What's the Difference Between Reach and Impressions?

So what is the difference between Reach and Impressions? You already know that you want your content to be displayed in the News Feed of as many people as possible, but how do you know how many people actually saw it? Marketers commonly encounter these two terms, but not everyone knows and understands what makes each metric so important. Various social media terms are often misinterpreted and some are even thought to mean the same thing. While it’s very easy to group terms like reach and impressions together, they do have their own definitions.

Here’s a crash course:


Impressions refers to the number of times a post from your page is displayed, whether the post is clicked on or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. This number is important because it gives you a clear understanding of how many times your content has been exposed in the news feeds of people on social media. Measuring your impressions will help you understand what content has the ability to be viewed by the most people the most amount of times.


Reach refers to the number of unique people who received impressions of a page post. If the same person sees the same content two different times (for example, once in their news feed, and once because a friend shared it), the reach would remain at one.

Reach is important because it gives you the exact number of people that viewed your content.


Learning the difference between reach vs. impressions is a gray area for many. Once you distinguish the two metrics, you begin working toward the most important one of all: engagement on social media and growing a following.

A common goal behind every social media campaign should be increased engagement. If your content isn’t getting engagement, something is wrong on either the creation or targeting end.

Awareness comes before engagement, while reach and impressions drive people to take action. You can’t have one without the other.  So, when you’re thinking about how to increase engagement, do so while also considering how reach and impressions play a part.


 Confusing Impressions and Reach is easy to do. Just remember this. Impressions is the total number of times that your content is displayed in the news feed of anyone, any number of times on Facebook. Reach is the total number of people that saw that content.