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X: What Are Twitter Impressions & Reach?

TJ Kiely

Aug 4, 2023

In the jumble of Twitter marketing metrics, words like Impressions and Reach can seem to overlap. These two terms appear often in social media marketing, so surely they mean something important. But what, exactly?

Here’s what you need to know about Twitter Impressions vs Twitter Reach and why these metrics matter to your social media marketing.

Table of Contents:

What is a Twitter Impression?

We define an impression as an appearance on a user’s screen. It’s the number of times someone put eyeballs on your content.

Impressions count the number of appearances, not the number of individual people who see your content. For example, if one person sees your content one time, that’s one impression. But if that same person sees your content five times, that’s five impressions.

Note: Impressions do not measure the number of times your Tweet may have been screenshotted and embedded in other content. It also doesn’t count if someone views a text preview of your Tweet or if they see your Tweet on a third-party platform.

Twitter app on a phone.

Why Do Impressions Matter?

Tracking Twitter impressions gives you an idea as to how often users see you on X, formerly known as Twitter. It’s a great way to measure your brand’s presence (Share of Voice and brand awareness). The more impressions you have, the more people are seeing your content.

Impressions can also offer clues into your content’s effectiveness. For example, if you have a high number of impressions but no clicks, it could mean that you’re not reaching the right people on X, formerly known as Twitter. Or your content might not be compelling enough.

If you have a low number of impressions, you might want to rethink your Twitter hashtags, increase your ad spend, or get new followers.

Tip: Take a look at our guides on how to create a Twitter marketing strategy and on how to do Twitter management for beginners to help your brand become more relevant on X, formerly known as Twitter.

It’s important to track more than impressions. Your Twitter analytics dashboard does this for you, but you need to pay attention to other social media metrics and social analytics, as well, to make sense of your impressions. Combining impressions with other metrics, such as click-throughs, can help you gauge whether your content is working.

What Does Twitter Reach Mean?

X, formerly known as Twitter, reach refers to the number of unique individuals who have seen your Tweet. Reach indicates how far your Tweet has traveled.

You might only have 100 followers on X, formerly known as Twitter, but if your Tweet has been Retweeted by an account with 1,000 followers, you’ve significantly improved your Reach.

Similar to impressions, reach does not measure how many people may have seen your Tweet screenshotted or embedded in other content. It also doesn’t take into account whether your Tweet is shown as a text preview or on other social channels, such as LinkedIn. What’s more, it doesn’t measure how many people engaged with your Tweet.

The combination of Twitter reach and impressions gives you insight into whether your content is being seen. 

Why Does Twitter Reach Matter?

You spend time and effort creating the perfect Tweet - maybe you're even creating and posting videos to Twitter. Naturally, you want people to see it! Twitter reach gives you an idea of how many people will potentially see your content so you can make informed decisions on how to promote it.

Your Twitter reach can also help you figure out if something is wrong with your ad. Similar to impressions, if you have a high reach but zero click-throughs or conversions, you might want to take a second look at your ad creative.

Combined with impressions, you can see how many times people are viewing your ad before you start seeing conversions. Studies tell us it takes an average of seven impressions before a person will recall a brand or make a purchase. If your reach and impressions are nearly the same, it makes sense that you wouldn’t see many conversions. This indicates that most of your audience has only seen your ad one time.

On the other hand, if you have 500 impressions and have reached 100 people, each person has seen your content an average of five times. This increases the likelihood of generating clicks and conversions. You can compare data on reach and impressions to see how many times you should plan to show future ads before getting results from your campaign.

Lastly, Twitter reach can indicate whether you have a quality audience on X, formerly known as Twitter. Having a lot of followers but low impressions and reach could mean that many of your followers aren’t active. If this is the case, you may want to focus on increasing your followers so your Tweets will get more exposure.

Tweet activity chart.

How to Measure Twitter Impressions

Your Twitter analytics dashboard automatically measures impressions for you. To access your impressions, you can log into your X / Twitter account, click the graph icon on each Tweet, and view the data for that Tweet.

You can also see your impressions via the Twitter analytics dashboard for a bird’s eye view of all of your Tweets. Track performance over time to determine benchmarks for your campaigns.

How to Measure Twitter Reach

Fun fact: Reach isn’t an official Twitter metric. You won’t find it in your Twitter analytics. So, do you really need to measure it?

There’s plenty of value in measuring Twitter reach, and you can do so pretty easily without the help of Twitter analytics.

One way to do this is to divide the number of impressions by the number of followers, then multiply by 100. For example, if you have 5,000 followers and have earned 500 impressions of your post, then your reach percentage is 10%.

500 impressions / 5,000 followers = 0.1 x 100 = 10%

This is just an estimation because one person could have seen your content more than once.

Now let’s say that someone Retweeted your post to their audience of 500 followers. You can add the number of your own followers and their followers to get a potential reach of 5,500 people. Your analytics will continue tracking impressions for you so you can plug in those numbers into the calculation above.

One other way to measure reach is to review your hashtag analytics. Hashtags are shareable. If you attach the right hashtag to your content, it has the potential to reach lots of people beyond your own follower count.

Tracking hashtags using a social media monitoring tool like Meltwater's before you launch a Twitter campaign is important. Because you're limited on space in each Tweet, you want to choose the best hashtag or hashtags to accompany each post. If you want to increase reach, you can choose the hashtag that has the greatest potential to travel.

How to Increase Your Twitter Reach & Impressions

Your Twitter impressions and reach are no substitutes for engagement. Just because someone sees your content doesn’t mean they will care about it. But at the same time, you also need people to see it before they can decide whether to engage. That’s why many marketers want their impressions and reach to be as high as possible.

The more eyes your content attracts, the more opportunities you have of being Retweeted, getting clicks, and reaching your goals. There are a few ways to increase your Twitter impressions and reach:

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams twitter page.

Engage with Accounts with Large Audiences

Increasing your X / Twitter organic reach can help you get your content in front of more people without having to pay for Twitter ads. One way to do this is to engage with celebrities, influencers, and other accounts that already have large followings.

You can follow them, comment on their posts, and Retweet their content in hopes they’ll return the favor. Or you can proactively form partnerships with influencers and collaborate on content that will benefit both of you.

One place to start is with your own account. See if you have any followers who are super engaged with your brand. These are the people who will be most open to sharing your content with their own audience. You can find these fans via your Twitter analytics or with third-party tools like Meltwater's social listening platform and Meltwater's social influencer database.

Once you find influencers or engaged followers, ask them what type of content they’d like to see from you. They will be more likely to share posts that genuinely interest them.

Need input regarding how to best engage with your Twitter audience? Our Twitter management guide will help.

Consistently Post Content

Another way to get more eyes on your content is to keep producing content. Give people something to engage with.

It could be...

  • a video
  • a tip or advice
  • a survey
  • a quote
  • a question

— or all of the above. The more variety, the better you can learn what your audience likes and responds to.

The more content you produce, the more opportunities others have to get to know your brand. Content can help you build trust and foster good relationships, both of which can help your content travel farther.

Because X, formerly known as Twitter, is a place where you can be “old news” in a matter of hours, consistency is key.

The less often you post, the more likely people are to forget about you. Experiment with posting times and frequencies to find your sweet spot, then stick to a regular posting schedule. Tools like Meltwater's social publishing software can help you skip the trial and error by calculating when your audience is most active and what they’re most likely to engage with.

Tip: Learn more about the best times to post on Twitter to understand when and how often you should tweet.

Mr. Clean tweet.

Enrich Your Tweets with Media

Our Twitter stats blog states that Tweets with images and videos tend to get more engagement than plain text Tweets. For example, if you are including a blog post link in your Tweet, chances are a visual will be automatically generated. This may or may not be the most compelling picture, so take matters into your own hands by choosing media to accompany your content.

For Twitter images, stick with a 2:1 ratio. Most X / Twitter usage happens via mobile devices, so your images should be optimized for a vertical screen.

Here you find more information on all Twitter image sizes and Twitter video sizes.

Also, make sure your images align with your brand's corporate identity. The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. If your images are well branded or at least make sense for your brand, your audience will better make the connections between you and your content.

Improving Your Twitter Organic Reach with Meltwater

Ready to maximize your Twitter marketing strategy? Meltwater makes it easy to create, schedule, and analyze your Tweets from a single dashboard. AI-driven social listening and consumer intelligence shows you what content your target audience is engaging with, the times they’re most active, and what they’re talking about online so you can meet them where they are.

Meltwater supports your Twitter analytics tools by providing context behind the numbers. Whether you want to increase your follower count, launch your first Twitter campaign, or improve your engagement rate, Meltwater helps you do it with data.

Schedule a demo and see how Meltwater makes you a better Tweeter!