Social media 101: what are impressions on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter?

The number of followers and likes you get are a great way of gauging fan engagement. But how do you measure how far your content has travelled on socials and how many people have seen it? This is where impressions come in…

Social media metrics can be complicated, especially when there’s so many of them. Unlike likes and numbers of followers which reflect your existing fan base, impressions are a great metric because they tell you how many times your content has been seen; both inside and outside your existing social following.

πŸ‘€ What are impressions?

Impressions are the number of times your posts or content are seen by people in their feeds. Posts do not need to be clicked on or interacted with to contribute to your impressions.

It is worth nothing that impressions do not necessarily reflect how many people have seen your content; if one person has seen the same post twice in their feeds, this will count as 2 impressions, not 1.

πŸ“Š Why are impressions a useful metric?

Even though they don’t measure engagement, they are fantastic at seeing how your content is being shown to people in their social media feeds.

Since algorithms became standard on social media, it’s been difficult to gauge how much your content has been shown to your audience and beyond. However, by looking at your impressions, you can accurately see how many times your content has been displayed in people’s feeds, even if they haven’t interacted with it.

πŸ“ˆ How can I improve impressions?

There are a variety of different focuses you can take in order to improve your number of impressions:

Work with the algorithm

By learning how to appease social media algorithms, you can increase your chances of your posts performing well in social media feeds. Whilst social media algorithms are incredibly complex, there are a few sure-fire ways that you can use to boost your content’s value in the eyes of the algorithm, such as:

βŒ› Posting consistently – get a regular posting schedule going.

πŸ§ͺ Try new features – e.g. Instagram’s reels or Facebook stories.

πŸŽ– Posting quality content keep your content fresh, high quality and original.

Hootsuite have a fantastic article explaining more about the mysterious world of the social media algorithm here.

Aid discovery

By tagging anyone you mention and hash-tagging appropriate keywords, you can place your posts into feeds that you previously wouldn’t be able to access. Hashtags are a great way of getting involved in certain discussions and contexts; anyone who searches for that hashtag will likely come across your post – leading to more impressions.

Much in the same way, tagging people will also allow your content to infiltrate new social circles and reach new people’s social feeds – especially if the person you’ve tagged likes your content enough to give it a share or add it to their stories.

Collaborate

Consider collaborating with like-minded brands and creators, who you share similar passions with. By collaborating on projects or content together, you’ll:

a) Have a great time and come up with new ideas or projects you previously wouldn’t have created yourself.

b) Share fan bases – by each sharing your collaboration each of your audiences, each of your brands will be shown to a whole new group of people; ideally leading to more likes and greater brand awareness.


However, it’s important to remember that impressions shouldn’t be the be all and end all of your social media marketing. As long as you’re creating quality content that you enjoy, and that your fans engage well with you’re already on the path to success.

Do you have any go-to tips for increasing impressions on your social media? Let us know in the comments πŸ‘‡

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