Social media metrics are key to understanding the behavior of your audience, but with so many variables to measure, it can be confusing to determine what exactly your data means.

Specifically on Twitter, terms like “reach” and “impression” are often misinterpreted to mean the same thing. PLOT TWIST: As much as you may like to bunch the two together, they each have distinct definitions.

If you’re already a genius on social media metrics– awesome! But for those of us who would like a refresher, let’s take a look at reach vs impression.

Below is an example:

1 Tweet with 100 Followers = Reach of 100 and 100 Impressions.

2 Tweets from the Same Person with 100 Followers = Reach of 100 and 200 Impressions.

Reach – the number of users who may have seen your content. This is the culmination of any users who saw your tweet plus the sum of their followers.

Reach is an indication of the content that’s reaching your audience and engaging new users.  Keep your eye on the content that’s being retweeted, favorited, or replied to. This will show you potential users you can target, and help you understand the extent of your content’s impact.

Impression – the number of times the users you’ve reached people may have seen your content.

Keep in mind that impressions simply mean the tweet was delivered to someone’s Twitter stream. There is no concrete way to assess if a tweet has actually been viewed. In a perfect world, everyone would read your tweet when it popped up on their stream, unfortunately that’s not realistic or measurable.

So what can you do with these numbers? If you’re not already tracking social media metrics for your business or event, you’re missing out on vital information. Shoot us an email at and let us crunch your numbers!