Twitter Metrics Defined: Potential Impressions

Twitter Metrics Defined: Potential Impressions Kevin Shively Blogger Extraordinaire Simply Measured

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Potential impressions have always been an important metric for advertisers. For traditional media like newspaper, radio and TV, it has been one of the only metrics available to gauge success, and its relevance has stayed  just as prominent throughout the advent of social media.

Potential Impression: The total number of times a tweet from your account or mentioning your account could appear in users’ Twitter feeds during the report period.

Twitter Metrics, Potential Impressions

What Does The Potential Impressions Metric Mean to You?

Potential impressions are an important part of measuring your brand impact. While follower count shows you the direct impact you can have on users, potential impression demonstrates the impact you’ve had on those users and the audience it’s helped you reach beyond your inner circle of influence.

If content you’re creating has a viral impact through shares, retweets and @mentions, your potential impressions are the quickest way to identify the trend, and focus your efforts on the content that is increasing your audience.

How are Potential Impressions Calculated?

Unfortunately, there’s no catch-all for calculating potential impressions. Our team of analysts collected feedback from customers and developed three different formulas for calculating these metrics. While these aren’t the only ways to identify a set of impressions, we found that these are the three types of analysis social media experts are interested in. As we researched other analytics services, we found that most use a calculation similar to one of the options below. Simply Measured’s Twitter Analytics supports all three calculations at the push of a button.

Method 1: In this more “conservative” calculation, one @reply results in one potential impression. This will likely give you a lower than actual reading, but makes a fair assumption that @replies won’t generate the full reach of the author’s followers. In addition, @replies are typically 1-to-1 interactions where reach/impressions are not as relevant, rather than broader messages. We’ve focused on this approach as the go-to model, and the majority of the customers we consulted support this method.

Method 2: This is the most aggressive method, accounting for each follower of the author as a potential impression, even in cases of direct @Replies. This approach takes the word “potential” at its most literal form.

Method 3: This method will let you define any percentage contribution for followers of @replies from 90% to 10%. For example, if you believe that 20% of the average author’s audience is overlapping with the account replied to, you can use this as a basis for  potential impressions across all @Replies on all Twitter reports.

Before reporting on your potential impressions, it’s important to know the formula being used, so you can develop an understanding of your full virility and brand exposure.

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Kevin Shively

As the Head of Marketing Communications at Simply Measured and generally delightful person, my job is to use data to tell stories to the internet that help the internet get better at telling stories...You're welcome internet.

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