Impressions vs Reach | Which is the Best Fit for Your Network in 2021?


When it comes to social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook, there are two essential metrics that you need to keep an eye on – Impressions vs Reach. Both the terms differ entirely from each other but are equally crucial for your social media engagement. 

An impression is the total amount of times your content comes across a social media platform, whereas reach is the number of times your audience interacts with your content via likes, shares, or comments. 

Because both the terms share a meaning that is too close yet entirely apart, many people confuse the two words with being the same and treating them equally. That is where you are wrong, my dear friend. Understanding the importance of both the terms and weighing their pros and cons is essential for your brand name. 

You know that and I trust you when you say that you are putting in all the efforts for your brand’s growth, but it is still not reflecting anywhere. I understand how it feels when you don’t see your work paying off, but maybe it can be because you were grouping the terms Impressions and Reach together. To understand more about Impressions vs. Reels, keep on reading the full article. 

Impressions vs Reach: Who Will Win the Battle? 

Hearing terms like Impressions and Reach may sound boring and yet somewhat complicated at the same time to a commoner, but these two metrics can make or break a brand owner or an influencer’s social media profile. These two things mean the world to content creators, and if you are one, it is essential to know that these terms have different meanings on different social media platforms. To not get confused, take a look and see what meaning these terms hold in your area of social media marketing. 

Impressions vs. Reach
Source: Sprout Social

Focusing on Impressions vs Reach 

As discussed above, impressions and reach are vital analytic metrics for keeping an eye on your growth on social media platforms. It is essential to know which metric works best for which platform and how you can work to improve your numbers in both these cases.

Impressions and Reach: Impressions vs. Reach
Source: SEO Resellers Canada

Impressions come in handy when looking for a number that tells you how your content is performing. If the number of your impressions is too high, but the reach is low, it instantly indicates that your content is not up to the mark and needs improvement. 

While as in the case of reach, if your analytics are high, but your conversion rate is low, you need to work more on improving the quality of content and making it informative and engaging to the audience. 

Overview of Impressions vs Reach on Facebook 

One can define Facebook reach as the number of audience or targeted users who saw your content at least once on their feed. If you want to know more about the Facebook reach, there are three sub-categories into which the Facebook reach is divided-

  • Organic Reach 

Amount of people who saw your content on their feed for free. 

  • Paid Reach 

The number of users who saw a part of your paid content, such as an ad on their feed. 

  • Viral Reach 

Users who see your content on their feed because their friends interacted with your content via likes and comments. 

Facebook reach and Impressions: Impressions vs. Reach
Source: Klipfolio

Talking about Facebook impressions can be defined as the number of times your content or ad comes across a user’s Facebook feed. Similarly, as Facebook reaches, impressions are also divided into three categories: Organic, Paid, and Viral Impressions, and in this case, their definitions are also pretty much the same. (replace the number of people with content and vice versa)

In the case of Facebook, both these metrics terms don’t tell us whether our ads are clicked or seen. There is just a number indicating how many times our content appears on a user’s feed. 

Overview of Impressions vs Reach on Twitter

If you look at Twitter analytics, you will see that Twitter does not have any record for reach. The only metrics Twitter considers important is Impressions. Twitter defines impressions as the total number of times the audience sees your tweet on their feed or as a part of their search result. 

Impressions work slightly differently on Twitter than on any other social media platform. Let’s take an example and understand the working of impressions on Twitter in a better way. Suppose that you post a tweet on the platform and 2000 users view your tweet. It means your impressions recorded will be 2000. 

Twitter reach and Impressions: Impressions vs. Reach

Now you give a reply to that tweet with one more tweet. 2000 people see this new tweet in the reply thread. That means the impressions on your previous tweet will double from 2000 to 4000, and the recent tweet will be 2000. 

This algorithm on Twitter works when you reply to your tweets on the platform and not on other people’s feeds. When you post a reply to other’s tweets, it will reflect in their way, which will not help your impressions analytics.  

Overview of Impressions vs Reach on Instagram 

Let’s look at what Impressions and reach have to say about your Instagram influence and how they work for this platform. 

When you are posting some content on Instagram, be it a picture or a video or a reel, it won’t reach your targeted audience or followers. In the case of Instagram, Reach is an important metric as it tells you how far your content has come. To increase your engagement and brand name, you have to focus on improving the numbers in your reach. 

Instagram reach and Impressions: Impressions vs. Reach
Source: Shane Barker

Whereas for impressions, it is defined as how many times your content comes across a user’s feed. If your impressions are strong, it means that your content is visible to many users, so focus on improving the quality of your content and making it more informative. Keep an eye on your analytics to see what is working for your profile and where you need to put more effort. 

Summarising It Up:

To sum it all up, we can only say that to work well on social platforms and make a significant impact, you cannot leave any of these two metrics. Be it impressions or reach, you have to focus on increasing the numbers in both these cases. Once your numbers start to improve, you will begin receiving great engagement and traffic on your social media handle. 

Antra Koul
Antra Koul
For me, writing is something that helps me escape from reality for a while. Even though I am an Engineer, I find my comfort from chaos while I write. I love telling people about my stories, stories that play in my mind only. When I am writing, there is no limit to how far I can go swimming in this deep ocean of words. Reading and writing are the two things that help in organizing my messed up thoughts in a formative way. Come along on this journey with me as I write and you read the stories that I have to tell!


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