By: Lee Ann Jackson September 6, 2016

In the ever changing world of social and digital media, while aiming to keep up with the newest trend or latest platform app, it’s important we not lose sight of the basics.

In  the world of Facebook, the basics comes down to the metrics – it’s what marketers focus on and let’s be honest, it’s the first question on someone’s mind when they’re becoming acquainted with a new Facebook page: how many fans does the page have?

Here’s the thing though, what’s important isn’t how many fans the page has, it’s really how many people are seeing the content.  And that’s why “Reach” (the number of people who see your content) is tops on my 3 Things To Know on Defining Facebook Metrics:

1. Reach: the number of people who see your content. Reach is the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions.

Total Reach is the number of unique individuals who have actually seen any content related to your Facebook Page. This includes content published on your Page as well as Facebook Ads and Promoted Posts that lead people to your Page.

The sum of Post Reach won’t equal Total Reach because Pages can reach people through content other than posts. So, how this works is . . . if someone visits a Page after searching for it, they’ll be counted in Total Reach but not Post Reach. Also, if someone sees more than one Page post, they’ll be counted in Post Reach for each post they see, but they’ll only be counted once in Total Reach.

2. Impressions: the number of times your content is displayed – whether clicked or not. People may see multiple impressions of the same post. For example, someone might see a Page update in News Feed once, and then a second time if their friend shares it.

Impressions is the total number of times activity related to your Page is seen by people on Facebook, whether they see it organically, virally or via a paid advertisement.

For example, consider that a particular Facebook post was displayed 2,000 times on user News Feeds. That would mean this post received 2,000 impressions.

3. Engagement: the number of interactions people have with your content.

There are three components that contribute to positive engagement with brand posts:

Likes: The number of times people Like your posts. Likes are an indicator of how well your content resonates with people.

Comments: The number of comments people make on your posts. Comments can provide insight into how people feel about your content, products or brand overall.

Shares: The number of times people share your content. Shares measure how much your content is amplified by those who see it.

Keep in mind that Impressions and Reach are related but slightly different. Let’s say somebody on Facebook sees your post three times in their news feed during the day. You have basically received 3 impressions on your post, but the reach is just 1 person.

Reach measures unique people. Impressions does not measure unique people, but rather the total number of times your activity is seen.

Keep learning to stay ahead, but don’t lose sight of the basics – they’re the foundation for strategizing a successful social and digital media future!

Lee Ann Jackson

Ambassador Advertising.  We Connect.  Ministry and Media.


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