When trying to track the success of a social media campaign, it’s important to establish the ratio of how many people saw your post against how many times that post was displayed. It should go without saying that the aim of a campaign should be to focus on growing the number of actively engaged individuals within your community for that particular social media platform.
Social Media Reach Vs. Impressions: Which is What?
Social media reach is the technical term used to denote the total number of people who actually see an item you have posted on a social media platform.
Sadly, not all of your followers will see every single item you post. On Facebook, for example, only a small percentage of your friends will look at your content. That rate is, for our purposes, the extent of your social media reach.
Impressions, on the other hand, is the term used to describe the number of times your content is displayed. This number accumulates regardless of whether anybody clicked on it.
Let’s return to the Facebook example. This time, we’re talking about the post that shows up in your newsfeed. A single post will, in many cases, become visible in your feed multiple times under various circumstances. One of the most common cases is if several of your friends have shared the same post.
This is how the page that initially posted it may be able to put their content in front of the eyes of more people than they have followers. The same phenomenon applies to other social media platforms. Twitter is a good example for such situations.
Facebook provides social media analytics. Thanks to them, we can break down the number of times the item was presented as well as the extent of our reach.
A Very Brief Guide on Reach
Reach is broken down into three categories: organic, paid, and viral. Your organic reach is simply how many of your friends saw your post in their feed.
Paid reach shows how many people saw your post just because you paid Facebook’s advertising rate. This then placed it in front of people you don’t know.
Likewise, viral reach takes you into the realm of all those new pairs of eyes who saw your post. But as opposed to the others, they saw it because somebody within your organic reach chose to like it, comment on it, or even share it.
The Similar Categories of Impressions
Not surprisingly, the number of impressions is broken down into precisely the same three categories. We like our posts to be seen by our organic followers because this is free. However, they tend to be limited to our familiar social media reach.
We like the paid posts because they go beyond our existing reach. But as already pointed out, these cost money.
We particularly like viral posts because they have a quality that inspires total strangers to boost our content to the attention of other complete strangers. They also do so without this costing us a dime.
It follows, therefore, that we need to place greater emphasis on publishing the sort of compelling content that inspires people to share it. This is an element which should apply to all social media campaigns.
The more successful we are at this, the more individuals within our existing community will share our posts with their own networks. In other words, this is the way to grow our impressions and increase our reach.