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Facebook Metrics Defined: Impressions


The Complete Guide to Facebook Analytics

The largest challenge for brands on Facebook is making it into users’ News Feeds. To understand how many times your posts are seen, and how frequently users are exposed to your content, use Impressions as a key metric for measuring Facebook performance.

How Impressions Are Calculated:

Facebook Impressions Definition

Like Reach, which we covered in our last post, there are three main components to Facebook Impressions: Organic Impressions, Paid Impressions, and Viral Impressions.

Organic Impressions: The number of times your content was displayed in a user’s News Feed, ticker, or on your page.

Paid Impressions: The number of times your paid content was displayed.

Viral Impressions: The number of times content associated with your page was displayed in a story published by a friend. Stories can include liking, commenting or sharing on your page, answering a question or responding to an event.

Graph of Organic, Paid, and Viral Facebook Impressions

The fact that Reach and Impressions both measure the visibility of content, and both have the same Organic, Paid and Viral components makes it easy to confuse these metrics.

Graph of Facebook Reach vs. Impressions

The key difference between Impressions and Reach, is that Impressions measure the number of times your content is displayed, while Reach measures the number of unique people who saw your content.

For example: If five people each saw a post twice, the result would be ten Impressions (times displayed) and a Reach of five (unique people who saw it).

What Do Impressions Mean to You?

Impressions measure your ability to expose people to your content on Facebook and can help you understand not just how many users you’re reaching, but how frequently those users are seeing your posts, or content associated with your page.

Improving organic impressions means making it into News Feeds more frequently and optimizing your marketing tactics against Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm.

The focus for improving organic impressions should be growing the number of active and engaged fans on your page, placing emphasis on shareable content, and limiting the negative feedback you receive.

Paid advertising on Facebook can also drive impressions,for marketers, this underscores the importance of understanding what’s driving brand exposure on Facebook.

For more metrics definitions and insights, Like our Facebook Page, or follow @simplymeasured on Twitter.

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Nate Smitha

I'm a Marketing Manager at Simply Measured. It's my job to deliver content in a way that engages and informs social media professionals. My areas of expertise are marketing automation, conversion and social media analytics.

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