On social media, one of the most crucial assets a person or business has is reach.

Potential reach estimates how many people are in your target audience for you to connect with every time you tweet on Twitter or post on Instagram. While “reach” is a concept that exists on every social platform, it’s most commonly associated with Facebook, where you can predict your reach when you set up a paid advertisement.

Facebook estimates the number of people you can communicate with through your profile when you set up a particular campaign. This helps with estimation like calculating ROI and budgeting for your social media strategies.

Although reach is a common concept in social media strategies, it’s frequently confused with a similar metric, impressions. Many people believe that both reach and impressions are about connecting with as many leads as possible. However, the terms aren’t interchangeable.

Reach is the number of unique people who see and potentially engage with your content. On the other hand, impressions refer to the number of times your content was delivered onto someone’s social media feed. You could have five impressions with the same person, but still not benefit from any engagement.

What is Facebook potential reach?

Though reach exists on every social media platform, from Instagram to Twitter, Facebook allows you to measure your potential reach when you’re building an ad campaign. On Facebook, your potential reach falls into three categories:

  • Organic: The number of people who naturally see your content, without you paying for their engagement or attention.
  • Paid: The number of unique people who see your content when you pay for a targeted Facebook ad.
  • Viral: The number of people who see your post because it’s been mentioned or published by a friend or influencer.

There are many different factors that affect your reach on social media. The customers that you choose to target, your existing presence on a particular channel and even the kind of content you choose to share will all affect your outcomes.

How potential reach affects your marketing strategy

When you consider potential reach in your social media content strategy, you start to improve the potential of your campaigns. The more targeted leads you connect with through your posts and advertisements, the more ROI you’ll gain from each campaign.

The easiest way to track potential reach is to use a combination of the tools available on your preferred social media channel, like Facebook and an advanced solution like Sprout Social. It’s also worth monitoring reach alongside other metrics like engagement, to determine what percentage of your potential audience respond to and interact with your content.

If you notice that you have a reach of around 10,000 people, but only 1,000 of them engage with your brand, then this could be a sign that it’s time to adjust or upgrade your marketing strategy.