Reach vs. Impressions: Which One Should Your Multifamily Property Focus On?

After months of development, your property’s new social media strategy has hit the big time – or, at least, the social media channels you’ve chosen to utilize based on your target audience. You’ve spell-checked, hashtagged, and boosted. Now, all you have to do is wait for the leads to roll in, right?

Before you skip to the part where you’re reaping the rewards of a job well-done, you’ll need to make sure that all your hard work isn’t all for naught. The best way to do so? You must track your social marketing results, or more specifically, your reach and impressions.

Unlike counting page Likes, monitoring reach and impressions can help pinpoint which marketing efforts are most effective. By wisely utilizing reach and impression intel, you’ll be able to visualize the results of your work based on the engagement you receive, making it easier to hit your leasing and retention goals with accuracy.

Ready to get started? Here’s everything your multifamily community needs to know about reach and impressions.

What is “reach” versus “impressions?”

Reach and impressions are often displayed side-by-side, but that does not imply that the two are one and the same. Another misconception is that follower counts are the same as reach and impressions, and all of the content your team pushes out reaches every one of your followers. Unfortunately, neither are true, which makes it all the more important to fully understand reach and impressions before formulating strategies to bolster them.

The term “reach” refers to the total number of unique users who view your content, while “impressions” surmises the total amount of times your content is displayed to users, regardless of whether or not it was clicked. Unlike its reach, your account can receive multiple impressions of content by the same user if they come across the material more than once.

Let’s say that your apartment community publishes a Facebook post advertising a renovated unit. 100 people view the post. A few people also share the post to their own feeds, which causes the post to pop up other users’ news feeds a total of 400 times. In this example, the reach on the post is 100, and the impression count is 400.

Does every social media network define reach and impressions in the same way?

Short answer: not always. Though many marketing teams are primarily interested in reach and impressions garnered through Facebook or Instagram, which subscribe to the above definitions, those utilizing other social networks will realize that the terms are not as concrete as one might think.  Snapchat, for example, tracks reach and “story views,” which is their alternative to impressions.

LinkedIn defines an “impression” as occurring when the post is displayed for 0.3 seconds or clicked by the user – whichever happens first. While LinkedIn does not track reach, it does offer a slew of other tools such as click totals, followers acquired, and interactions.

Twitter doesn’t track reach and only grants users with an impression count. Furthermore, Twitter assigns “impressions” the same definition that Facebook assigns reach, which equates to any time a Twitter user sees your tweet. However, tweets sent in response to other users typically clock in fewer impressions than those published directly to the feed.

Which data is most important to track?

Whether your team emphasizes their work around reach or impressions is largely based on the goal you are trying to achieve. Odds are that you will often switch your focus from one to the other depending on the current campaign you’re working on.

For example, if your team is throwing an open house event, you’ll likely want as many people as possible to see your post. This indicates a concern with reach. If, on the other hand, you’re trying to gather feedback on a new amenity offering, a high impression rate takes precedence since you are now targeting engagement as opposed to views.

Remember, reach and impression counts can serve as an indicator of strategy success. If your reach is considerable, but your efforts aren’t being rewarded with prospective leads, you might safely assume that your campaigns are missing the mark. Additionally, if your impressions are low, you may want to reconsider ways to better engage with potential residents. Getting great results with reach and impressions? High five! Your strategy is right on the money, and the ROI will soon provide you with some insight in that regard.

How can reach and impressions improve digital marketing ROI?

In addition to notifying you which specific posts are receiving attention, keeping an eye on reach and impressions will help your team determine if your brand is coming off too strongly, or in some cases, not strongly enough. Play with your approach until you hit that Goldilocks-esque, sweet spot. By using smart social intel, you’ll be able to figure out where your strategy needs fine-tuning before allotting valuable resources (i.e.  money, labor, etc.) to campaigns that aren’t effectively driving leads to your door.

What’s more, tracking reach and impressions is a fantastic way to set goals and continually measure performance, so you can continue to revamp your strategy for maximum results. Surveying analytics allows marketing teams to learn from their work and incorporate these lessons into their future efforts. Since social media is ever-evolving, a team that is comfortable with analyzing today’s metrics will be more prepared to meet tomorrow’s demands.

All in all, tracking reach and impressions is hands-down the most effective way to gauge your property’s social media presence. Thanks to the multitude of tools now available to you as a business-affiliated user, it’s never been easier to take an active role in your online presence and ensure its success. By utilizing embedded reach and impression tools, you’ll be able to track content reach and consumer interactions in ways that were impossible even five years ago.

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