It’s Facebook Friday — each week we’ll offer one tip for leveraging Facebook to increase customer awareness of and engagement with your brand or business. This week we’ll talk about the definition of Facebook’s “Reach” metric, and what the figure on individual Page updates that says how many people “saw this post” means.
The latter in particular might seem straightforward: It’s how many people saw the post that you published, right? Well, that’s absolutely true, but some folks miss an important detail.
The number represents not just the number of people who’ve seen the post you published, but also the number of people who saw the post if it was republished to them by someone else.
The same is true of the metric called “Reach” in Facebook Insights or in Sprout Social’s own Facebook reports tool. It’s not just the number of people who’ve Liked your Page and thus see your update. Every time someone shares (or in some cases Likes) your content, that content can be seen by their own friends, and the Reach number represents these impressions.
It may seem like a fine distinction, but it can make a big difference when posts go viral. If you share stuff other people want to share, you could reach many multiples of the number of individuals you’re publishing to directly.
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[Image credit: Evan Hahn]
Samuel Axon: Samuel is the Editorial Director supervising Sprout Social's editorial and web content projects. He has years of experience in blogging and social media, having previously worked as an editor at social media and technology news sites Mashable and Engadget. He also helped build the white label web content management system Crowd Fusion from the ground up.
Thanks for the article. I cannot understand whether reach means the post is "shown" or "seen". A post can appear in someone's news feed but is not necessarily seen unless they scroll down to it. Which is correct when referring to reach, is it shown or seen?
Thank you for your reply. I kind of understand what you are saying
. Social media is still something I am trying to learn. :)
How do you know someone has "reached"? This has never made sense to me, since, when I post something I know all of the people who 'liked' the page will read it. So, I have always questioned the difference between people who have 'liked' a page and the people who have 'reached' the page. Is it b/c some people actually click on the post to view the pictures?! to be considered 'reached'? I have asked many people and no-one ever knows.
@teal57 This is a great question. The way Facebook's algorithm is set up, there's no guarantee that everyone who Likes your Page will see every single one of your posts without actually visiting your Page. People have more control over their News Feeds than ever before, and depending on their activity and the level of engagement taking place on your posts, your posts might show up differently in your fans' News Feeds.
Reach is the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. An impression is the number of times your post is displayed, whether it's clicked or not. It's possible that your reach could be less than impressions since one person can see multiple impressions. If someone scrolls past your post in News Feed, that's an impression. If one of their friends later shares your post and it appears in that person's News Feed for a second time, that's an additional impression.
Simply put, if you have 5,000 Likes, your organic posts might only be reaching 50% of them due to Facebook's algorithm. I hope this helps!
@jennifer beese Is there any specific reason,why a post doesn't reach everyone who liked the page? Why is the algorithm that way?
@suchith Facebook's algorithm was designed to help declutter spam and help provide users with content that will most likely resonate and provide value to users. This shines an even brighter spotlight on brands to publish quality content that caters to their audience. Hope this helps!