To anyone new to marketing on social media, the idea of analytics can seem a little intimidating and confusing. There are so many different terms and abbreviations whose meanings aren’t always clear when you’re just starting out.

Two such terms are ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’, words which almost sound interchangeable in a different context. But in social media marketing, they are both distinct and precise metrics for measuring your audience’s engagement with your post.

Here we will break down these terms and give you a better understanding of what they are.


The number of people you see your content. It is the representation of the number of individuals who see your content.


The number of time your content is shown. This includes every time that someone comes across your content on a news feed, even if they haven’t engaged with it.

So in theory, if you have 10 followers, every one of those followers could see your post. This would give you 10 impressions, and a reach of 10. However, had you sent out 2 tweets to the same 10 followers, your reach would remain consistent (10) but your impressions would double to 20 because every one of your follows saw two of your posts. So essentially, your analytics will show you multiple impressions of the same post, depending on how many times it has been seen, but your reach can only go up as high as the number of your followers.

Of course, there are many, many other factors which play a part in arriving at these numbers. For example, some platforms may track one metric, and not the other, some may count ads differently from organic content, etc. But hopefully, this give you a very crude idea of the distinction between these two commonly used terms and brings some clarity to your social media strategizing.