If 2014 offered a lesson for brands on Twitter, it was this: See a gaffe, pounce on it. Among the most popular marketer tweets of the year were those that chimed in during high-profile mishaps -- chomping at the World Cup, headware at the Grammy's, glitches during Apple's product launch. (Of course, plenty of brands continue to botch this strategy.)
That said, one of the top brand tweets -- from Bud Light -- simply took a favorite internet pastime, the emoji, and coupled it with a holiday. And the biggest Twitter brand splash of the year was an intentionally old-fashion marketing tactic: a sweepstake.
Twitter doesn't share collated metrics on advertisers. But it did send over what it considers some of the top advertiser tweets that garnered the most engagement -- retweets, favorites, replies and shares. Most were paid ads, while some were unpaid and ascended organically. A Twitter spokeswoman did add that even with for the organic tweets, once brands saw engagement, they followed up with paid promotion.
1. Esurance, #EsuranceSave30 (paid)
Not one tweet, per se. Closer to 3 million. That's the number of hashtagged submissions the insurance company saw at the onset of its $1.5 million Super Bowl sweepstakes. In its initial days, it brought one billion impressions and 1,600% growth in Twitter followers for the company -- and a gift to one very lucky northern California man.
2. Snickers, Luis Suárez World Cup bite (organic)
Several brands leapt on the most tantalizing moment during the World Cup, when the Uruguayan star sunk his teeth into an opponent. Snickers' entrance, originally an unpaid post, was the most popular.
3. Budweiser, 4th of July emoji (paid)
🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 🎆🎆🎆🎆🎆🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻🍻 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸 #4thofJuly— Bud Light (@budlight) July 4, 2014
4. Walt Disney Studios' Captain America's farewell (organic)
Captain America jumped on the Farewell to Derek Jeter bandwagon.
5. Denny's, Apple live stream (paid)
At the start of Apple's big iPhone unveiling, the live-stream failed. The restaurant chain capitalized on the glitch.
6. Chevrolet, #TechnologyandStuff (paid)
The carmaker turned its executive's befuddled remarks into a five-day, $5 million publicity windfall.
7. Arby's, Pharrell's hat (paid)
Pharrell Williams wore an oversized hat to the Grammy's. It looked like the Arby's logo. QED.
8. DiGiorno's, Super Bowl (paid)
9. Doritos, Super Bowl (organic)
10. JCPenney, Drunk mittens texting (organic)
What seemed to be one of the worst social-media handlers ever -- or a hack job -- turned out to be a well-played bit from JCPenney.