Social Media

Reach vs Impressions: Everything You Need To Know

The world is going through a digital revolution. You just cannot avoid the digital platforms and social media sites in the present day scenario.

Whether it is business, entertainment, promotions, or education; digital platforms are taking a huge position in everybody’s life. Let’s discuss Reach vs Impressions.

If you’re trying to reach more people on social platforms with your business, craft, art, or anything; you must know about the concept of ‘Reach’ and ‘Impressions’.

You can call this article is all about Reach vs Impressions where I’m going to give you more briefs on the difference between Reach and Impressions and how to use these two features in social media. After going through this article, you’ll definitely be able to arrange your social media campaign more strategically.

Reach vs Impressions

Reach vs impression everything you need to know the difference between

‘Reach’ and ‘Impressions’ are two different terms on social platforms, and often users get confused and use these two terms interchangeably. But if you want to get better results for your social media campaign, or go viral, you must understand the basic differences between these two.

I explained here in this article everything about –

  • What is the difference between reach and impressions?
  • Facebook Reach vs Facebook Impressions: A Deeper Look
  • Instagram Reach vs Instagram Impressions: An Idea of the Metrics
  • Twitter Reach vs Twitter Impressions
  • Reach and Impressions on other social media sites
  • Clicks vs Impressions: The Difference
  • The Role of Reach and Impressions: Key of a Good Marketing Strategy

So, let’s start!

What Is The Difference Between Reach And Impressions?

In easy words, reach is how many people are exposed to certain content on social platforms; and impressions is the number of times content is displayed to people.

You must have heard of the term algorithm of social media? Well, this takes an important role in reach.

Suppose, you have 10k followers. Then all the followers should watch your post, right?

Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen! The algorithm decides what content to show to which user. That’s why sometimes you see a lesser reach of content than your number of followers.

Lesser reach means a drop in engagements, which ultimately results in fewer communications with potential consumers.

But the good news is, reach is not limited only to your followers!

If a follower engages with your content, his/her friends too can show this activity. And the friends of your follower can directly see your content if your follower shares it.

That’s why you see your contents reached to people who are not your followers.

Now come to Impressions.

As I said before, the impression is the number of how many times your content is shown.

If you post a video, and 10 people watch it, it means the content’s impression count is 10.

Impression counts can vary from reach counts as reach means how many people the content is exposed to, and impressions mean how many times the content is viewed.

If your content reaches 10 people, and each of them watches it 3 times, then the content’s reach count is 10, but its impression count will be 30.

Facebook Reach Vs Facebook Impressions: A Deeper Look

Facebook reach v/s impression.

Let us talk about Facebook reach vs impressions at first.

Facebook shows you the reach of your content in the Facebook Business Ads Help Center. Facebook defines Reach as “The number of people who saw your adverts at least once”.

But it also says that this is an estimated metric. You can see the reach count below your post too on your page timeline.

Facebook uses sample data to give you that estimated metric. Thus, these numbers are hard to quantify. It means the numbers may change with the amount of accessible data Facebook receives as time passes on.

Keep in mind that this reach is different from impressions because one content can be watched multiple times by a single user. If a user watches your content more than one time, your reach count will be the same, but the impressions count will increase.

But what these reach or impression counts cannot show you is the engagement of your content. You can never be hundred percent sure by seeing those reach or impressions count of whether the user clicked/viewed your content, or just scrolled down after it was displayed.

You can put Facebook Reach and Facebook Impressions in three categories.

1. Organic

Organic reach and organic impressions show you the number of people exposed to your content and the number of times your content was watched, respectively, without spending a single buck


Paid reach and paid impression mean you push your content to a certain number of people by spending money. In this case, you can customize the number of people to whom your content will be reached. Generally, to reach more number of people, you have to spend more amount of money.

But there’s a problem with the impression count of a paid video. Facebook counts the impression in the same way they count the impressions of an image! That means, if a video comes to a user’s newsfeed, Facebook will count it as an impression even if the user doesn’t play the video.

Paid reach and impressions can be classified into two more categories.


Served reach and impression counts depend on the delivery of content. E.g. if a paid ad is displayed somewhere, it will count as ‘served’.

But there is a problem with this type of count system when it comes to the count of impressions as it won’t consider whether the user actually saw the ad, or just scrolled down. As far as the ad is displayed on his/her timeline, it will be counted as a valid impression.

Thus, you can see that ‘served reach’ is okay as reach depicts how many users your content is delivered, but ‘served impressions’ is not the exact number of views of your content as it can be counted as an impression even if the ad is not played or not watched.


Viewed impressions are more accurate measures, you can say. Viewed impressions depict the number of times a video is actually watched or played. That means, if a user scrolls down the newsfeed before the ad starts playing, it won’t count it as an impression.


The word ‘viral’ is probably the most interesting one in the world of social media. It can give your business a super-boost or can make you famous overnight.

But what it means by viral?

I told you before that reach and impression of your content can go beyond the number of your followers by activities like liking the content, commenting on it, or sharing the content. And if numerous numbers of people enjoy your content and think that his/her friends too should watch it, there’s a higher chance they will share it on their timeline.

Sharing on a timeline makes your content appear on even more people’s timelines. The more they share, the higher the reach. And when the content reaches and viewed by numerous numbers of people, it is called viral content.

Instagram Reach Vs Instagram Impressions: An Idea Of The Metrics

Instagram reach vs impressions.

Now come to Instagram reach vs impressions.

Instagram defines reach as the number of users who saw your post or story, and defines impressions as the number of times a story or post is displayed, just like Facebook.

Instagram Creator Account holders, or Business Profile holders can access the metrics by tapping on the ‘View Insights’. You can find it under an Instagram post, or by swiping up the story you want to check the performance of.

Unlike Facebook, you can see the percentage of non-followers who reached your content along with the reach and impressions from the followers of yours.

You can see impression source break downs too, like hashtags, explore, profile, home, or other sources.

You can find your weekly reach and impressions in the Activity tab of Instagram Insights if you want to see a general performance of your posts.

You can see the reach and impression numbers in the Discovery section at the bottom of the Insights page.

Though analytics of your stories doesn’t break down its source of impressions, neither shows the percentage of how many non-followers saw your story. It will rather show how many people navigated back or forward to the next story or exited the Instagram story section after watching your story.

You can have a brief idea of why your impression count is greater than the reach count of your stories. If a user goes back to watch your story again, it will count as an extra impression, though the reach will be the same.

The same applies to your posts too. If someone enters your profile multiple times and watches your posts, it will be counted as single reach, but multiple impressions.

Twitter Reach Vs Twitter Impressions

Twitter Reach Vs Twitter Impressions

Twitter is one of the most popular social media site and its popularity is increasing day-by-day.

Surprisingly, you can see the impressions and total engagements of a post on Twitter, but there’s no option to check the reach! You can’t find the ‘reach’ section even if you expand the list by clicking ‘view all engagements’.

You will find rather all other insights like media engagements, retweets, likes, link clicks; but no ‘reach’.

This is only because Twitter DOES NOT TRACK REACH!

But what if you still want to view the reach count of your tweets? Relax! There is a way! That is, you have to use a third-party app to view the reach count of your posts on Twitter.

A third-party app will show you the reach count by using the same process the other social media sites use.

But there’s an issue with Twitter Impressions too. It won’t count those engagements your tweet gains from a third-party platform, or a text preview. If your tweet is embedded on a website and gains engagements from there, Twitter won’t count it as an impression too.

Reach And Impressions On Other Social Media Sites

There are other social platforms like YouTube, Snapchat etc. with different measurement processes of reach and impressions.


There are four distinct reach metrics in YouTube. Those are Unique Viewers, Impressions, Traffic Sources from Impressions, and Impressions Click-Through rate (CTR).

Unique Viewers

It shows the number of people who watched your video.

Reach v/s impression YouTube.


The meaning of Impression differs from Facebook or Instagram. Here Impression means the number of times the video thumbnail is shown to viewers on YouTube.

Traffic Sources from Impressions

It shows from where and by which process your video got views on YouTube.

Impressions Click-Through Rate (CTR)

CTR depicts the number of times people view your video after the thumbnail was displayed to them.

There’s other tools like watch Time to know for how much time your video was viewed.

Suppose your video length is 10 minutes, and the CTR is 10%. That means the time people spend watching your video is approx. 1 minute or people have viewed your video for 1 minute, though its length is 10 minutes.


Snapchat shows reach and story views, where story views means impressions.

Reach v/s impression Snapchat

Clicks vs Impressions: The Difference

There is a difference between Click and Impression that you have to understand. The impression is the number of times the content is viewed on a social platform (or in the case of YouTube, the number of times it appeared on the platform), and Click is the number of times people clicked or tapped on content to reach the publisher (or to watch the content in YouTube).

The Role Of Reach And Impressions: Key Of A Good Marketing Strategy

Now you’ve understood well about Reach and Impressions. Now we come to the point of how to imply this knowledge to boost your social media campaign that can bring a better outcome?

Before going into that, first, we have to understand how Reach and Impressions have an impact on your social media marketing.


As reach means the number of people to whom your ad is delivered, you can optimize your Paid campaigns using reach. If your reach is high, there’s a higher chance of communicating with more consumers as your ad reaches more people.

And if you want to show your ad to more unique viewers instead of showing your ad to a person over and over again, you should focus on increasing your ad’s reach than increasing its impressions count.


If you want to get results within a shorter span of time, you should focus on increasing the Impressions count. Impression count is the indicator of the number of times your ad is viewed, so you can take the necessary steps after following the metrics.


Marketers say people usually tend to forget what they see online. There’s a hell of a lot of things floating on social media, and it’s almost impossible to remember every single thing you see there. So it’s necessary to push your ads to the users. That means you have to push your ad to a person’s newsfeed over and over again to make him respond to that ad.

That’s why sometimes it’s necessary to monitor both metrics in order to get effective results.

But there should be a limit to how many times a user will see your ad. If you bombard him with your ad every single hour, there’s a high chance the person will feel irritated with the product, and might never respond to you!

Then how many times you can display your ad to a single person?

Honestly, there’s no fixed number one can tell you. Experts recommend that you should take the way of being slow and steady to grow your audience or consumer base by working on building reach and maintain consistency.

Reach And Impressions On Other Social Media Sites


What do Impressions mean on Instagram?

Impressions mean the number of times your posts, videos, or stories are seen by the users. It counts each view, so if a single user watches your content multiple times, it will be counted as multiple impressions.

What is a good impression rate for Instagram?

The average Instagram engagement rate is 4.7% around the world. The average global reach rate is 34.47%, and the engagement on reach rate is 11.95% on Instagram.

Which is better reach or impression?

Though often people use these two metrics interchangeably, they do so by mistake. These two are very different from each other. Where reach means the number of people to whom your content is displayed, Impressions shows the number of time your content is viewed. Though both are useful and you have to consider both the counts in order to make your social media campaign fruitful.

Are Facebook’s reach and impression the same?

Reach is the number of people to whom your content is displayed, and an impression is the number of times your content is viewed. But if your paid video appears on a user’s newsfeed, Facebook counts it as an impression even if the user doesn’t watch the video as Facebook counts paid video’s impression the same way it counts the impression of an image.

Why my impressions are lower than reach?

If your content is displayed on a user’s timeline, it will be counted as a single Reach. But if the user watches the content more than one time, it will be counted as multiple Impressions. That’s why impression can be higher than reach.

How much it costs for 1000 Impressions on Facebook?

Facebook advertising costs approx. $7.19 per 1000 impressions, and $0.97 per click.

Can impressions be lower than reach?

No. Every impression is counted as reach, doesn’t matter whether it turned into engagements or not. Basically reach is a subset of impressions. Thus, the impression cannot be lower than reach.

Is reach is same as views?

No. Views mean the number of times content is viewed by people. Reach means the number of people to whom the content is delivered. Content can reach a user and still not be viewed by the user as he/she can scroll down the newsfeed without engaging with the content.

Does Facebook count multiple views from the same person?

Yes. Facebook does count multiple views from the same person. If you upload a video and a person watches it two times, Facebook will count it as two views.

What are new views on Facebook?

New views mean how many people are coming to your page for the first time. An increase in new views count means more people are discovering and coming to your page.

Does Facebook say the accurate view counts?

A user can watch your video for just 3 seconds, where a “complete view” means a user has watched a minimum of 95% of the video. A data says 43.3% of views are “completed” among all the organic views, where 31.1% of all paid views are “completed”.

What does 30 seconds view mean?

You can earn revenues from running ads on your video on platforms like YouTube. YouTube counts one ad view for 30 seconds view duration of an ad. That means, if a user skips the ad after 5 seconds, one ad view is not completed. If 6 users back to back skip your ad after 5 seconds, then it will count one ad view as 6 people watched the ad for 5 seconds, thus the view duration completes 30 seconds in total.

What do impressions mean on Twitter

Impressions mean the number of times a tweet is seen by the users, not only the times it appeared on one’s feed, but also in searches, or as a result of someone liking the tweet.

Last But Not the Least!

So on what you should focus on? Reach, or Impression? Honestly, this question cannot be simply answered with a “Yes” or a “No”. You can understand after reading this article that both are important and both can play a major role in your social media marketing strategy.

And as now you know both the metrics well, you yourself can decide on what you should focus on, or focusing on which one can give you desired results. It solely depends on your marketing objectives.

I hope after reading this article, you are now able to take a decision on your own!

Read also-Instagram Story Dimensions

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