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Hickory Springs nearly doubles social media activity for contest

Second Earth Care Challenge draws more than 15,000 views

HICKORY, N.C. — Furniture components supplier Hickory Springs said its fan following for its second national social media contest, The EarthCare Challenge, was nearly double that of the first contest a year ago.

The contest drew more than 15,000 post views in March and more than 1,150 fans follow the contest on Twitter and Facebook, the company said.

"We are thrilled with the amazing boost we've experienced through Facebook this year," said Dwayne Welch, Hickory Springs executive vice president. "We realized that we could use Facebook to build relationships with consumers, bringing attention to the seemingly small aspects of everyday living that many people haven't considered. It's not just about going to the store and purchasing eco-friendly products, it's about building awareness about the very components that make up the everyday products we use."

To promote its EarthCare Inside offerings, Hickory Springs launched the first EarthCare Challenge consumer competition on Facebook in 2009. Companies can use social media to develop genuine relationships with consumers, Hickory Springs officials said.

"We feel fortunate that we could use social media as a platform to show the movement of our company, and the furniture industry in general, toward a greener standard," Welch said.

The first EarthCare Challenge sought to bring to life the quest of young adults seeking to live more sustainably. This year's contest broadened the company's reach through schools. Guided by a panel of green experts, it taught consumers of all ages that when purchasing a product, they can consider its packaging, how it is constructed, and whether it can be reused or recycled.

Contest participants brought their networks of friends, family and communities to vote and interact on the contest home,

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