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Reach vs. Impressions: What’s the Difference?


Social media marketers and businesses alike share a common goal: to maximize potential audiences in hopes of increasing ROI metrics and brand awareness. In trying to accomplish this goal, one may come across two key metrics that will help measure success on various social media platforms: reach and impressions. 

The difference between these two metrics can be a bit confusing at first, but it is necessary to know the difference in order to decipher what social media content performs best on a given platform.

What Is Reach?

Reach is defined as the total number of unique users that have viewed your content. The key word here is “unique”, as the main difference between reach and impressions lies in the use of this word. 

What Are Impressions?

Impressions are defined as the total number of times your content has been viewed by users, whether it was engaged with or not. The impressions metric takes into account every view your content has received. 

An example of reach and impressions coming together would be if one person has viewed your Linkedin post three times. In this particular situation, your post would have accrued three impressions and one unique user reached. 

Reach vs. Impressions

Reach and impressions are considered top-of-funnel metrics, meaning you are not analyzing them in order to convert customers with form completions or phone calls, but rather to grow your overall audience and brand awareness. 

It is important to know the difference between reach and impressions in order to understand who your true target audience is. For example, if you create a social media advert highlighting a new Unique Selling Point (USP), and this advert has a higher than average reach comparatively to previous adverts, you know that this specific advert and this specific USP was of interest to a larger number of target consumers in your area. 

However, if your goal is simply to gain the most exposure possible with your content, you may want to focus on posting brand awareness content that attracts a high number of overall impressions, as these types of ads increase the likelihood of a consumer recalling your brand. 

In learning the difference between reach and impressions, you can gain a proper understanding of two very important social media metrics, grow your target audience, and increase awareness of your brand.. 

Here at Breeez, we are a full-service digital marketing agency that will create a personalized marketing strategy for you that can help you grow your business. Visit our social media marketing page to learn more about specific services and how we can help you today.