Reach VS Impressions: What’s the Difference?

Reach VS Impressions: What’s the Difference?

What is reach? What are impressions?

In general, reach and impressions are not strange for us however they can be very confusing in social media marketing especially for newbie.

Reach and impressions are very common in marketing. If you had launched any ads campaign in any social media platform, I’m assured that you have seen reach and impressions in your analytics dashboard.

We know they represent the two different things; however, we do not fully understand their difference and how they made up the numbers. Let’s make it clear today!


The difference between Reach and Impressions

Different platforms have their own meaning for reach and impressions. Today, we will discuss what do reach and impressions meant in Facebook.


The total number of people who saw your ad or content. Let’s say, there is total 100 people have seen your ads, that mean your ad’s reach is 100 (calculation will not repeated).


The number of times your ad or content displayed a person’s screen. From the previous example, let’s say your ad popped up on those a hundred people’s screens a total of 500 times, then the number of impressions will be 500 (calculation will be repeated).


During your ad campaign, there are only total 2 people, Mark and Adam saw your ad. Mark saw your ad in their feed for total 3 times, however the ad appeared 5 times in Adam’s feed.


Reach: 2 (Mark & Adam)
Impressions: 8 (3 + 5)


What is reach? What are impressions?

Types of Reach on Facebook

Facebook organizes reach into 3 categories:

1. Organic Reach
The number of people who had an unpaid post from your page enter their screen. It can break down into viral and non-viral which we will further discuss below.

2. Paid Reach
The number of people who had a paid post from your page enter their screen.

3. Viral Reach
Viral: the number of people who had any content from your page or about your page enter their screen because their friend likes or follows your page, engages with a post, shares a photo of your page and checks in to your page.

Non-viral: the number of people who had any content from your page enter their screen. This doesn’t include when someone’s friend likes or follows your page, engages with a post, shares a photo of your page and checks in your page.


How Facebook counts Impressions?

As impressions defined by Facebook, it is the number of times your ad was on screen. Therefore, every time of your ad appears on someone’s screen, it will be count once it’s a new page load.

There is another kind of impressions. For example, if you have seen an ad from ABC company, the impressions for that ad are one. However, if you scroll back to view the ABC company ad again, Facebook would record as other impressions again because Facebook will capture all as impressions once the ad appeared on the screen.

Therefore, the biggest difference between reach and impressions is, reach will only count once, however impressions will count repeatedly.


The importance of Reach

Reach can help you to determine whether your ad is popular or not. If your ad has broad reach. That means it is successfully making your audiences to engage with your ad such like, comment and share. Therefore, you are able to make more new audiences.

If the result is not as what you expected, that means you have to revise the framing or content of the ad. This is because, your current ad content is not what the audiences want to engage with.


Why Impressions is Important?

In Facebook advertisings, impressions are important to help us determine whether our ad has the potential to reap the desired conversions. It is important to ensure our ad are seen by public if not there has no chance for us to convert any sales.

Impressions may rise and fall while our ad is running. If your impressions are rising, it’s a good sign shows that you ad has been optimized. In contrast, you can consider whether should you pause your ad to improve it because audiences might not be able to see your ad.

You shall be careful as well if your impressions are too high because it may show that your ad was appeared too often and caused your audiences started to ignore or bothered. It might be the time for you to stop and create a new ad.



Both reach and impressions are important to really understand when you analyze your ad’s result. Monitoring your ad’s result once a day is a must. Stop and redesign your ad is very important if you found your ad’s results are not good and even caused you to lost money by running an ad on social media platform.

Related posts