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Twitter impressions: the difference between impact and reach on Twitter

Twitter impressions and reach

Twitter Reach VS Twitter impressions (impacts)

Twitter has become one of the most popular social networks in the world, this is obvious but important because this whole blogpost is based in the idea that Twitter impressions and reach are important. We work everyday surrounded by Twitter analytics, so what did you expect? You may use Twitter or not, but we are sure that everyday you read/see something related to Twitter. For example a tweet from Donald Trump or a mention from a famous influencer to a new fashion brand. You may not understand how it works (which we doubt it by the way) but Twitter is always filling media time and somehow it has become part of your daily routine. Today you will learn how to answer the question: “What are Twitter impressions?” Many marketers ask us about it every week. Also you will learn to differentiate reach from impressions (reach vs impressions, the eternal fight).

You can click on the following button to create your first Twitter report. You will be able to see the Twitter impressions and reach of any hashtag or term:

Create your Twitter report

Anyway, Twitter is now part of our lives and a day without Twitter is an estrange day. Twitter impressions should be a main part of any marketer’s life as well. Because Twitter analytics must be always at the very beginning of any campaign. In fact, from news agencies to companies and individuals, the use of Twitter analytics is increasing every year. And the repercussion is huge and creating a tweets counter is important, but that metric is not the only one. However, Twitter is much more than just short messages. In this post we will explain how to measure the reach on Twitter and the impact. In Tweet Binder we have become experts on measuring and tracking hashtags and campaign of Twitter. We know what we talk about but if you want to add anything about it please contact us today.

Late Night with Seth Meyers example

Now let’s get started, we are here to talk about Twitter impressions and reach. It will be an exciting blog post because many people always ask us about this: “How do I measure my reach on Twitter?”, “How do I calculate the impact of my Twitter campaign?” Or, as we said: “What are Twitter impressions?”. Ok, in this post we will go little by little explaining all this but before we start with the technical words (the ones we use to seem important) you must know this:

  • Twitter reach: this metric talks about people
  • Twitter impressions: this metric talks about impacts (people use impact or impression indistinctly)

So, when somebody ask you “What as the reach of our campaign?” You must answer: “The reach of our campaign was XXXX people”. Simple. Let’s see an example with the hashtag #DayDrinking used by Late Night with Seth Meyers:

Twitter stats for #DayDrinking
You can see here that the hashtag #DayDrinking generated 5 million impressions and it has a reach of 3 million people.

Although tweets may seem a sum of words. Just short messages. Twitter and its tweets are powerful tools to spread messages and campaigns. Not only we read tweets, we also share content and get impacted by the tweets we read, each time that we share content, the Twitter reach and impact grows. There are several metrics to have in mind in Twitter, from number of followers to number of tweets sent, Twitter statistics are wide and may seem complex. That’s why we are going to explain impact and reach in this post. Because it is really important how the tweets affect on us and on what we receive, but reach and impact is one of the ones that are more important.

What are Twitter impressions?

Reach and impact are two of the main metrics we should use to measure the success of a campaign or event on Twitter. Many people ask us what is a Twitter impression, let’s say an impression is generated every time a person sees the hashtag. As we said, the impact is also known as impressions of the hashtag. Many times you will see how people use Twitter impressions and impacts indistinctly. It is used to know how many times the hashtag could have been seen, how many times the hashtag has been “printed”. On the other hand, the reach represents the potential audience of the hashtag, people. Meaning: how many people could have seen it. In fact, the most precise definitions of both metrics would be:

  • The impact has to do with how many times the hashtag could have been seen by Twitter users.
  • The reach refers to how many Twitter users could have seen the hashtag.

As we said before, impact means impressions and reach means people. Twitter reach and Twitter impact are many times confused for each other, do not make that mistake. So, in order to calculate the Twitter impressions (impact) of a hashtag we will use the number of followers of the users who sent tweets and the number of tweets they sent. To calculate the reach, we will use only the number of followers.

A way of increasing the impressions of a tweet, is by retweeting it. Retweets are a way of repeating what other users have tweeted. The most retweeted tweets are usually those who get the highest number of retweets.

Twitter impressions explained

To calculate the impact we do a very simple math. We see it simple we hope you find it simple as well. Since what we want to measure is the number of times that the hashtag could have been seen we will go user by user multiplying the number of followers by the number of tweets sent. Then, after that, we will add all these user results. That’s how we get the Twitter impact. Each time that a user sends a tweet, he/she creates as many impressions of the hashtag we want to measure as his/her number of followers.

Let’s discover it easily with an example.

Example: We are at an event and the official hashtag is #TweetBinderEvent. There we have 10 tweets sent by 2 users. These users are:

  1. User Example @UserBinder1: it has 10 followers and sends 3 tweets with the hashtag #TweetBinderEvent.
  2. User Example @UserBinder2: it has 50 followers and sends 7 tweets with the hashtag #TweetBinderEvent.

So we have 10 (3 + 7) tweets in total with the hashtag #TweetBinderEvent. These tweets have been sent by 2 users. Let’s calculate now the Twitter impacts of each one of them:

  1. User Example @UserBinder1: 10 followers and 3 tweets. Then we run this calculation: 10 followers x 3 tweets = 30 Twitter impressions or impacts.
  2. User Example @UserBinder2: 50 followers and 7 tweets. We have to follow this rule to get the impacts: 50 followers x 7 tweets = 350 Twitter impressions or impacts.

That’s to say that the hashtag #TweetBinderEvent’s impact is 380 impressions. We have to add the individual impacts created by each user. In this case is simple, we have 30 plus 350, so the total potential impact is 380.

Of course we cannot do that when the hashtag has 12,000 tweets and 7,000 users. That will take us years to do. That’s why there are Twitter tools that track hashtags like Tweet Binder (surprise!) that will do this job for you in seconds.

Twitter reach explained

Now that we know how to calculate the Twitter impact of a hashtag we must learn how to do the same for the Twitter reach. To calculate the reach of a hashtag we have to run another simple math. We need to add all the followers of each Twitter user who participates in the hashtag. In this case the number of tweets that they share is not relevant. We will focus only on the number of Twitter followers. We are going to use the previous example to explain it better.

Example: We are attending the same event with the official hashtag #TweetBinderEvent. We still have 10 tweets sent by 2 users, but the number of tweets is not relevant:

  1. User Example @UserBinder1: has 10 followers.
  2. User Example @UserBinder2: has 50 followers.

In this case we will just add everyone’s followers and that’s how we get the global reach: 10 + 50 = 60 users reached. We have calculated the Twitter reach, congratulations! So, if we combine both metrics impacts and reach, we could say that the hashtag #TweetBinderEvent has generated 380 impacts and has reached 60 Twitter users.

At this point we must note that “the reach” is a potential metric as well as the impact. Actually, we have to bare in mind that not everyone is connected on Twitter to read the tweets when they are published. So we don’t know if the impression made was read by the followers of the user and also there might be followers in common in these 2 users that tweeted. Meaning that they are not counted twice. One shared user as follower is impacted and reached just one time. The important thing about this two Twitter metrics is to compare them with other the Twitter reach and impressions in other hashtags. For example, if you are running an event, compare your reach with other similar events.

Create your own Twitter report

First of all, we can conclude that the Twitter impact and the reach are key metrics to determine the success of a hashtag or campaign. Seriously, they are, trust us: 30% of the questions we get in Tweet Binder are related to them. The way to calculate both is pretty simple. In addition to the definition that we have provided the are others that talk about the same, comparing it for example to web visits. Some people say that the “Reach” of the hashtag stays for the number of “Visitors” of your website. In addition, there are others that refers to “Impacts” as for “Visits”. A visitor can enter your site more than once as well as a Twitter user can be impacted more than once.

As you can see, the number of followers is very important when talking about impact, not only the number of tweets. Number of tweets and followers are key metrics. That’s why we highly recommend to set up a Twitter follower tracker. For your own account and also for the competitors. We will never get tired of saying that. And one last reminder, not everyone is connected on Twitter all the time. That’s why the number of impacts and reach is always “potential”. There is no way to determine the exact number of Twitter users that read or are impacted by a tweet.

So, from now on, we wish you feel comfortable when reading impact and reach figures. We hope that this post helps you to remember that the impact is related to the amount of times a hashtag could have been seen and the reach to those who can have seen it. If you want to calculate the impressions (impact) of your Twitter hashtags go to Tweet Binder and start playing, it is free.

Create your Twitter report

Tweet Binder reach and impact

As you may already know Tweet Binder offers complete reports to analyze Twitter. Don’t worry, we are not trying to sell you anything. Twitter reach and impressions are statistics that we offer for free. From live analytics to Twitter historical data, any tweet can be analyzed with Tweet Binder. Moreover, all Tweet Binder Twitter reports include the impact and the reach for free (didn’t we say this already?) Actually, in both of the reports generated with each search you will find both metrics: the advanced report and the infographic report include the impact and the reach. Even the Excel file that we get with the PRO Reports include these metrics.

Therefore, it’s your time to analyze Twitter data with Tweet Binder and check the Twitter impact and reach of your reports/hashtags/terms. Do not worry if you get stuck or if you forget how we get the figures on the report. We include tool tips to help you understand everything. And if you need any extra help, we are always happy to help you.

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There are several metrics to have in mind on Twitter. We are going to explain the difference between impact and reach in this post. Discover these metrics and much more with Tweet Binder.
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Tweet Binder
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