5 million tweets and counting: A Twitter VP's top takeaways from 'Game of Thrones' mania

What's a brand to do when it can't buy ad space? Take the conversation to Twitter.

"It was the TV fan’s Super Bowl on Twitter."

That’s how Twitter VP of U.S. client solutions Jean-Philippe Maheu referred to the return of "Game of Thrones" on Sunday. The premiere of the show’s eighth and final season was the most-tweeted-about episode of the show ever, with more than 5 million tweets.

"That is roughly 10 times what the most-tweeted show usually gets," said Maheu.

After the show aired, each one of the top 10 global Twitter trends was about the episode. When a topic is tweeted about this much, brands should take note about how best to capitalize on such a massive, international conversation, he notes.

"For PR pros, it is about understanding what’s coming down the pike in terms of schedule and expecting those big moments where brands can connect with a Twitter audience," explained Maheu.

While Maheu said he could not share a list of the most engaging brand tweets, he cited Oreo as one example of a brand that garnered impressive results on the social media network with its #GameOfCookies video. Tweeted by Oreo almost two weeks before the premiere, the video has racked up 2 million views, 14,000 retweets and nearly 29,000 likes.

Maheu also gave shout-outs to HBO, which changed its Twitter name to House Box Office from Home Box Office for the premiere; Merriam-Webster, which shared the history behind 10 "Game of Thrones" words; and Burger King, which posted a screenshot of a text to character Jon Snow.

Brand tweets about the "Game of Thrones" premiere are examples of the trend of consumers influencing brand passions on the platform. Marketers are tuning into what people are talking about on Twitter, and then using their brand voices to mimic consumer interests.

The strategy is especially handy for brands when they are unable to buy ad space on a channel such as HBO, Maheu added.

"The only way you can associate your brand with live programming is on Twitter, where the conversation is happening," he said. "Ultimately, brands want to connect with culture and be a part of the conversation. To be relevant, you try to connect your brand with fans but also fans of content your brand can be a part of."

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