have found that what used to be hidden is now exposed and loved! #shiplap is very popular décor.”

Other practical storage options for a small home include using open shelving and utilizing the area under the stairs for storage.  Additionally, the items must be easily accessible and exude style and a personal flair.

While a connected life is commonplace for millennials, boomers as well have a need for a tech home.  “Regardless of age, you have to be open to the idea of a connected home. And to some, it’s too foreign of a concept to try,” shared @Revashelf. Participants noted that while millennials may not have as much of a need from down time from tech, boomers may benefit from periodic disconnection. Also, as @tonisabstyle noted, “Home tech should be thought of at the beginning of the design process and made easy.”

For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Your Décor Choice: Splurging vs. Budgeting

 

When decorating a room or your entire home, deciding on what to budget and what to splurge on is often a big question. Our #decortrends chat participants had key insights on the subject.

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Image: @distinctivetile

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Image: @ncontours

“Splurge on things you want to last a while–appliances, countertops, cabinetry, flooring,” mentioned @jorgensonlocker. “The best thing to #splurge on is luxury tile!” added @distinctivetile. On the other side of the spectrum, chat attendees, such as @sweetloretta cited that little details can go a long way, “Paint is probably the number 1 thing on a budget. A change in artwork works too.” And @dreamwallsglass also recommended to “Try mirrors. Framed mirrors or whole walls, they’re economical sq/ft and can visually open up spaces.” @ncontours mentioned, “Here’s our budget design inspiration: A new coat of paint, re-purpose accessories by color!”

A tight décor budget can prompt decorators, DIYers, and homeowners to be more creative. Upcycling was cited throughout the discussion as an effective method to save money while still personalizing the home.  The inspiration for new home décor ideas, whether on a budget or not, can be derived from Pinterest, Instagram, participation in chats, customers and colleagues.

Join us weekly at #decortrends Thursdays at 11 am PST. Share, learn, and engage with like minded professionals! For other inspiring ideas, please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Ten Easy Steps on How to Effectively Participate in a Twitter Chat

If you’re a Twitter regular, chances are you’ve probably noticed a hashtag reoccurring every week or every two weeks. You may have asked yourself, what makes a hashtag ebb and flow during somewhat predictable time frames? Well, it may not be a trending topic per se, but rather, a hashtag that is the central part of a Twitter chat.

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A Twitter chat is a live discussion marked by a #hashtag. As an example, #decortrends and #DIYtips are two hashtags used by @ZirconTools to identify chat tweets. By participating in a Twitter chat, you can elevate your company or brand. If you’re wondering how to join one, here are ten easy tips to get you well on your way to be an expert tweeter.

  • Sign in and set up. By making the most of your free Twitter account with a short bio, optional link to your website, and a bio image, you’ll be ready to go.
  • Find your experts. Identify and follow Twitter influencers within your industry that will help you understand which Twitter chats are most relevant for you to join.
  • Find applicable Twitter chats. You can find relevant chats by searching popular chat sites, such as Tweetchat.com. Once signed in, available “rooms” are listed and by clicking into a specific one, you can see the most recent tweets for chats of interest. Note the date and time of the chats.
  • Join the chat. There are multiple ways to log in and sign into the chat. Although all you need is a Twitter account to participate in a chat, it is often helpful to sign into Tweetchat or Twubs which are both cloud-based apps that specialize in Twitter chats. The advantage of signing into either app is that a live stream of tweets is automatically displayed for the specific chat and the hashtag is also already included.
  • Listen. Once you’re signed into a Twitter chat take a few moments to listen and view the chat dialog. By first monitoring the chat, you’ll become familiar with the chat lingo and the way the chat is orchestrated. Each chat has a host or a moderator. The host usually has the duties of posting chat questions.
  • Tweet. At the chat scheduled time, participate. It’s fine to take a step back, review, and listen to the online conversation before tweeting; however, if and when you feel compelled, jump into the conversation. Tweet questions are usually designated with a “Q” before the question number and will appear as Q1, Q2, Q3, etc. For others to see your tweets, make sure to include A1, A2, A3, etc. in your tweet and always remember to also include the chat #hashtag.
  • Share and retweet. When you find a tweet that you find particularly interesting, share the tweet or tweet directly to the person who posted the specific tweet. When you retweet, you’re acknowledging the other person’s idea and this can help build your own thought community as well.
  • Ask questions. While chatting, you may want further clarification. Often, the question is to be directed to a specific chat participant. Ensure you use the @ with the participant’s Twitter account, so the individual will know that the question is directed to him/her. Keep it brief and to the point.
  • Stay on topic. As proper chat etiquette, be focused on the chat conversation rather than straying toward commercial messages about your brand or tweeting about other topics that are not relevant to the chat.
  • Deepen the Relationship. The objective of the chat is to engage and share on-topic information related to the subject or theme. After the chat, enhance the relationship by following your new-found chat friends. Also, this will be a suitable time to expand the conversation to other topics of interest to you.

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Let’s exchange Twitter chat ideas. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com. Interested in hosting your own Twitter Chat? Please read our blog, How to Host a Successful Twitter Chat for timely and useful tips.

Join us each Thursday at 11 am PST for #decortrends #DIYtips. Learn, share and engage.

Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Santa Christmas List

365 days a year, Santa and his elves are busily preparing for Santa’s big night in the sky.

At his North Pole workshop, Santa is creating his list, penciling in names, and assigning Elf projects. We’re taking a page right out of Santa’s Nice List with our choices for this year’s gift guide. Who’s on your list?

The Fixer

[fik-ser] noun

  1. A person or thing that fixes
MultiScanner® i520

MultiScanner® i520

Everyone knows one, or may even have a person like this in the household, who is constantly tinkering and fixing things around the house. For them, the Zircon MultiScanner® i520 OneStep® is the perfect gift.

This all-in-one wall scanner finds studs, metal, and live electricity making it the ideal tool for your active DIYer. ACT™ Auto Correcting Technology automatically recalibrates to correct common errors automatically and the ultra-bright display screen makes for easy viewing in dark environments.

The Designer

[dih-zahy-ner] noun

     1.  A person who devises or executes designs, especially one who creates froms, structure, and patterns

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StudSensor™ e50

There’s always a creator or visionary in every family – the person who thinks that two non-congruent shapes go together or your sister who first insisted on taking down the wallpaper (or putting it up), or maybe the cousin who is regularly redesigning a space that already seemingly looks perfect. For the next new wall hanging, fanciful artwork, or framed picture that adorns the walls, your Designer would benefit from having the Zircon StudSensor™ e50 stud finder.

The e50 quickly and easily locates the edges of wood and metal studs behind walls, floors, and ceilings while also alerting the presence of live electricity. It’s a definite must-have around the house for projects, big and small.

The Weekend Warrior

[week-end wawr-ee-er] noun

      1. Any person who vigorously pursues activities outside of the work week, in a work-like and intensive manner

ExitPoint™ XL300

ExitPoint™ XL300

Have someone on your list who spends countless hours on various house projects and is a bonafide home improvement expert? If you’re looking for a gift that is both unique and useful, your recipient will love to unwrap the all new ExitPoint™ XL300.

A novel tool that can be used two ways: As a through-hole drill guide to locate exit points, or as an external stud finder when used in conjunction with a normal stud finder. Just place a transmitter magnet on your target point and scan with the receiver on the other side of the wall. The XL300 scans through most types of non-magnetic materials, such as wood, drywall, brick, and concrete up, to 11.81 in. thick. It’s perfect for running television cables and security wiring through walls for that clean, seamless look.

Make it easier for the elves in your household with these handy home improvement tools. Got another Zircon favorite that you hope makes its way into your Christmas stocking this year? Share the cheer with us. Follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics.

References:

http://www.dictionary.com

The Zircon 411

At Zircon, we continuously challenge ourselves to learn, adapt, and produce the most innovative stud finders and multifunction scanners and detectors for DIYers and professionals alike. The journey is half the fun, right? Below are some ways that Zircon integrates our high quality, customer service philosophy with our state-of-the-art tools.

Product Solutions

We offer end-to-end product solutions that start with the end user’s needs in mind.

Zircon’s first through-hole drill guide, ExitPoint™ XL300 locates a precise spot, without measuring, before you drill or core.

Zircon’s first through-hole drill guide, ExitPoint™ XL300 locates a precise spot, without measuring, before you drill or core.

  • Design and Engineering – Innovative. Zircon revolutionized the home improvement industry with the introduction of the hand-held Original StudSensorTM stud finder in 1980. Our designers conceptualized the ground-breaking must-have nature of this tool by users worldwide. Today, we continue to visualize and engineer stud finders , scanners, and detectors that remove the guesswork from projects – saving time and money, whether used casually or for rigorous use day in, day out.
The Original StudSensor™ circa 1980

The Original StudSensor™ circa 1980

  • Manufacturing – We’ve shipped millions of stud finders and scanners to a global audience that spans over 20 countries; yet we’ve never lost the personal touch. From the second we conceptualize a new product design to the moment our products rest in your toolbox, we’re always thinking of our end users.

DIY Know-How: Training and Education

We live and breathe customer service each and every day.

Circa 1995, Our Engineers. Always Hands-On, Always Innovative.

Circa 1995, Our Engineers. Always Hands-On, Always Innovative.

  • Tip Minute Videos – What are the best stud finders for the job and how do you work with your stud finders when your wall is being “difficult”? These topics and others are easily explained on Zircon’s Tip Minute Video series. In just 60 seconds, these easy-to-follow videos provide insightful knowledge for DIYers of all skill levels.
  • Easy to follow Tips – On any given day, Zircon provides a quick tip on its social media channels to help home enthusiasts and contractors solve DIY problems.
  • Interactive Support Center – get 24/7 help from Zircon’s Interactive Support Center. Easily find answers to your stud finding questions.
  • Customer Service Line – Zircon’s customer service team is standing by to help solve your simplest to most complex stud finding challenges. Reach out to us toll-free at 1-800-245-9265 from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm PST.

Stud Finders, Multifunction Scanners and Other Electronic Tools

Zircon designs and manufactures a wide range of DIY and professional tools, such as StudSensorTM stud finders equipped with CenterVision® Technology to find the center and edges of studs, metal detectors to locate rebar in concrete, electrical scanners to alert the presence of live wire, and water detectors to help prevent water damage.

Want to learn more? Read more about our history and how it all began with our “Original StudSensorTM Story” or visit us at zircon.com, like us, or follow us.

Twitter Chat GenericPlease join us the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month for #diytrends. Engage, learn and share. We would love to hear from you!

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

The Two-Way Marketing Street

From the early days of transactional marketing to today’s highly engaging relationship marketing, marketers have learned to adapt to the changing customer culture. Today’s marketers are entrenched in a two-way marketing street – one that is give and take, listen and respond, lead and reciprocate, and go forward and take a step back.

Marketing image

Customers are directing traffic to and from your website, stopping to converse from the sidelines of third party sites or they are sitting in the driver’s seat, steering your discussion via the social media stratosphere.

How can companies benefit from the two-way street of marketing? Here are five superhighway ideas for your brand:

  • Rev It Up. Ignite your customer engine by understanding first what’s on your audience’s mind. What do they want? What are they thinking? Customer centricity is #1, replacing a sometimes contrasting sales mentality. Get the customer insights directly from the source. Conduct customer surveys, create polls, and engage in social listening via online services, such as NUVI, to understand what is most important to your audience. With survey tools, such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, and SurveyTool, you no longer need to guess what your customer really wants.
  • Remove Roadblocks. How does your brand reduce customer pain points? Show how your product saves time, creates value, and eliminates guesswork. Offer hands-on YouTube tutorials, create an online knowledge center, and offer how-to tips via social media. By sharing time and money saving ideas to your fans and followers, you’ll reap the benefits via enhanced customer loyalty and a more engaged audience. At Zircon, the company’s Interactive Support Center offers 24/7 troubleshooting, customers can call tech support to talk to a live tool technician, and the company’s social media channels offer timely DIY shortcuts and useful project hints for tool enthusiasts.
  • Create Curb Appeal. To develop the road to customer engagement success and an enthusiastic, on-going dialog, communicate your brand’s uniqueness in a clear, succinct, yet creative manner. Amp up your shares, likes, and followers through knowledgeable and resourceful content that resonates with your audience. Out of ideas? Research industry influencers, conduct in-office brainstorming sessions, and develop partnerships with like minded companies to nurture, create, and catapult ideas. DIY industry leaders, such as @HGTV, @industryedgeNHS and @kbtribechat have insightful content that may springboard your own blog, video, and content ideas.
  • Test Drive. Take a test drive to gain a new business perspective and meet customers where they are. Although you can find your customers at the retail point of sale, smart devices are also making traditional offline moments into online opportunities. Cultivate your brand by providing a QR code to click to your brand’s website or develop an interactive mobile app. Be proactive in posting timely responses to both positive and negative online reviews. Join in the social media conversation by searching industry #topics, participating in Twitter chats, and replying to @brand mentions. Test different dates, times and social media tweets and posts to ensure you’re reaching the optimal audience members when they are most apt to engage.
  • Tune Up. Review your customer diagnostics and compare the results to your company goals. If expectations are not met, what changes are required? If it does not appear that you’re engaging enough with customers or your content is not providing you with new fans or followers, perhaps a new approach is needed. Are you on the right track? Test a new “vehicle” –a promotion vehicle, that is. For example, a social media ad campaign or a cross promotion with a marketing partner can provide you with a new audience.

Make your two-way marketing street the optimal road to a new and refreshing conversation with your customers. In addition to these five steps, you may have your own avenues to success and we would love to hear from you. Please follow us @zircontools, like us on Facebook, or visit zircon.com.

Join us every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month at 11 am PST for our #diytrends chat. Catch the next ones on 6/18 and 7/2. Let’s share, engage, and learn from each other.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Sharon image

How to Host A Successful Twitter Chat

Hosting a Twitter Chat is an excellent way to build avid followers, elevate your social media engagement, and position you and your company as an expert in your field. Once you have set up your Twitter profile, established a following, and are actively tweeting, retweeting, and replying with relevant content within the Twittersphere, take your Twitter account to the next level by hosting a Twitter Chat.

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Ten Steps to Twitter Chat Success

  • Participate. Before you host your own chat, participate in others. Take a backseat approach, familiarize yourself with the structure and see how others are doing it in your industry. To find relevant chats, comb through your news feed or search via relevant keyword hashtags and keep a log of what chats are occurring and when. Jump in. Examine how the Twitter chat works by paying special attention to how chat participants respond to each other and how the host engages with the attendees. You may also wet your feet by co-hosting, sponsoring, or being a featured guest on another party’s Twitter chat.
  • Theme. Determine your objective. Your Twitter chat theme sets the stage on how you want to be positioned in the industry and helps you identify the key components to a successful chat. Who is your target market? What days and times are most optimal to your attendees? What topics would they like to discuss versus what you want to focus on? Make sure the theme is enticing to the audience you want to attract.
  • Hashtag. Develop a concise hashtag that resonates with your audience, conveys your overall chat theme, and, ideally, is not already in use. Research existing Twitter chats to determine the optimal hashtag. Then BRAND it as your own. This hashtag reinforces your brand and can minimize the instances of Twitter chat crashers who may inadvertently attend your chat thinking it’s another.
  • Save the Date. Based on your ideal attendees, determine how often you’ll host your chat, and whether a specific date and time of day works best. Will it be weekly or bi-monthly? Will each chat be 30 minutes or 60 minutes? Does it coincide with other popular chats? Once a date and time has been determined, schedule your chats with consistency to better establish a loyal Twitter chat following. Other questions to ask are: What will be your format? Will you be the sole host or will you have co-hosts or guest hosts?
  • Schedule. With your overall theme in mind, create and schedule topics for each session to create an overall calendar. This will better enable you to flag and piggyback off key industry events, holidays, and company news. Draw from past, present, and future experiences and trends. If you’re tackling a challenging subject, consider whether it could make for a good Twitter chat topic. Chat audiences often are grappling with similar issues and your chat could provide an opportune time for both parties to brainstorm and find new solutions. Schedule your topics with your internal team.
  • Promote. Promote, promote, promote! As great as your topics are, people cannot attend your chat if they do not know about it. Promote your chat via all channels: Twitter, Facebook, and other social media networks, email, company website, blogs, and more. On Twitter, create a Twitter chat “preview” by teasing your audience with the subject theme. In addition, develop a list of top industry experts and invite them via a direct message (DM) or “@” reply. Encourage retweets of your chat invitation. To boost your promotion, create a Twitter chat invitation image that provides an overall branding for your chat with more visual appeal.
  • Plan. Once your overall schedule has been defined, it’s time to delve into the details. For each topic, draft eight to ten questions that will engage the audience. Create lively questions that illicit more than a yes/no response and can spark valuable discussions. Post your hashtag, chat image, and questions on Facebook for cross promotion.
  • Lead. Effectively host your chat by making sure that you and your audience use the #hashtag. Utilize a service, such as TweetChat, which automatically adds the hashtag and creates a running stream of the chat conversation. Keep attendees actively tweeting. Ask follow-up questions and comment positively. Reply, retweet, and favorite their tweets. Pay close attention to newcomers and those who are not tweeting as much as others. They may need a helping hand. Don’t let them sit on the Twitter chat sideline. Like a grand party, the host makes everyone feel welcome.
  • Thank. Everyone knows the phrase “time is money.” Your participants are taking a chunk out of their day to chat with you and fellow chat participants. Make sure to recognize their time and contributions. Invite them to the next chat and tweet to them often! Consistency and two-way engagement are key in developing a loyal following.
  • Assess. Analyze your chat, attendees, strength of questions and answers. TweetBinder is a handy platform that encapsulates your Twitter Chat statistics. Identify areas for improvement. Tweak your next chat as needed. Repeat these steps for each new chat.

ZirconTools hosts its own #diytrends chat every other Thursday. Catch our upcoming one on Thursday, May 21 at 11 a.m. PST. You’re invited! Learn, share and engage with us!

Twitter Chat 03-05-15

What do you want to read or chat about next? Leave a comment below.

Sharpen your tools with Sharon as she shares her key insights of the tool world and her impactful marketing strategies and tactics. Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.Sharon image

What is a Blog (Part II)

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In Part I, we explored what a blog is versus other forms of writing.  Optimize your blog today by reading our “How to Blog” tips!

Keep it light.  Readers turn to blogs that are conversational in tone and have a humorous, airy, and entertaining tone. Successful blogs have a “voice” that resonates with readers.

Be thought provoking. It is important to hold the attention of the reader and provide tangible and useful information. Blogs should read well and offer information or a key takeway that the individual can use in his everyday work/job site environment.

Tone down the technical.  Although a blog, similar to other Zircon content, must be 100% accurate, the content should appeal to a broad audience and shouldn’t be an instruction manual, white paper, or technical paper. The objective of the blog is to engage the reader, not necessarily provide a complete how to use the product.

Make it short, but sweet.  Keep the copy simple and concise.  Content that gets to the point and isn’t bogged down in unnecessary jargon or details will obtain higher readership, better shares, and more likes if the information is not too stuffy, confusing or lengthy.  Keep it brief, but not too vague.

Bright Idea iconBring on the visuals.  As strong as words are, think of how the blog can be enhanced with images.  It is often easier for you to get to a key point with a pictogram than many words. One strong visual, in concert with writing, creates the emphasis.

Zircon bloggers tackle everyday business challenges via the Zircon Pro Expert, Zircon in the Real World, and Zircon’s Marketing ToolBox blog sites.  Check out these blogs to get an idea of what a blog is.  What topics would you like to blog or read about?  Comment on our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and share your blog with us. We’d love to hear from you!