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Engagement, impressions, reach — what does all this social media lingo mean?

In the world of social media marketing, jargon can quickly become difficult to interpret, and many marketers find themselves confused about the industry’s terms.

This confusion is particularly apparent in the case of impressions versus reach. While the two work together to create a good social strategy, they are decidedly different. Marketers who know the difference are better equipped to run and analyze successful social campaigns.

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Impressions vs. Reach: 3 Critical Differences

Impressions represent the number of times your social media content is displayed. The same person may see an ad several times; each of these times counts as an impression.

Reach is the number of individual social media users who were shown a page or post. Note that the same person may see the same ad several times; they still only count as one reach.

To help you better understand the difference between these two metrics, here are three major distinctions to keep in mind:

1. Reach refers to the number of individuals who saw your content

While impressions are the total number of times your content appeared in any news feed on Facebook, reach refers to the number of individual users who saw it. Reach will always be smaller than impressions since a single person can see several impressions of a page or post.

2. Impressions have little to do with interaction

Impressions only tell you how many times your content was displayed. It doesn’t tell you whether or not anyone clicked on the content, so it’s a spotty indicator of engagement.

3. Reach is the metric most marketers use to determine engagement

Marketers who want content with a broad reach to boost engagement numbers use reach as their guideline. Content with a broad reach is making its way to new users and is more likely to be shared.

To utilize this data to calculate your engagement rate, follow this formula:

Step 1. Add the number of likes + comments + shares all of your content on any one social platform receives in that given day

Step 2. Divide the sum by the total number of fans on that given day

Step 3. Multiply by 100

The final percentage gleaned from this formula will help you understand how well your brand is engaging with its fans, i.e. your engagement rate. On average, a Facebook post only reaches 10% of your fans.

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Cutting Through the Lingo to Understand Impressions vs. Reach

While impressions and reach may seem interchangeable, they indicate two very different metrics that marketers must understand to make the most of their social media strategies. By evaluating both your reach and your impressions, you can boost your engagement and make your social media interactions more productive than they’ve ever been.

Want to make your social media work for you? Contact us to develop a strategic plan to boost your engagement and drive traffic.

3 Key Differences Between Impressions and Reach was last modified: January 3rd, 2018 by burkhart