Thursday, May 31, 2012

How to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Social Media Channels

It seems like Pinterest has gained popularity overnight, but despite it being easy and fun to explore, Pinterest is also a wonderful tool to help promote existing social media channels such as blogs, Facebook and Twitter. In a recent article published by social media expert, Brian Solis, he referred to a recent study that shows Pinterest has the ability to increase SEO traffic to websites and various social media channels. “According to a new report published by Shareaholic, Pinterest drove greater traffic (to websites and social media channels) than LinkedIn, Google Plus, Reddit, and Youtube…combined,” says Solis.

The key is to know how to use Pinterest correctly to drive traffic to your company’s website and other social media channels. In combination with research efforts and our own expertise, the ECPR team has come up with three helpful tips on how to promote URLs, Facebook Timelines, Twitter pages, and blogs with Pinterest.

  1. “Pinning” photos from existing social media channels, such as recent blog posts, Facebook albums or TwitPics, automatically creates a backlink to the originating channels. Thus, the more people who select the link to the photo source as well as “repin” the photo, higher traffic to those websites will be created. Remember, a picture paints a thousand words- “Wow” images are likely to be “repined,” helping you gain traffic and backlinking. 

  2. Using specific keywords in the photo captions also helps vamp up SEO for social media channels. Adding keywords to your boards increases the odds of them appearing in a search. SEO keywords should be a single word or a phrase that consists of two to three words that directly correlate to the content of your website or social media channel. For example, if your company specializes in designing light fixtures, one good keyword would be “lighting designs.” 

  3. Like Twitter, Pinterest enables users to create “hashtags.” In Pinterest, the “hashtag” symbol can be used in photo captions, which functions as a link. This allows people to instantly explore Pinterest to find all pins with the specified search term. So how does this help your SEO? If consumers seek out popular “hashtags,” such as #gardening, the more likely your “pin” will show up in searches, which helps drive traffic to your other social media channels. 
Friends and fans, are you using Pinterest to help promote your company’s Facebook Timeline, blog and Twitter page? If so, what methods are you using to do so? Please feel free to share any additional tips, ideas and questions on how to increase SEO traffic to your social media channels.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

On the Go

It’s been a busy couple of months for our client Big River Industries Inc., the world’s largest manufacturer of expanded clay lightweight aggregate (LWA). Recently the company announced the acceptance of two Safety Awards from the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute and National Concrete Masonry Association (ICPI / NCMA). The ICPI / NCMA Safety Awards are highly coveted recognitions that represent the utmost level of plant safety commitment. The company’s Erwinsville, La. plant and Livingston Ala. plant each received an award for the number of hours worked accident free. The Erwinsville facility was acknowledged for 102,462 safe hours, and the Livingston operation was awarded for 92,357 hours.

To learn more about the ICPI / NCMA Awards, read this article on Masonry Construction’s website: http://bit.ly/LiSucf.

In addition to receiving the ICPI / NCMA Safety Awards, Big River Industries has also launched a newly redesigned website. The website offers a comprehensive overview of the company’s history, current projects, recent press coverage, literature library, as well as in depth descriptions of the wide range of product applications.

Big River Industries is known for producing high-quality, structural grade, rotary kiln-produced LWA, called Riverlite, at the company’s Livingston and Erwinsville plants. The company’s LWA product has a long track record of quality and performance. Since its development, LWA produced by the rotary kiln process has been used extensively in asphalt road surfaces, concrete bridge decks, high-rise buildings, structural concrete, concrete precast / pre-stressed construction, concrete masonry, and geotechnical applications. Other applications include storm water management, horticulture and green roofs.

To learn more about Big River Industries, visit www.bigriverindustries.com.

Friday, May 18, 2012

All About the 2012 Southern Living Idea House

Photo Credit: Southern Living
Southern Living’s 2012 Idea House is nestled in the quaint town of Senoia, Ga, located approximately 25-miles outside Atlanta. A revival of an early 19th century cottage-style farmhouse, the home is set to bring in almost 40,000 visitors from June through December 2012.

This year’s Idea House was designed by the talented team of architects and place makers, Historical Concepts, while the beautifully styled interior was carefully fashioned by Tracery Interiors. On the construction side, the home was developed by Senoia Enterprises, Inc. and built by John Bynum Custom Homes, Inc., one of the Atlanta area’s premier custom home builders. On the outside of the house, the landscape was designed by Get More Curb Appeal. Together, these companies have created a memorable home to benefit Camp Southern Ground, a charity organization founded by Zac Brown of the Zac Brown Band, to help children overcome academic, social and emotional difficulties.

As a great resource, the publication’s editors have dedicated a page on Southern Living’s website about this year’s Idea House. The page shares the wonderful story about the home and town in which it’s located. In addition, our client, Historical Concepts, as well as Tracery Interiors have created blog sites that reveal inside secrets about the home and design process from start to finish. Blog posts include photos, videos and much more. And, for those looking for a minute-by-minute update, check out the page’s Twitter feed. The resource page also shares a list of sponsors who have generously invested in the 2012 Idea House.

ECPR has a long-standing relationship with the Southern Living team, and we have been helping to promote the Senoia Idea House via our social media channels and other means. Also, as our client, Historical Concepts, is the architect of the home, we have been working closely with the company’s staff to plan several upcoming events at the house this summer, including a launch party for the firm’s new book entitled Coming Home: The Southern Vernacular House. Our team is excited to help our friends at Southern Living and the incredible architects at Historical Concepts to make this one of the best Idea Houses yet. Stay tuned to our blog and other social networking channels for ongoing updates as the house opens and its active schedule kicks-off soon.

To visit or learn more about this year’s Southern Living Idea House, click here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Around the World Heucheras

Garden writers and editors, Terra Nova Nurseries’ Heuchera City™ Series contains some of the worldliest heucheras on the market. The series includes two brand new varieties, ‘Gotham’ and ‘Rio’ as well as six others, ‘Havana’, ‘Hollywood’, ‘Milan’, ‘Paris’, ‘Shanghai’, and ‘Vienna’. This remarkable series is definitely one to keep on the radar for an upcoming blog post or article.

Heuchera 'Gotham'
Named after the infamous city in which Batman resides, ‘Gotham’, is the latest addition to the City™ Series. With obsidian-black leaves, this compact plant is perfect in a container or as an edger in the landscape. A fast-growing variety, ‘Gotham’ produces primrose-yellow flowers that standout like the moon on a dark night from spring to fall. Heuchera ‘Gotham’ has H. micrantha and H. sanguinea breeding, which enables it to tolerate extreme heat and drought, as well as perform well during the winter months in zones 4 – 9. The average size of ‘Gotham’ includes 10” Width / 6” Height / 11” Flower Height. This sinister new variety prefers moderately well-drained, organic soil.

Heuchera 'Rio'

Heuchera ‘Rio’ is the sauciest variety in the series. This multicolored plant is named for a vibrant city, Rio de Janeiro. With H. americana, H. micrantha, and H. villosa breeding, ‘Rio’ can be enjoyed throughout all four seasons. This stunning new heuchera produces beautiful, short maroon flower spikes with white flowers that bloom in the summer. Its foliage color is ever-changing from peach-amber, to amber, then to tan, and finally to yellow-amber. ‘Rio’ is a large and vigorous plant that makes for a great garden performer and a container star. Its average size includes 14” Width / 9” Height / 14” Flower Height and it performs well in zones 4 – 9.   

Heuchera 'Paris'
Heuchera ‘Paris’ has striking, white-veiled green leaves that give rise to continuous columns of large, deep rose-colored flowers. With its H. americana, H. cylindrical and H. sanguinea breeding, this classy heuchera has repeat blooms from summer to frost, with a single bloom-stem lasting for 2 months. ‘Paris’ is excellent in containers or the shade border. Its average size includes 14” Width / 7” Height / 14” Flower Height and it performs well in zones 4 – 9.

Heuchera 'Shanghai'
With its tight mounds of silvery-purple leaves set forth white flowers on dark stems, Heuchera ‘Shanghai’ is one of the showiest varieties in the City™ Series. As Shanghai is a beacon to China, Heuchera 'Shanghai' can be an inviting beacon of metallic-silver to front of the borders, containers and mass landscapes. This eye-catching heuchera grows well in zones 4 – 9 and has a beautiful mounding habit. The average size includes 12” Width / 10” Height / 18” Flower Height.

To learn more about the other varieties included in Terra Nova Nurseries’ Heuchera City™ Series, visit www.terranovanurseries.com.

Garden writers and media members, if you are interested in pursuing a story idea featuring these worldly heucheras, please contact one of our team members by posting a comment below.

* NOTE: To enlarge the images, select each individual photo.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

A Hot Affair

Interested in an insider look at the hottest new products for outdoor grilling and entertaining?

The ECPR team recently worked with editors of Casual Living, a top trade-based magazine that covers casual lifestyle news and products, to help co-write and act as Editor at Large for a trends article stemming from the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Expo that took place in March. The article entitled “Haute & Hot,” published in the April issue of the magazine and covers some of the latest and most innovative products in the hearth, patio and barbecue industries.

“Haute & Hot” features companies who manufacture technologically advanced grilling systems, outdoor fireplaces and fire pits, and elegant outdoor seating collections. The range of companies showcased in the article includes a selection of our clients as well as industry leaders such as RH Peterson, Big Green Egg and O.W. Lee. In addition to profiling new products, the article shares the latest industry and product trends our team uncovered. To read the full article on Casual Living’s website, click here.