Although social media has been exploding as a whole throughout the 2000s, social media marketing specifically has picked up steam over the last few years. Whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or any other network, most people expect a reputable business to have a presence somehwhere online.
But that is not enough.
While some businesses think that just having a presence across a few networks is sufficient, social media marketing goes much further in-depth than that. How you measure your social media campaigns goes a long way in determining their success.
Whether you measure your campaigns in terms of likes, follows, items sold, comments, or some other form of engagement, you need a specific plan.
However, you first need to understand the intricacies of your analytics programs.
No matter what program you use, you will find that your posts are measured in terms of both reach and impression.
Today, we are going to look at the difference between the two.
What Is Reach?
When measuring social media engagement, you are going to run into the term ‘reach’. It is one of the most common social media engagement metrics, and the concept is relatively straightforward.
We can define reach, in its most basic form, as the number of people that see your content.
Although common sense may tell you that your reach will be 1,000 people if you have 1,000 followers, which usually isn’t necessarily the case. Because of different factors like algorithms, the time of day that you post, and how often you post, it is likely that your reach is going to be less than the amount of followers that you have (unless several people share or your post goes viral).
Thus, your social media reach is the amount of people that actually see your content.
What Is An Impression?
The other social media engagement metric that you will come across is the amount of ‘impressions’ that you make.
The impressions metric measures the amount of times that your content is displayed.
To better understand this idea, it is helpful to take a look at an example.
Imagine for a moment that you are scrolling through your Facebook page and come across a funny meme. The moment that you see that meme, it would count as one impression, and its reach would be one as well.
Now, imagine that you continue scrolling and come across that same meme (from a different source) in your Facebook feed. The impression of that meme would now be two, but the reach of the meme would still be just one person.
How To Use These Metrics To Better Measure Your Social Media ROI
Now that you know the difference between reach and impressions, you now should be able to use these numbers to help you improve your marketing plan.
For example, imagine for a moment that your Facebook page has 1,000 followers. Normally, you post your content and let it run organically for a few days before checking your analytics.
After looking at your analytics report, you find that your post had a reach of 500 but made 2,000 impressions.
So, what does this mean for you and your content?
With a reach of 500, 50% of your Facebook followers are active and saw your content. Usually, people only see your business content if they have engaged with your page or visited it recently. You can then determine whether or not you are happy with this level of activity.
Moving onto your impressions, the fact that your post had 2,000 impressions shows that your followers not only saw your content, but they were also sharing it on their pages. This statistic shows you that your active followers are also very engaged with your content.
This information tells you a lot about your customer and fan base if you understand how to interpret the data.