When analyzing your social media insights or page analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “reach." It's a common misconception that reach and impressions are all kinda the same thing, but they do have significant distictions. Reach is a social media metric used on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and refers to how many unique users have seen your content since it's gone live. Keeping track of your social media reach is important for getting to know your audience and improving your marketing strategy.
Understanding Social Media Reach
- “Reach” is not the same as “impressions." Impressions are how many times your post or ad is seen, even if it's seen by the same user multiple times. One user can see your content four or five times, and each time is counted as one impression. Reach, on the other hand, is how many different, individual users see your content. Both metrics are important. If you reach 10,000 people one time versus 2000 people five times, you're going to get different types of results.
- Always determine your marketing objectives. When it comes to reach and impressions, one is not any more important than the other. It really just depends on your objective for posting. If you’re wanting general brand awareness, you may want to pay some money to increase your reach in hopes of accumulating more followers and potential clients/customers. Then, once you’ve established brand awareness and you’re looking for conversions (meaning actual sales), you’ll want more impressions of your ad to reach the same person multiple times in hopes that he/she will eventually take action on it.
- Reach in digital marketing differs from reach in traditional marketing. Reach is also a term often used for advertising in magazines, newspaper, and radio. These platforms talk about their reach a little bit differently because they can't track how many actual users they reach. They only talk about their “total listening audience”. For example, a radio station that has a reach of a million people has a million people in their listening area. But, unless they have a digital station or a way to digitally track how many people hear your ad, there's no way for them to know how many users you actually reached. They can only tell you how many users your ad could potentially reach.
- Tracking metrics is one of the major advantages for digital marketing over marketing through traditional broadcast/print media. With digital marketing, you can know that you’ve reached 10,000 people with your ad. On Facebook, you can even segment your audience to determine the types of people you’ve reached. You can see that you’ve reached 1000 people in a certain geographic area. Or you can see that you’ve reached 1000 people who have already watched your video (indicating that they, at the very least, have a mild interest in what you’re offering), and now you can target them with ads and offers.
Put your effort where it counts.
The beauty of digital marketing is the ability to actually track the impact of your marketing efforts. Tracking metrics, such as reach and impressions, allow you to see how well your digital content is performing. This enables you to be more strategic about your marketing, and saves you two of the most precious resources we have as entrepreneurs: time and money.
Strategy is about setting yourself apart from the competition. It's not a matter of being better at what you do - it's a matter of being different at what you do.Michael Porter