reach and impressions in social media

Engagement is crucial to your business in social media marketing and for promoting your brand effectively. Many small businesses don’t understand the terms Reach and Impressions, but if you want to grow your audience on social media, it is important to know their correlation.

We often meet these terms, but we are unaware why each metric is useful. Even though sometimes they may be referred to as the same, they still have different definitions.

Please have a look at the article below to grasp the concepts and learn how they are measured.

What Is Social Reach

social reach

Reach is thought of as the number of people who see your content. However, not every follower sees your content due to various factors, such as placement algorithms, post frequency, and timing. In the best case scenario, if you have 10.000 followers, the number of people who you could reach will be 10.000. When we mention Reach, we think of how big your virtual audience is.

What Are Social Impressions

social impressions

Impressions are the number of times a content is presented, whether it is clicked or not. People generate numerous Impressions of the same post.

For example, you can see a page update in the News Feed once, and yet once again if someone else shares it. If one person sees the same post twice, that is two Impressions. Impressions are important for determining how many times the content has been displayed in people’s News Feeds.

The Impressions count tells you how many times a social post was viewed. The number of Impressions is the number of people who viewed the post.

Understanding The Differences

The Reach number will be smaller than the number of Impressions. That is because a person can have numerous Impressions of a single post. A person can see the same post twice, but the Reach will still be one. These two terms are often confusing, but we have to make a clear distinction between them.

These two metrics are essential because they determine how active your audience is. As an illustration, let’s say that you have 5000 followers. You share a certain post and wait for a few days to check the statistics. You find out that the Reach is 2500, but you got 10.000 Impressions.

So what does this mean? About half of your audience is actually active and sees your content. Others may not be able to see your post, as they didn’t engage with your page for a while. The active part of your audience also shared your post.

Twitter Reach And Impressions

twitter reach and impressions

Let’s say you have 2000 followers on Twitter. If each follower sees a Tweet you posted, then your Reach is 2000, and the number of Impressions is also 2000. But if one follower retweets to her followers (say 500 followers), the Reach would be 2000 + 500 = 2500.

Yet, the total Impressions may be less than 2500 because not everybody will see the retweeted post. This is why you want your followers to retweet your posts, and also you want the followers of your followers to be active on Twitter.

Facebook/LinkedIn Reach And Impressions

On Facebook and LinkedIn, Reach is divided into three categories:

  • Organic Reach The number of unique people you can reach for free by publishing content. These are people that you are directly linked to.
  • Paid Reach The number of unique people you can reach with targeted ads.
  • Viral Reach The number of unique people who see your content thanks to friends liking, sharing, commenting on your posts.

Similarly, Impressions are also divided into three categories:

  • Organic Impressions – The number of times a content is seen in News Feeds.
  • Paid Impressions The number of times a paid content is seen.
  • Viral impressions – The number of times a content associated with your page is viewed on other people’s walls.  

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

social media conversions

If you are doing social marketing, you will need bigger Reach to have successful social campaigns. But Reach isn’t a goal in itself.

You want to be able to reach more people, but you don’t just want a statistic. You want the real thing, which is getting greater exposure, i.e., Impressions. But Impressions aren’t the end goal itself.

You will want people to engage with your content. You will want them to click on the link and visit your website. But website traffic isn’t the end goal either.

Once people are on your website, you control the environment, and your website should be able to guide the conversation toward a conversion point. Ultimately, social marketing is about Conversions, whether that is a sale or a subscription or something else that has business value.

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