Reach, Engagement & Impressions; What's the Difference?

Trying to understand the difference between reach, engagement and impressions? Then this blog is for you!

Reach, engagement and impressions have been used interchangeably by many people, but they have very different implications on your business. Here is an easy walkthrough of the three, so you can understand them and your marketing campaigns..

Let me start by giving you the basics.

Reach is defined as how many people see your post. There are three types of reach; organic, viral and paid.

  • Organic reach is a day to day post that reaches the people that like or follow you. This number will show you out of the people that follow you, how many saw your post.

  • Viral reach for example, would be a post that was shared by a friend that you notice on your feed, but you do not follow that page. All of those unique views total your viral reach. This is a result of a ‘share’ on Facebook and a ‘retweet’ on Twitter. Instagram does not provide these statistics because you cannot simply repost a picture, or track who has seen that repost.
  • Paid reach, which could be paid sponsorships, boosted posts or ads. This metric is simply stating how many people had the opportunity to see and read your post because of the money paid, that do not like your page. 

Facebook Boosted Post

Facebook Boosted Post

Impressions are defined as how many times your content was displayed to someone. The difference between reach and impressions is that some of your followers may see the same content multiple times. Impressions accounts for that, while reach only accounts for the first post view (also called unique views). Impressions shows the total number of times that the people you have reached, saw your content. 

Engagement on the other hand is the amount of times that your post was interacted with. For example, on Facebook, engagement would consist of likes, comments and shares. On Twitter engagement is the key in determining how loyal your customer base is.

It is easy to get lost in all of these marketing buzzwords.

Senior marketing analyst for social analytics firm SumAll, Lima Kikuchi, recommends putting these into question form so that they can be better understood:

“How many people saw my post (for Reach)? How many times did my post get displayed (for Impressions)? How many times did people interact with my posts (for Engagement)?”

Stick to this questions and you will understand the difference between reach, engagement and impressions.

Still confused? Shoot us a message on any of our social channels and we can give you more tips or answer your questions (@photoboxxme).