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Impressions vs reach

I suppose the new age debate surrounding marketing is how successful social media is, and the ways that we can actually measure it. Flooded with sponsored click-bait material, generating content that will attract your actual followers is getting more and more difficult.

Even if your posts are not achieving the level of likes and clicks that you desire, there are some nifty little insights available that will be able to tell you how successful your post was.

Introducing the terms ‘impressions’ and ‘reach’. Whilst you have probably heard of them, you are probably confusing them and what they mean.

  1. Impressions: Facebook identifies impressions as “the number of times a post from your Page is displayed. People may see multiple impressions of the same post.” Meaning that in any instance of your post being viewed, Facebook counts an impression; therefore, perhaps the accuracy of impressions is not the best for measuring success, given that one person may see a post shared several times and each time will count as one impression.

  2. Reach: Facebook identifies reach as “the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions because one person can see multiple impressions.” Basically, reach accounts for the total number of individuals who have seen/interacted with your posts and does not consider how many times they see the post.

Statistics across all social media platforms are exceptionally helpful in analysing how receptive your audience is to certain posts on certain platforms. Tailoring your content across different platforms is essential to boosting active follower engagement. If your blog links are failing on Facebook, only post them on LinkedIn. It is important to identify, highlight and target across social media.

Ultimately, it is by using statistics that social media analysts and content creators can assess the success or lack thereof of a business or brands social presence. When assessing your social network, impressions are a great tool for analysing the interactivity of followers with your posts. However, it is reach that will ultimately be the stat that informs you of how many of your followers actually saw your post, and more crucially tells you how many did not see the post.

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