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Reach Vs Impressions: Here’s What You Need To Know

Apr 04, 2022

Social Media Marketing News

Reach Vs Impressions: Here’s What You Need To Know

When it comes down to it, social media marketers all covet the same thing – getting as many eyes on your content as possible. 

But how do you track this? There are a large variety of metrics that can aid you in your mission to grow your audience, but two particularly important ones are reach and impressions. 

Both reach and impressions refer to how much your content is being viewed – but they measure this in distinctly different ways. Getting a firm handle on these metrics is integral to expanding your audience and achieving success in the marketing world; so let’s get into it! 

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN IMPRESSIONS AND REACH

In its most stripped back form, reach refers to how many people saw your content; how many people it reached. 

Things like Reels, Stories, TikToks and more, all show you your reach by default. 

Impressions are a bit more complicated. They refer to how many times your content was seen. This includes multiple watches from unique accounts and is calculated by measuring how many times your content was shown on a platform. 

What this means, is that you may have lower reach than impressions. This would imply that you aren’t getting as many views on your content, but the people who are seeing it are loving it! 

It is worth evaluating impressions vs reach when considering your brand’s goals. If you are leaning more towards establishing strong customer relationships, then impressions are more valuable. 

If you are looking to scale your audience, then reach will be far more useful to you. 

REACH VS IMPRESSIONS ON DIFFERENT PLATFORMS

Each social media platform measures reach vs impressions a little bit differently. Understanding how these metrics are calculated across different platforms is essential to generating as big of an audience as you can. 

Facebook: Reach vs Impressions 

Facebook takes a very classical approach to measuring reach and impressions. 

Reach is defined as how many users saw content from or about your Facebook page. In this instance, “about” refers to the posts you’re tagged in, for example. 

Impressions is calculated by the number of times content from or about your page is on someone else’s page. This could be through them searching for you or through their news feed. 

A neat tidbit to keep in mind is that if you’re using Facebook Ads then impressions will be split into paid versus organic as well. 

Instagram: Reach vs Impressions 

Instagram refers to reach as “Accounts Reached”. This is defined as the number of separate accounts who have seen your content on their screen at least once. 

In contrast, impressions are the number of times your content was viewed. This includes multiple views from the same account. 

Instagram offers up useful analytics on top of reach and impressions as well. These metrics can be viewed over seven days, thirty days, the last month, of the last ninety days. On top of this, your reach and impressions data can be broken down by gender, location, and age. 

IG reach vs impressions

X: Reach vs Impressions 

While X does not provide reach metrics for its users, it does feature impressions data. Impressions can be found within each individual tweet and are calculated by the number of times the tweet appears on a feed or within search results. 

Impressions can be viewed over the last seven days, twenty-eight days, or even over a specific month. 

LinkedIn: Reach vs Impressions 

Unfortunately, LinkedIn’s reach and impressions metrics are slightly lacking. Your impressions are defined as the number of views you receive on each post. Whilst LinkedIn offers no official reach metric, you are able to see how many people have viewed your profile over the last twenty-eight days, as well as their company, location and job title. 

YouTube: Reach vs Impressions  

YouTube offers an abundance of impressions metrics; you can view how many times your video has been viewed, how many times it has been clicked, how long it has been watched, and how many times your video thumbnail appears in user’s feeds. 

However, YouTube does not calculate reach.

TikTok: Reach vs Impressions 

TikTok takes a very simplistic approach to reach vs impressions. Reach is defined as your “Reached Audience”, which is the number of unique users who watched your content. 

Impressions is simply the total number of views your videos achieve. This includes multiple views from the same account. 

TikTok reach vs impressions

Pinterest: Reach vs Impressions  

Within Pinterest, a user can track both their impressions and reach. Reach is defined as the “Total Audience” of an account. This is shown by the total amount of views per Pin, for all content, by month or all time. 

Conversely, impressions are defined as the number of times a Pin was displayed in a user’s homepage, on their boards, or within a search. 

Pinterest reach vs impressions

Snapchat: Reach vs Impressions 

Snapchat’s reach and impressions metrics are a bit more specific than your average platform. 

Reach can be found within the platform’s native insights and shows how many followers viewed your content over the previous week. 

Impressions are only available for Snapchat Ads and shows you paid versus organic views. 

WHAT’S SO IMPORTANT ABOUT REACH VS IMPRESSIONS?

Ultimately, reach and impressions are top-of-funnel metrics. They give you a topline overview of your audience whilst allowing you to understand quickly and easily how many people your content is reaching. As such, they are especially beneficial for when you are at the start of your social media journey.

As we mentioned earlier, the aim with reach vs impressions is to get eyes on your content. Rather than trying to move people to take action – for example, make a purchase – reach and impressions help you grow your audience. As a result, these metrics are perfect for tracking brand awareness and audience building. 

If you are seeking more specific information on your content, then mid-to-bottom funnel metrics are far more beneficial. These are far more complex and delve into things such as engagement, clicks, conversions, and more. 

Our Influencer marketing agency and Social agency are located worldwide, with our agency network based in the USA, UK, UAE and China.

If you want to receive our industry insights, visit our Influencer Marketing & Social Media blog.

@ Socially Powerful

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James Hacking

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Socially Powerful, founded in 2017, stood as pioneers of the influencer marketing industry. Today we are a global social marketing agency and technology company.

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