Reach is the size of the estimated potential unique audience for a set of tweets. We calculate reach algorithmically, based on data we’ve been collecting from Twitter since we launched more than five years ago. It’s a great way of estimating how large your audience on Twitter could be, and takes unique recipients into account, removing duplicates.
Impressions measure the size of total potential exposure. This shows you how many total timelines your tweets were delivered to – including multiple deliveries to the same account – so it’s a count of the maximum total impressions possible for a set of tweets.
If you’ve ever seen the analytics Twitter provides for your Twitter account, you’ve noticed they provide a count of actual impressions for each of your tweets. That impressions number shows how many times people actually saw that tweet. So you may be wondering how Union Metrics Twitter analytics impressions and Twitter impressions relate to each other. What do they each mean? Which one should you use? Why are they so different?
Twitter provides actual impressions for your tweets, while our Twitter analytics calculate total potential impressions for those tweets. You can use these numbers together to fully understand how impactful your tweets are. The number of actual impressions your tweets receive will vary from tweet to tweet and account to account, but your actual impressions will likely be between 1% and 20% of your potential impressions.
Knowing how your actual impressions compare to your potential impressions shows you exactly how well your tweets are performing, how large your activated audience is, and how large your potential audience could be. What’s the ratio of your actual impressions to potential impressions? Are your tweets on the low side? Do some tweets perform better than others? Ask yourself the following questions to help improve the ratio of actual impressions to potential impressions.
What tweets get the most impressions?
First, look at which tweets are seen – and engaged with – by the most people. What makes those tweets different from your lower-performing tweets? Maybe you used a particular hashtag or included a photo. Maybe you mentioned someone who retweeted you. Whatever it is, try doing more of that to see how you can activate more of your potential audience, and improve your ratio of actual to potential impressions. For example, we’ve found for our own content, hashtags like #smm and #measure help get our tweets in front of a receptive, responsive audience interested in social media marketing. And our tweets with an interesting photo or video get high rates of engagement. And when it comes to posts about our company, tweets using the #hiring hashtag generate a lot more impressions than an average tweet.
What tweets get the fewest impressions?
Next, look at the tweets that are performing the worst. Which ones have the fewest impressions and least engagement? Look for patterns in those tweets. Sometimes you can learn more from what’s not working than from what is working. For example, we’ve found that some of our text-only tweets get fewer impressions and lower engagement than our visual content does. But not every time – there seems to be certain types of images that work better than others for us. What do you see in your analytics?
What’s different about your outliers?
Finally, are there any tweets that get way more engagement or impressions than the rest of your tweets? Dig deeper into these tweets, in both Twitter and Union Metrics Twitter analytics. What exactly spurred that response? Twitter will tell you how many retweets, replies, clicks and favorites a tweet received, and our analytics can tell you who retweeted or replied to you and how much amplification they contributed to that tweet. Use this information to see what caused the spike, and think about how you can try to replicate this on future tweets.
Who engages with your tweets? And how?
Finally, you can use other metrics on engagement (like retweets and replies, average retweet rate) and contributors (such as the people who have engaged the most with your content and generated the most amplification for your content) to understand not just how far your content is reaching, but how and with whom. When taken together, along with actual and potential impressions, you can more completely understand what’s working with your Twitter account and how you can improve what isn’t.
You can run a free TweetReach by Union Metrics snapshot report here any time, on any hashtags, usernames or keywords. Try it now! Want more? Check out our comprehensive Union Metrics Twitter analytics, with real-time monitoring and analytics, starting at just $99 per month.