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Reach VS. Impressions: How do You Increase Your Numbers?

When you start an advertisement campaign on social media, two words ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’ pop up frequently in your analytics dashboard. Most marketers encounter these terms, but they do not clearly understand what each metric means.

In social media marketing, your best strategy to boost your Instagram views, likes, followers, and hence engagement is to measure metrics and find areas for improvement. It is quite often that people misinterpret various social media terms such as reach and impressions. Before measuring them, read on to get a clear understanding of the difference between the two.


The Difference Between Reach and Impressions

Reach is the total number of users that see your content or ad. Impression refers to the total number of times your content is displayed on a screen despite being clicked or not. However, these terms do not mean the same thing on all social media platforms.

Facebook Reach vs. Impressions

On Facebook, ‘reach’ refers to the total number of people who see your ad at least once, even without clicking on it. It is divided into three categories:

  • Organic Reach – the number of people who see your content for free in their News Feed.
  • Paid Reach – refers to the number of people who see the content you have paid for, e.g., an ad. It depends on aspects such as audience targeting and ad bids.
  • Viral Reach – the total number of unique people who see your post due to one of their friends interacting with it. They may like, share, or comment.

How to Increase Your Facebook Impressions

Every marketer’s target on Facebook is to maximize their click-through-rate. You can achieve this with our services that assure you of a high number of impressions. The following are ways to increase the number of impressions you receive on Facebook:

  • Target Your Demographic
    Facebook is a global platform, and you get users from all walks of life logging in every day. Therefore, you need to narrow down your audience for your content to reach the right people. Facebook makes this easy by allowing you to target users based on gender, age group, interests, location, and other factors.
  • Using Images
    Images are very dominating before the eyes. They can catch one’s attention positively or negatively. However, when posting a photo, consider the following tips for better results:

    • Contrast – If you want to grab the user’s attention, the best way to do this is to use high contrast. A light background with brightly colored images in the forefront is superb for products.
    • Avoid Stock Photos – Most marketers start by using stock photos of high-quality, cheap, and quick to come by. However, some of these images feel less authentic and more amateurish.
  • Catchy Headline
    After choosing the perfect image for your ad, it should have a headline that grabs users’ attention. Did you know that 8 out of 10 people read a headline on a copy while only 2 read the rest? Your headline needs to be short and specific.
  • Write Killer Copies
    Your ad copy should motivate users to take action and click. It is easier said than done, but the following two phrases you can try to drive clicks:

      • “Learn how to ‘do something’” and then add a link at the end.
      • “Need to ‘solve a problem’? Here is an easy way to do it”: add a link.

    Increasing your clicks is also a chance to expose your content to other users by your friends and followers.

    Impressions on Facebook refers to the number of times your content may have been seen. A video can receive an impression without even starting to play. Facebook divides impressions into two categories:

    • Served Impressions – they are calculated based on served content. Served ads are paid for and delivered by the system to an ad box in a sidebar or at the top of a highly-visible news feed.
    • Viewed Impressions – here, the impression only counts if the user sees the ad on their screen. They need to scroll their feed to view it and wait for the ad to load before navigating from the page.

    Both reach and impressions do not indicate that someone has viewed or clicked on your ad.


Twitter Reach vs. Impressions

Twitter tracks impressions only. The platform defines impressions as any time a user sees your content. It can be in the search results, within a conversation, or in their feed. When you tweet something new on the platform, and 2000 users see it, you receive 2000 impressions. It does not matter if they click to open it or not.

If you reply to the same tweet with another tweet and the 2000 users see the tweet again, this time with the reply, you get an additional 2000 for a total of 4000 impressions. The way you use the platform will also determine the number of impressions you receive.

Replying to comments receives much fewer impressions than published posts. Despite the need to interact with users who have commented on your posts, you should allocate enough time to creating and sharing new content.

Reach vs. Impressions on Other Social Media Networks

Facebook is the parent of Instagram, and therefore reach, and impressions work similarly on both platforms. On Instagram, impression refers to the total number of times ig users see your Story or post. Reach refers to the number of unique accounts that see your Story or post.
On Snapchat, there is a slight difference in terms where they are referred to as reach and story views.
In Google AdWords, there are two kinds of reach: unique reach and cookie-based reach. The first one estimates and omits duplicate views from the same user, while the second one measures users using cookies.

Why Should You Focus on Both?

Reach, and impressions provide you with information that can help you find out how your marketing campaigns are fairing. Both metrics ‘speak a lot’ about your ads’ performances.

Why are impressions higher than reach?

If your impressions are higher than your reach, it's a sign that your audience is viewing your content multiple times.

What is a good Instagram reach?

What we found out is that, globally, the average Instagram engagement rate is 4.7%, whereas global reach rate is 34.37%, and engagement on reach is 11.95% on average.

Does Instagram count repeat views?

The answer to this dilemma is, yes, Instagram counts multiple views from the same user. Instagram counts every view, but it separates them into two categories – reach and impressions.