Difference between Reach vs Impressions

Reach vs Impressions is a widespread dilemma that has to create a misperception amongst social media users and marketers. But this is expected.

Among these new marketers & influencers, social media metrics like ‘reach’ & ‘impressions’ are creating a massive marketing buzz – it has become the topic of the talk. However, surpassingly these marketers still fail to understand the true essence. And honestly, most of the time, these people use confuse these words as a synonym.

If you want to keep a record of your growth, it’s essential to understand the basic concept of reach and impression on social media platforms. You can assess your campaign success quickly and can optimize your social media strategy accordingly.

Let’s dig in and take a closer look at the difference between these two basic metrics and what this means for your business.

“The introduction is given above, as well as the main heading itself has already cleared you that “Reach and “Impression” are two different things.”

But, Wait, what the difference is? Let’s put it in some simple words,

Impression, it is something that shows the number of times users have come in contact with your posted content.

Hypothetically, every follower that you have on social media should see all your posted content. 

In the end, this is the reason they became a follower, to stay updated with all your posts. Isn’t it?

But sadly, the social media algorithm does not work like this.

These platforms use very complicated algorithms to conclude which content should be shown to a specific user group. In conclusion, only a fraction of your activity is displayed to your users.

Moreover, it’s a small fraction – especially after the social media algorithm is revised. It has indirectly reduced the organic reach across all the leading platforms over a couple of years.  

It means a minimal amount of your user’s eyes cross your posted content, and the overall reach is not as you expect. It ultimately results in less engagement and fewer actions with your targeted audience. (We will talk more about the impact of reach below). 

Luckily, ‘reach’ has nothing to do with your followers.

Whenever one of your followers involves your social media posts, the taken action will also appear on some of their friends’ feeds or explore page.

Luckily, 'reach' has nothing to do with your followers.

It gives you an excellent opportunity to reach maximum people; many people that engage with your posts are not even your followers (20% or 30%, or sometimes even 60% of non-followers engage with your posts). 

Now, let’s talk about ‘impressions’ – as a comparison, they are higher than reach, as one follower can make numerous impressions on your available post.

Take an example:

You upload a creative post on Facebook

The impression of the post is 10 now

Minimum 5 of your followers engage in your post

All those 5 followers saw your post twice; this is an impression

Yes, it’s easy!

If you are confused between reach & impression concepts, remember that reach is related to users, while impressions show the frequency (times the content is shown).

Let’s now dig into the importance and role of reach & impression for all marketers.

The Role of Reach vs Impressions in your Marketing Strategy

When you are clear that although people confuse reach & impression as a synonym, they are two different metrics. 

But more importantly!

We all know that just having theoretical knowledge will not let you grow your social media platforms. It is essential to understand these metrics’ purpose and how you can utilize these and act upon them.   

So, how can you utilize your learning practically to boost your social presence and strategize in a way that can drive more traffic every day?

To answer all your queries, you must first understand the impact of both metrics on your marketing.

Let’s start now…

Reach is the name of the game when…

It is directly related to the number of unique users who contact your content. To utilize your paid campaigns, you can use reach.

So, if you have a higher reach, this shows that you are on the right path and your targeted audience likes your content. It allows your content to have higher engagement and get maximum shares and likes.

However, if the reach is high but the conversions don’t follow through and stay low, it’s safe to say that your funnel is not as effective as it should be and that you should revise and improve your ad.

If you want to avoid showing ads repeatedly to the same people, focus on increasing your reach instead of impressions.

The road to success is paved with impressions when…

Impressions help you when you want to know how your ad campaigns are working immediately; it clarifies your ad performance.  As impressions are a metric that keeps changing every second, tracking them helps you the performance and response on ads moment-to-moment, you can check the performance within minutes of publishing.

Moreover, if your ads are not performing as expected, you should consider taking keyword research services to reach your targeted audience better. Also, consider editing your content and republish it to avoid losing time and amounting to unnecessary costs.


When should you focus on tracking?

Like every other social media metrics, these metrics need tracking, whether it’s reach or impressions. It will let you figure out how, in effect, your campaigns are and will identify areas that need improvement.

Tracking Metrics are Helpful

1. Calculate Your Actual Frequency

When it comes to calculating frequency, you must calculate the impressions on your post/ad as it will always be higher than the reach – and that’s the way it should be.

Thinking Why?

Almost all the marketers agree that an ad should go through a user’s eyes several times before they develop an interest in your service or product and convert. 

It is known as powerful frequency– on occasions. Individuals are presented with a specific piece of content before they want to react to it somehow or another.

What’s the most acceptable Frequency?

Experts agree to disagree:

  • Some marketing experts say it’s a 3, whereas others believe that it is the lucky 7.
  • You have to put your effort into getting the best frequency that works for your profile or business. Better than the frequency of your competition is aiming for.  
  • To do this, find your most effective ads and posts (the content that converts) and divide each post’s total impressions with its overall reach.

2. Avoid Ad Weakness

The successful recurrence doesn’t just disclose to you how often a client needs to see a post since they react to it…

It likewise shows what your cutoff points are before your intended interest group has had enough, and you cross the insufficient line between being instructive and reliably appearing via web-based media and being irritating.

Envision how web-based media clients feel when promotions besiege them…


Doesn’t sound great, isn’t that right?

As you’d expect, much the same as with everything else via web-based media, there is no direct response to what amount is an excess of recurrence per client.

Once more, it will all rely upon your present mission and objectives.

If your mission is time-touchy, you will likely need to empty every one of your endeavors into guaranteeing a higher recurrence tally.

Assuming, notwithstanding, you’re looking to develop your crowd consistently and brand presentation and time is of no issue, relax and deal with building reach through consistency.


Our last verdict? When we talk about the difference between reach vs impressions, the conclusion says that it is a completely different metric. And when we speak, what’s more, important to track?

The answer to the question is simple & effortless.

In this article, we have explained how both reach & impressions play an essential part in your social media marketing strategy. 

But, just like with other metrics, the one you decide to focus on will depend solely on your current marketing objectives. 

We hope reading this article will help you understand the concepts and make the right decisions now.