The average social media user doesn’t care about how many people their posts reach or who is looking, but this type of data is serious business for professional accounts.

Because some businesses use their social media channels to not only inform and educate current and future customers, it’s important to use every strategy available to reach as many as possible. Business pros also track who they’re reaching and hopefully encouraging them to visit their site.

That’s why it’s critical to know the terminology of the different social media metrics you may want to use to track things like who is looking at your pages, or what kind of efforts you take to spread the word.

Two critical terms are impressions and reach. To non-social media experts, these seem similar concepts but they can be different in how they’re managed and which should have a greater priority. Impressions are the amount of people who are shown your content, also defined as the number of times your ads appear.

Reach is the total amount of people who choose to see your content and sometimes engage with it. Engagement is another metric that shows how many and people react, such as likes or other reactions that Facebook offers. Think of it as exposure for impressions and interaction/clicks for reach.

Most channels don’t automatically put everything you post in front of everyone who likes your page. It often takes putting ads together or sponsored posts to boost numbers. Or people specifically checking your page regularly.

Which one is most important depends on what your current business priority is. Are you concentrating on growing followers, especially if you start a new channel? Are you looking for people to get excited about your posts and asking them to share/Retweet? Are you interested in holding social media conversations?

Or are you interested in driving people to your site and having them take advantage of various promotions?

Luckily, most channels offer easy access to analytics so you can see whether you’re gaining in impressions or reach. For more business strategies visit Anchor Digital Marketing Group.