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4 Brands That Won #EarthDay on Twitter

Earth Day was uber successful in Branding World this year, with 131,0o0 keyword mentions on Twitter (good job, Earth Day)! This ecoconscious holiday is an opportunity to make a difference and drive awareness for an important cause, but for large brands, it’s also a PR opportunity like no other.

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Why? Because Earth Day is less controversial than most other social causes…Who doesn’t like the Earth? We walk on it everyday. Our favorite teams play on it, our favorite celebs perform on it, and our favorite fashionistas strut on it. Plus, as NASA reminded us, it’s freakin’ beautiful.

Bottom line is, Instagram is a not-to-be-missed opportunity for brands to get their sell on. Because the category is so loose and encompasses so much, the playing field is wide open. Here were some of the winners this year.

1. Do it for your team.

The Dallas Cowboys and Pittsburgh Steelers were both in the top ten for most Retweeted Tweets using #EarthDay2014 or #EarthDay, with 1,204 and 455 respectively.

Both teams did a great job of fitting their desired broadcast (epic, world-defining fandom) into the Earth Day event theme via eye-catching Twitter cards and a semi-humorous message pairing (since Earth Day and Football love fit together about as well as two mismatched socks).

2. NASA wins Earth Day.

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This seems fitting for an organization with the following mission on Twitter: ” to explore the universe and discover our home planet.” NASA has used the past 24 hours (chart above) to showcase all their capabilities and events. This was its most engaging Earth Day Tweet:

NASA did a lot of work in the days leading up to Earth Day too, launching a success #GlobalSelfie campaign.

There have been over 5,000 mentions of #GlobalSelfie so far on Earth Day — and that’s just when the hashtag is coupled with #EarthDay or #EarthDay2014. Here’s one of the many:

NASA did a fantastic job of linking its mission — to build awareness around Earth Day in general and its brand in particular — and a globally recognized phenomenon: the thrill of taking a picture of yourself.

3.  Celebs, celebs, celebs — particularly Jared Leto and Kid Rock.

Speaking of Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts, celebs were definitely on Planet Earth’s side this #EarthDay. Jared Leto’s Tweet asking people to think about their planet did the best,

and Kid Rock came in a close second:

What do these two Earth Day winners have in common? Their tremendous follower counts (the more people who see your Tweet, the more people can engage with your Tweet) and rocker-boy reps — but that’s about where the similarity between the Tweets themselves ends. Jared Leto’s Tweet is serious and poetic, while Kid Rock’s statement is simple, direct, and can be taken both as a joke or as a serious remark. Either way, followers bought in with engagements.

4. Pretty Things!

Fashion did really well today. This was fashion’s #1 Earth Day Tweet in terms of engagement:

Pretty complicated and in-depth, huh? NOT. But maybe on a day when there are so many calls to action about caring for our planet (you know, kind of a serious subject), it was a nice, light-hearted relief. Or maybe the audience drawn to luxury fashion brands like Lilly Pulitzer are simply predisposed to engaging with visually stimulating content that doesn’t have a ton of nutritional value.

Final Thoughts

Things #EarthDay2014 taught me about running campaigns on Twitter:

  • Start publicizing your event in advance for best chance of success.
  • Harness the passion of your main follower base and cross-pollinate with the occasion at hand.
  • Get more followers on Twitter and get better Impressions no matter what you’re doing.
  • Walk the fine line of mockery and seriousness for high engagement rates.
  • …Or be deep and soulful. Basically, be a celebrity or just be yourself.
  • Visual content is a must on every social media channel. Twitter is no exception.

Which other loose, non-religious holidays do you think lend themselves to wide branding possibilities? What other great campaigns did you see rockin’ it this Earth Day (see what I did there?)? Let me know in the comments below.




Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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