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Social Media's Biggest Reveal

It happened just hours before Christmas 2022 when Twitter, right out of the blue, began showing the number of views every tweet receives.

Using Facebook's launch in 2004 as the big bang of current era social media, Twitter's unprecedented new transparency is showing, after 19 years, the scale of the distorting effects of algorithms.    

For us in our specialism of social media marketing in agriculture the new data paint a fascinating picture. The chart below is from our ground-breaking 2023 survey of 500 agriculture businesses and organisations in the UK.

Tracked Fendt Tractor with cultivator

'Reach is king,
content the pawns.'

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The future of social media marketing in agriculture will belong to users of the most accurate precision audience targeting, which is exactly why our clients are already using our specialist expertise in accurately targeted promotion across all platforms.


For our clients, accurately promoting is a central part of their marketing strategy. Our Twitter Audiences are - even globally - the most accurate way of reaching farmers, having delivering many millions of accurately targeted verified views to farming audiences in the UK and around the world.

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 None of the tens of thousands of data tables and many hundreds of interpretive charts we have produced have been more significant than this. It explodes not one but three marketing assumptions.

Entirely logically, the base assumption has been that increasing an account's number of followers was increasing its marketing reach. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were all complicit in the myth-building, even offering, with admirable audacity, promotion options to add followers. (In fact, using followers as a measure of business performance is like having to run faster and faster up an accelerating down escalator.)

This assumption was underpinned by the second - that most followers would be seeing an account's tweets or posts. As the chart shows, for UK businesses in agriculture the average number of followers seeing tweets is just 9%. And the third assumption fractured is that shares and retweets increase reach pro rata.

Will the big reveal change social media marketing? Undoubtedly, it's already happening. The obvious difference between followers and views means businesses actively posting on free-to-use social media will re-think. The idea of growing followers as a social media marketing aim will disappear in the rear-view mirror. Overall less resource will be applied to producing content for free-to-use publishing. 


Survey of 500 accounts shows average tweet views to be 9% of followers. Chart showing decline in percentage of tweet views as the number of followers increases. From unique research by Social:Farmers 202
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