Reach vs. Impressions

media@upto
Mar 7, 2022

Written by Brittany Prats

Edited by Allison Herrera⁣

Picture this: You recently posted a beautiful picture on Instagram promoting your brand. You check the Instagram Insights to see how the post is doing. You look at it, think “cool”, & then close out the app. You have no idea what you just looked at. Sure, they’re big numbers, so you think that’s good…but what does it all really mean?! We’ll break it down for you. 

Reach vs. Impressions – what’s the difference?

Well, it’s pretty simple, actually. Reach is the number of unique users who view your post or ad, while impressions are the number of times your post or ad is seen. Think of it like this, if you personally see an ad three times, then that ad made an impression on you three times, but only to you those three times. This means that most of the time the amount of impressions will be much higher than the reach, due to the fact that the ad is more than likely going to be served to that user more than once. 

I’ll give another example to make this a little clearer. Say Dior posts a picture displaying their new shade of Lip Oil. This post gets a reach of 1.2 million, but 3.3 million impressions. This means that out of Dior’s 39.7 million followers, only 1.2 million of those users saw the post, but it was seen a total of 3.3 million times. Therefore, a majority of the 1.2 million unique users who saw the new shade of Lip Oil actually saw that post multiple times. Everytime a user is shown a post or ad, it counts as a new impression, regardless of if they have seen it before or not.

Reach and Impressions fall into two categories: Paid and Organic. Organic reach and impressions are when users view your post organically on their feed – the content just happens to show up to them. While paid reach and impressions are when you pay for your content to show up on someone’s feed – think of this as Instagram ads, Facebook ads, or any “boosted” post.

You’re probably thinking, “okay cool, but why does it even matter?”. Well, the answer is pretty easy: brand awareness. The more people who see your post (reach), the more people will recognize and notice your brand. Would you even know of your favorite online boutique if they never reached you? Probably not. The amount of times your post is viewed (impressions) is important, because the more someone sees your post, the more they’ll remember it. Remember that one ad you saw over and over again and now know all the words to? Yeah, they meant to do that. Now you remember the ad, you remember the brand, and you’re more likely to buy from them if you feel like you know them from seeing them so often. 

Overall, reach and impressions are extremely important when growing your brand. You want people to see your content; and you want them to see your post more than once, so they remember it. Still having trouble figuring out what it all means or just need those numbers to be a little higher for you? We got you, babe. Give us a call – we can help!