Reach Versus Impressions
A solid social media strategy is essential for growing many types of businesses. To develop your campaign you should identify your target demographic, the platforms it is likely to use and the brand voice you want to promote.
However, social media marketing is not “one and done.” You need a way to monitor and analyze how well your campaign is doing. It is important to know which aspects of your social media approach are proving effective and which could benefit from change. Reach and impressions are two key metrics that help you analyze the impact of your social promotion efforts.
The Difference Between Reach and Impressions
Briefly, reach measures how many unique users viewed your content. Impressions show how many times your content showed up for various users, whether or not they took any action such as clicking to see it. For example, you may put up a promotional post; a portion of your followers will view it. This is your reach for that post. Some of these people may then share it so it shows up on their followers’ feed. This does not mean the followers even see this content — it just means it shows up on the screen. This is the impression count.
While Facebook and Instagram use these definitions, other popular platforms may present slightly different metrics. For instance, Twitter only gives you an impression count but defines impressions as a user seeing your content; however, content you post in responses results in fewer impressions. Other sites may provide you with metrics such as clicks, shares, follows and engagement.
A platform such as Facebook may also count these metrics differently for different types of content. As a business user, you may have a page for your company and also pay for ads that show up on people’s feeds.
Why Reach and Impressions Matter
Tracking reach and impressions together gives you a good idea of how specific types of posts perform versus others. If you have substantial reach but relatively few impressions, this can mean your target audience is not sharing your content. Figuring out why that is so can be key to making your online presence an effective marketing tool. On the other hand, if you have low reach but a high impression count, you may be putting out a high volume of ads no one is looking at.
Reach and impressions should also be viewed in conjunction with other metrics. For example, conversion is the ultimate goal of social media marketing. Your purpose in producing content is to get people to make an appointment, call your office or give you their contact information. If lots of people are viewing and sharing your content but your conversion rate remains low, this can be a sign you need to change something about your ads.
The two metrics of reach and impression also correlate in another way. Typically, users will see your content on their screens several times before they become sufficiently interested to click, share or otherwise engage. So you want to create enough impressions to make users aware of your brand, but not so many they will become annoyed and fed up with it. This optimal number differs depending on your type of business and the demographic you want to reach.
As you see, even key performance metrics for promotional content can vary depending on the platform you use. Further, as each platform evolves, both the definitions and the mechanics of analytics can change. For this reason, it can help to work with qualified professionals who thoroughly understand today’s analytics and are equipped to stay current even when rapid changes occur.
At Opiniion, we provide a full range of online marketing support for today’s business owners. Fill out our online contact form or call 855-330-9980 to learn more about how we can bring your business to the next level.