Understanding Your Social Media Metrics: Part 1 – Awareness

4 mins read

This article explains the social media metrics associated with awareness, including what reach, potential reach, and impressions are.

Now if have a social media channel running, it is important to know and understand the data you can access from social platforms; this data is called metrics. Metrics include information which will help you understand if your social media goals are being met, and will help determine if your social strategy is effective.

The world of social media metrics can be a confusing world to dive into. There are third party companies that provide analytics reports breaking down your metrics, however they may use confusing terminology and skew the data to highlight the value they provide instead of the metrics that actually provide value to your company. We have broken down the basic metrics into a 3 part series to help you clearly understand the various social media metrics and the language used. The first category we will explain is awareness.


Your brand awareness is the attention your brand gets. It is how recognizable you are to your audience and how easily they can remember your brand and associate it with your products and services. The data in this category clarifies your current and potential audience. The goal for the metrics in this category is for the awareness to lead to engagement. Here are 3 metrics that relate to awareness:

  • Reach
    Reach shows how many people your posts are reaching. This metric is easy to find, and easy to understand. This metric can give important information as you can dig deeper in to when your audience is online and viewing your posts, which should influence when you are posting and can therefore increase your reach! Post when your audience is online, this can increase the amount of viewership your content gets. Note: The Facebook “When Your Fans Are Online” analytic will tell you the optimal time to post.

  • Potential Reach
    This measures the number of people that could possibly, realistically, see your posts. For example, if one of your followers shares a post, you would factor in 2%-5% of their followers as potential reach. This metric is important when working on expanding your audience, as knowing your potential reach will help you accurately gauge the effectiveness of your social media strategy.

  • Impressions
    Impressions are the total number of times your content is displayed – whether or not it was viewed, clicked, or engaged with in any way. Now, how is your impression different than your reach? Reach is the total number of people your content has reached, while impression is the total number of times content has been displayed on feeds. For example, if a post reaches 100 of your followers one day then the next day a different post reaches those same 100 followers, at the end of the second day your reach would be 100 while your impressions would be 200.

Metric Madness Made Clear!

There you have it – the confusing world of social media metric madness summarized in clear, understandable language. In summary, awareness metrics show the attention your brand gets, and the goal is for awareness to lead to engagement. Now that you have a better understanding of some of the awareness metrics associated with social media, we challenge you to contemplate the following question: “How can we improve the reach, potential reach, and impressions of our brand?”

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