BP Web Search Social

Thoughts and musings from the BP team

Reach Vs. Impressions: What’s the difference?

Reach Vs. Impressions: What’s the difference?

Clients often ask us “What’s the difference between Reach and Impressions” when it comes to Facebook and Instagram ads. These two terms are often used interchangeably but they are two very different types of measurements. 

Let’s jump into what they mean and which one you should be tracking. 


Reach is the number of unique people who saw your content. It affects every other metric you can track: engagement, likes, comments, clicks, and negative feedback. If the number of users you are reaching with an ad is low then your likes, clicks, and comments will likely be low as well.


Impressions refer to the number of times your content was shown to users. It measures the total number of times your content could have been seen, could have, being the keyword. 

You will often see Facebook, Instagram, and Influencer Marketing agencies putting a ton of emphasis on Impressions because it’s often a much higher number, making the results seem really impressive.

Graphic example of how Impressions and Reach work with social media users

When does tracking reach become valuable? 

Reach becomes valuable when compared with other engagement types. Pick an important action or engagement number you want to track like link clicks, replies, views, or shares then divide them by reach to calculate the engagement percentage.

When does tracking impressions become valuable?

Impressions become valuable when you want to be sure your content is being shared on users’ feeds. If you’re not seeing the impressions you hoped for, take a look at how you shared your content. Is the content optimized for the platform you’re using? 

Although some platforms like Twitter only offer impressions, Facebook, and Instagram offer both, and depending on your goal, it can be beneficial to focus on both. To learn more about social media strategies follow us on Instagram at @brightproductionsinc for our latest blogs and tutorials!