Reach & Impressions: What Does it All Mean?

If you’re a social media manager, you understand how important it is for your content to be seen and engaged with.

One of your main goals for social media management is to increase the account’s audience and  brand awareness. With that in mind, it’s important to know the difference between reach and impressions. Both terms have similar meanings, but provide different results on social media.

Reach vs. Impressions

Reach is the total number of people who can see your content and Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was engaged with or not. For example, if a post was shown to the same person three different times, it would be 1 reach and 3 impressions.  

Clients wish that all of their followers would see and interact with every piece of content posted but it doesn’t happen. For instance, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA) has 7,200 followers, but the organic content doesn’t result in 7,200 likes, comments, and shares. Without a post being promoted (like the post below), the organic content only receives a small percentage of interactions.   

Why Reach & Impressions Matters (+ which is more important)

Both reach and impressions are important because they help increase brand awareness and grow the audience.  

Depending on an account’s goal, you might want to focus on just one or the other. If the main goal is to get content out to a specific number or people, then focus on reach. Shift the focus to impressions if your main goal is to increase brand awareness and you want your content shown a specific number of times.

However, Sprout Social reports reach may be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. But knowing who your target audience is and what kind of content they like to see can help to increase both.

Something more important than reach and impressions is engagement. Engagement is the number of interactions people have with your content, whether it’s likes, comments, shares or retweets. According to AdWeek, it’s considered to be the most important metric for social media campaigns. If people are liking and interacting with your content, they may be likely to share it with their friends. If you’re receiving high-quality engagement on your content, reach and impressions will continue to grow.

If you think about it, engagement is the final step in this three-part process. Reach and impressions work together to drive engagement to your content. It all starts with content and what the audience likes to see.

Still don’t understand the difference between reach, impressions and how beneficial it all is? MILO’s team of experts are here to help increase your brand’s awareness! Contact us.