Understanding the difference between Social Media Reach & Impressions is important. Why? Once you understand the difference between these two statistics, you can make sure your Social Media focuses on the KPI's that are important to you and your brand.
In Social Media, what is Reach?
In advertising terms, 'Reach' refers to the total number of different people or households exposed, to a medium during a given period. Social Media is simpler. It refers to the total number of unique people who actually see your content.
How are impressions different?
Impressions are different to Reach in as much as they represent the volume of times your content is displayed, not who actually saw your content. There are many reasons why your content might count as an Impression and not Reach; however, both stats are essential.
If we were to use newspapers as a metaphor, Reach would represent the number of people who have bought your newspaper. If we continued with this metaphor, you might have 8 ads in the one newspaper. In this case, if you sold 1,000 newspapers, your Reach would be 1,000, but your impressions would be 8,000.
From a Social Media perspective, you want to increase both. Why? It's not enough to Reach your target audience once. You need to keep engaging with them to create a relationship and drive sales. Increasing impressions is how you achieve this goal.
Can you place a dollar value on impressions?
A paid impression on Facebook averages $0.00734. As a general rule, organic impressions have a 300% conversion rate than paid content. If we follow that principle, every impression you create on Facebook has a value of 2 cents US. That means every 100 impressions has an equivalent value of $2 paid marketing.
That may not seem like a lot, however, if you're using a solution like XL.Today™ where you're running multiple campaigns across 3 social channels at the same time, your impressions quickly add up. Let's say you are posting at least twice a day on 3 social channels and you're averaging 300 impressions with each post. At the end of one month, those impressions have the equivalent value in paid advertising of $540. In actual conversion to sales, you would expect a much greater return on your investment.
What is the value of Reach?
Reach represents the size of your target audience. The more you increase the size of your Reach, the greater the size of your audience, and (in return) the higher the potential of your Impressions, and (ultimately) sales.
Short cut to increasing Reach
On Facebook, increasing your Reach is a slow and methodical process. It requires a long-term commitment to regular posting of content that is valued by your target audience. Thanks to an innovation by Twitter users in its early days, there's a much faster way to increase the Reach of your posts on Instagram and Twitter. It's Hashtags. Hashtags are words or phrases (without space or punctuation) that start with the Pound or Hash symbol (e.g. #fashion). When you correctly incorporate Hashtags in your posts, you create an opportunity to extend your Reach to everyone who is using the same Hashtag to search for posts on a specific subject.
If you're an XL.Today™ user, then you know that you have access to Hashtag research as you create each post, ensuring you're using the right hashtags to reach the biggest possible audience for your posts.