Incredible Buzz of #FoodThanks — A Look at the Numbers

A visual of the FoodThanks Tweets from

Pulling foodthanks and RT, these are the most prominent words in the foodthanks tweets

The AgChat Foundation offers a heart-felt thanks to food lovers everywhere. Our social media campaign #FoodThanks was to help remind folks of the vast diversity and abundance of our food supply, and recognize the many folks that play an active daily role in bringing that food from the farmer growing it, to the plate sitting in front of you. The effort was an almost 100% an online campaign. The idea was discussed and then a few folks began sharing the idea, a simple website ( was created, and momentum built.
Looking at some numbers, by the end of the day 11/24/10 – 2,428 tweets had been sent by 803 people. Most impressive, while AgChat Foundation is certainly an ag organization, with the purpose of empowering farmers to share their stories, we succeeded in two campaign goals of connecting with others in the food chain including food processors, scientists, dietitians, members of the general public as well as broadening our agricultural connections.The foodthanks website recieved almost 2000 visitors in the week after it was launched thanks almost entirely to social media promotion.  While #foodthanks was a Twitter hashtag, connectivity to other channels resulted in significant exposure. In fact, traffic from Facebook to foodthanks was over twice as high as traffic from Twitter. On a somewhat techie note, this is only traffic from the websites themselves, we are aware that a higher amount of Twitter use is from tools like Tweetdeck or Seesmic, so this is not a direct comparison.  But an important point is while we have very exact numbers of tweets, Facebook does not allow that kind of tracking at all. So we really have no idea how much Facebook activity took place, but are certain is was quite high as well.

One other social media aspect of this campaign is blogging.  Exact tracking is hard here as well, but searching has found more than 50+ blogs that shared the #foodthanks message.  Also of note, while Facebook and Twitter drove the most traffic to the foodthanks website, over 35 different blogs sent at least one visitor during this one week period.

Returning to Twitter and the 4,665 tweets by 1,216 people, there are tools that can help derive reach. We have some preliminary numbers that show “reach” on Twitter – the number of people following someone that used or retweeted the #foodthanks tag, to be close to two million! There will be some followup data analysis, trying to better understand the things that make an effort like this most successful, but I’m happy to say with confidence that combining the work on Facebook, Twitter, and blogs, we reached a very large and diverse audience with this effort, and extend a sincere thank you to all that took the time to share their food thanks over the last week.

And this week’s campaign doesn’t need to end! Similar to tags like #moo and #thankafarmer that we have used for campaigns in the past, let’s continue to share #foodthanks at every opportunity!

Darin Grimm – Kansas, Farmer, AgChat Foundation Treasurer

Twitter * Blog * Facebook * LinkedIn * YouTube * Other

Darin farms with his father and a couple of valued partners raising row crops and feeding cattle in the northeast corner of Kansas. Darin has been involved for a number of years in precision agriculture and using data to help understand and improve agronomic decisions on the farm.  “With such a small amount of the population directly connected to growing their food today, social media seems to be a vital component in helping people understand today’s farm business. My personal passion is applying the data skills I have learned from working with technology such as sensors and GPS systems to the world of social media.”


  1. #Foodthanks – I’ll start the list with this one, I did a blog post on the numbers from this effort and won’t add a lot here, other than this is probably the kind of Foundation