How Wendy’s achieved the top tweet of 2011

The fast-food chain’s promise to donate to a charity for foster kids earned it the year’s Golden Tweet award.

“It was a tremendous, pleasant surprise,” says Wendy’s spokesman Denny Lynch. “We had not anticipated that.”

Part of the reason Wendy’s didn’t anticipate the award is that the fast-food chain has a relatively modest number of Twitter followers, at a little more than 57,000. Compare that with last year’s Golden Tweet winner, Stephen Colbert, who has nearly 3 million.

Twitter doesn’t disclose the number of retweets that specific tweets receive, so Lynch said Wendy’s doesn’t know how many retweets the company actually got.

Its $50,000 pre-determined donation actually had nothing to do with the number of retweets—which, clearly, must be the case with all such philanthropic promotions on Twitter.

Lynch said Wendy’s got word it had won the Golden Tweet award about two weeks ago, shortly before the Dec. 8 public announcement.

How did Wendy’s get there? The company had a little help from some big names. It was a promoted tweet. And it was for a good cause.

The cause

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