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Does free social media work for marketing?

Free Social Media FAQs


How important is social media marketing?
85%+ of the UK farming audience is using social media (Ofcom) and accurately targeted promoted social media is the most effective marketing channel in existence. It's a new world but one that pivots around the accuracy of targeting ~ platforms are expert at encouraging spend and hoovering up the hard cash by delivering you impressions that are seen by swathes of non-target audience.

The almost total migration of audiences from print to digital is being tracked, unsurprisingly, by a mirroring re-allocation of marketing spending. By 2024 promotion of social media content will have the greatest share of all marketing spend around the world.

Understood, but is free social media still worth using for marketing in agriculture? 
The very short answer for almost every business is NO. Being busy, on-brand and producing high quality content shouldn't be confused with effective marketing if reaching the target audience is based on free social media - this is mostly imaginary marketing.


Algorithms underly all of social media and ensure that only a controlled portion of followers see a post. The more followers an account has then the smaller the proportion seeing the posts. And of those that do, most are the same people each time. 

Anything else?
It's an understandably favoured view that most account followers comprise a business’s target farmer audience.  

For a variety of reasons nearly every account has a majority of followers either unconnected with farming or, if in agriculture, are not decision-makers of any interest. We have conducted multiple research studies into this area of social media behaviours. The majority presence of these 'other' followers seriously dilutes the value of the already throttled-back reach being delivered by the algorithms. 

So ... it’s not worth attracting followers?
When Social:Farmers launches new accounts for clients, no attempt is made to acquire any followers. Understanding Algorithms explains why more is less in free social media for business users.

Why are our competitors still using free social media?
We track the use of social media by farmers and businesses and it was notable in the early years that farmers were first onto social media, with manufacturers and distributors gradually following their customers’ lead. Regular market competition ensures that businesses in a sector stay in fairly close step.

Objective measurement of farming audience reach would show that for most businesses the use of free social media can safely be ended without any negative effect on the bottom line - with a savvy few having already made this decision.

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