An analysis of turfgrass industry Twitter accounts in 2020

I’ve repeated an analysis of tweets and accounts from another year in the turf industry. Last week I shared some overall results and category-specific rankings.

The searchable Turfgrass Twitter 2020 Shiny app has all the results.

Here are 5 more things I want to share about this.

The “Tweets of the Year” Shiny App

Garrick Aden-Buie has a really fast and well-designed app called Tweets of the Year or “In Review: Your 2020 on Twitter.” Put in your username (or any username), and within a few seconds you get all kinds of summary information about your account from the past year. Who you mentioned the most (I wrote to paceturf the most), which tweets you sent that received the most likes and retweets, what hashtags you used the most, and so on.

The top 20 “rookie” accounts in 2020

Some big names here! I looked at the accounts that were created in 2020 and that tweeted enough to make the list.

An alternative ranking; one of many

Of course the way these rankings come out depends on what is included. I try to share a lot of useful information in the Shiny App so one can check various permutations.

Here’s one I did just now. It’s an overall ranking with 5 categories instead of 6. This one omits the tweet creation rate.

Well, hello there, UTTurfWeeds! And I see Jon Merchant is still in the top 50 without considering the number of tweets sent. You see how the rankings change based on how they are constructed.

Paul Burgess is at the top of the industry

Another way to look at this is at favorites per tweet. You can see that in the “Dark Horse” tab of the app. Paul Burgess is far and away the leader in that category — in 2020 he averaged 468 favorites for every tweet he sent! We could also look at retweets per tweet. He’s tops in that category as well. 54 retweets on average every time he tweeted last year.

The overall numbers

I think the total number of active accounts are interesting. I started this looking at tweets in 2017, and I identified the “turfgrass industry” accounts by intersecting lists of accounts that followed at least 1 of 7 turfgrass scientists1 and that also followed at least 1 of 6 industry associations.2 I know that some people for whatever reason don’t follow associations—I don’t get it but I know they don’t. And there are some people that don’t follow any of these scientists. They can still be in the turfgrass industry but the net I am throwing won’t capture those accounts.

Anyway, that initial screen got:

  • 6,271 accounts in 2017
  • 7,689 accounts in 2018
  • 8,572 accounts in 2019
  • 9,222 accounts in 2020

Two things strike me about those numbers. First, that seems tiny to me. Considering the size of the turfgrass industry around the world, that’s not a lot of accounts. Second, the growth is slowing down from year to year.3

And then after that initial screen, if we look at accounts that have sent more than 50 tweets overall, and that tweeted at least 12 times in 2020—those are what I call active accounts, the number drops to 5,892.

But it’s a good number. I’ve certainly been able to make great use of Twitter to share information that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to share with such a large and global audience. And I’ve learned a ton from reading what others have shared, or observing what others are doing. Here’s to another fun and informative year of turfgrass twitter.

😄 ☀️ 💚 🍸 ✈️


  1. Me, Larry Stowell, Bill Kreuser, Tom Young, Jyri Kaapro, John Kaminski, or Bryan Unruh ↩︎

  2. GCSAA, BIGGA, CGSA, ASTMA, The GMA, or the STMA ↩︎

  3. In the past 11 days, actually, the count for that identical screen went down from 9,222 to 9,119. Of course some of this decrease could be accounts being set to private. ↩︎

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