If you have a business that is working towards better brand awareness, you are probably looking to increase your visibility, growth, and influence on Facebook. You must have come across the two metrics of ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’ on your analytics dashboard. Both of them are critical to the success of your social media strategy
#1 Facebook Reach vs Impressions: What do they mean?
Reach is the total number of unique people who see your content. This will include your followers and the people you have advertised to. However, keep in mind that your content does not reach all of your social media followers/fans. This is partly due to the site’s algorithm and partly because of your posting time and frequency.
Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed on someone’s feed/screen, no matter if it is clicked/engaged with or not. One person could get the same content multiple times on their feed and it will account for multiple impressions.
#2 Facebook Reach vs Impressions: What’s the difference?
Although Reach and Impressions seem similar, the difference lies in terms of engagement.
- ‘Impressions’ are usually significantly larger than ‘Reach’ as the same people could be exposed multiple times. For example, if you have a hundred followers and the content has been seen by all of them then your reach is a hundred. If for each of them the content has appeared twice on their screens, then the impressions are two hundred.
- On Facebook, Reach falls into three categories:
- Organic: This category represents the number of unique people who saw your content for free in their news feed.
- Paid: This is the number of unique people who saw your paid content, for example, a Facebook ad. This is directly affected by elements like ad bids, budgets, and audience targeting.
- Viral: This is the number of unique people who saw your post or page mentioned in a story published by a friend.
- On Facebook, Impressions fall into three categories:
- Organic: the number of times your content was displayed for free in someone’s newsfeed.
- Paid: The number of times your paid content such as an ad was displayed.
- Viral: The number of times your content was displayed because it was liked, shared, or commented upon.
#3 Why are they important? Which one should you focus on?
Let’s look beyond the definitions, to see what they mean to your marketing operations and strategy.
- It is important for a new and emerging brand to increase brand awareness, build strong relationships, influence your audience, and grow your authority.
- Focus on content that is sharable and likable. By tracking the content and engagements you can find potential users to extend your reach.
- Reach can also help you figure out whether there’s something wrong with your ads. If your ads have reached a lot of people but you haven’t had a single conversion, or are not going into the next stage of your sales funnel, that might mean you have to revise your content and strategy
- Impressions are important for an established brand with the goal to impress and show consistency to current and prospective customers and get repeat business
- It is useful if you want to continually track your ads with moment to moment updates. If the response is not favorable you need to consider repurposing your content or changing the target audience.
- If you do not see your impressions rising, it shows that you are unable to get your content in front of your intended audience. This may mean that you have not optimized your content for the platform.
- An ideal number of impressions per user will depend on the goal. Less to slowly build brand awareness, more if there is a time-sensitive promotion that needs to reach maximum eyeballs.
Neither “reach” nor “impressions” are any indication that someone has actually clicked on, or has seen your ad. Impressions only measure the number of times your content might have been seen. To know which impressions are actually real, you need to know which impressions were actually viewed so lookout for the “viewed impressions” metric.
In order to measure ROI and campaign success on Facebook, you still need to look at business conversions through site traffic, leads generated, sign-ups, conversions, and revenues. Social media marketing success only comes to those who regularly analyze their social media analytics, and learn from their own performance.
The team at The Social Expansion Project helps businesses with developing a customized social media strategy to achieve their digital marketing goals. You can request your free, no-pressure consultation here.