Mark Twain famously said, “I can live for a year on a good compliment.”

If the acclaimed author was right, then quite a few Honest Tea fans can bank on a healthy and happy 2014.

In the days leading up to National Compliment Day (Jan. 24), the brand surveyed several thousand email subscribers about the art of giving and receiving compliments. The skinny: Most people are more likely to return the favor when it comes to passing out accolades. Get the full results in this infographic.

“We wanted to find out from our community just how far a compliment goes and inspire a positive moment,” said Dan Forman, Honest Tea’s director of PR and digital media.

Honest Tea #honestcompliment

And that they did. On Jan. 24, the Honest Tea-m sent personalized compliments via Twitter to more than 200 of its biggest fans, plus bloggers, organizations and media personalities they admire.

“Since we regularly engage with these people or admire their work, we were able to craft genuine compliments for them,” Forman explained, “then we created murals in our offices with talk bubbles, which we filled in with compliments then tweeted pictures out of them. Everyone on our list got a customized compliment, handcrafted and delivered by trained professionals.”

The flattering tweets did more than brighten their recipients’ day. The compliments were retweeted 1,475 times, and an additional 2,325 compliments were shared by other people. The #HonestCompliment hashtag was used more than 4,000 times. 

“The cool thing is people responded to it,” Forman said. “We created a spark that resonated.”

The stunt was no stretch for Honest Tea, which has made its mark with creative social experiments that extoll its brand values. Over the last year, the brand has handed out free compliments (and product samples) at concerts, races and other events.

“We want to have a transparent relationship with consumers -- from the ingredients we use and the way we do business, to the way we engage on social media -- while having some fun. It’s who we are,” Forman concluded. “And what better way to communicate joy, humor and honesty in a transparent way than handing out honest compliments?”