Establishing a solid, comprehensive social media presence for your business is definitely a start when it comes to rounding out your online marketing strategy, but it’s not the whole picture in and of itself. Social media engagement is just as important as actually being there in the first place, if not more so. Keeping track of key metrics like social media reach and impressions are how you know whether your efforts to reach people are paying off, but which one is more important?

The Difference Between the Two

Before you can understand whether impressions are more important than reach (or vice versa), you need to be clear on how they differ from one another, as well as how they’re related.

  • Reach refers to how many people have actually seen or interacted with a specific piece of marketing content.  
  • Your impressions are the overall number of times browsers have potentially exposed viewers to your content by displaying it for them. 

While every impression has the potential to lead to actual interaction with a particular post, only a portion of them actually will. For instance, your data may show 1000 impressions, but a social media reach of 200. That would mean your content was displayed via someone’s web browser 1000 times, but 200 of those people actually interacted with it.

Which Is More Important and Why?

Both social media reach and overall impressions are important, as they each give you valuable information about how your marketing content is doing when it comes to reaching people. Which is more important is likely to depend on what your goals are for both your business and your current social media marketing campaign, as well as which social media platforms you’re using in the first place.

If you’ve been dabbling in sponsored content and need to know how big a difference it’s making, you’ll want to keep a close eye on your impressions, especially if you use impression-driven interfaces like Twitter and Facebook. However, if you’re more interested in concerns like raising brand awareness or improving your customer engagement rates, reach is going to be a better indicator of how well your efforts are working.

Regardless of your goals, it’s important to thoroughly track and record all of your metrics. Not only does proper tracking make it easier to calculate your return on investment, but it’s an essential part of planning future marketing campaigns and making sure they’re effective. What are your current goals for your business, and how are you using social media to reach them?