Request A Demo

Measuring The Impact of One Perfect Tweet: Arby’s Case Study

pharrell arbys hat tweetThere are certain cases when a small social media effort generates disproportionately large returns. A perfect storm of amplification can take a single Tweet, Pin, or Post to extreme heights when you match the right content with the right audience at the right time.

Arby’s clever, well-timed #GRAMMYs Tweet to Pharrell (and his hat) is a perfect case study for measuring the out-sized returns that are possible from one exceptional piece of social media content.

Proving the impact of your best content is an important objective for social media measurement. Measuring the full impact of your best content helps validate your efforts and guide action on future efforts. Let’s step through the metrics and analysis for Arby’s Tweet…

Benchmark Before vs After: Did Arby’s Epic Tweet Have a Lasting Impact?

We’ll dig in on the single Tweet, but the most important analysis is measuring the long-term impact against a baseline. How did the new followers, massive reach, and positive sentiment from the original Tweet impact Arby’s after the dust settled?

Arbys Twitter Scorecard Before After

The above table shows weekly averages for Arby’s Twitter Analytics in a 21 day period before and after the Grammy’s Tweet. It’s clear that meaningful residual value is being realized from this effort. Here is the full Twitter Analytics report for @Arby’s “before” and here’s the 21 day benchmark “after” report.

Isolating a Single Tweet: What Happened and Why?

Now that we’ve measured the long-term impact, we need to isolate the metrics around the single Grammy Tweet beyond the basic RT and Favorite counts shown on Twitter. The goal here is to look at this Tweet in a vacuum and understand it’s impact in the moment from all angles. Since the big story here is about amplification, the megaphone serves as the ideal visual to tell this story.

Screenshot 2014-03-05 14.31.31

We can quickly see that Arby’s single Tweet engaged over 118K people, racked up over 180K RTs, Favorites, and related organic mentions, and drew nearly 170M potential impressions. Not bad for a 60 characters and a photo! Looking at how Retweets accumulated over time, alongside the major influencers, shows how the Tweet quickly took hold and hand a long tail over the next 24 hours.

Arbys Tweet Amplification Over Time

Taking Action: 5 Ways to Capitalize on a Hit to Capture More Value

Hit content is magical. It can generate huge results in the moment and have a last impact, but it can do even more if you take a concerted effort to capitalize. The data can help guide these actions.

1. Step up your cadence. Arby’s got a bump in engagement from this Tweet, but they also stepped up the cadence of Tweeting from 32 per week to 39 per week in our before/after comparison. This helps re-engaged people more often following the initial burst of engagement.

2. Respond quick to build deeper relationships with new audience. Arby’s has always been excellent when it comes to responding in real-time. They kept up this standard even as the “demand” grew, increasing replies per week from 205 to 418 (see table above).

3. Follow-up with similar content. Arby’s has continued to Tweet with Pharrell, about Pharrell, and engage with related topics well after the GRAMMYs. They aren’t spamming their followers with the same stuff, but they are continuing to build on the original message at the appropriate time.

4. Convert your new engaged audience to other channels. Shortly after the Pharrell Tweet Arby’s ran a promotion that could leverage their new audience to build another marketing connection.

5. Target your new influencers. The table above shows the influencers who has the biggest impact, amplifying Arby’s Tweet. This gives the brand and opportunity to engage this group again with future targeted content and direct outreach.


Interested in tracking the impact of your own perfect Tweet? Simply Measured’s full suite of Twitter Analytics offers complete measurement of your accounts, followers, keywords, and competition.

Learn more about Twitter Analytics

Adam Schoenfeld

Adam is the Co-Founder and VP of Strategy at Simply Measured. In 2010 (aka the dark ages of social marketing), Adam joined Damon Cortesi and Aviel Ginzburg to found "Untitled Startup, Inc" with the goal of helping marketers and analysts use social data to do their best work. The company quickly evolved to become Simply Measured and the trusted leader in social analytics. Outside of Simply Measured, Adam is a golfer, breakfast enthusiast, and long-time data geek.

Never Miss a Post!

Request a Demo