What exactly are Instagram Impressions?

If you are using Instagram for your campaign, you may well have heard about ‘Impressions’ as a measuring device, but what is it, how accurate is it, and how does it differ from ‘Reach’?

Impressions measure the number of times users see your post or ad - but it doesn't differentiate between users. If one person sees your post or ad 50 times, it would count as 50 Impressions. 

Reach, on the other hand, measures the number of unique viewers who have seen your post - so if the same person sees your post 50 times, the reach would be one - you have reached one person.

Prioritising Impressions as a Key Performance Indicator is vital when you want to increase awareness of your brand among your specific target audience. If your post reaches 5,000 new people, it's not going to be effective if none of them are interested in what you are selling. It's going to be more valuable to  concentrate on building a more intense brand awareness among your current following - those that are already interested in what you have to offer.

When we scroll through our social media and see an ad - just seeing it once probably won't make a very big impression on you - but if you see them over and over, they will start to become more familiar. Even if it is not something you want or need right now, being aware of the brand might mean you go back to buy later on.

Impressions are not going to be effective as a metric on their own. But it can be monitored alongside the reach, to measure how many times people are seeing the posts or ads that you put out there. Combined, these two matrices can paint a more accurate picture of how your campaign is running.

For more information on Instagram Insights and how to use them, Hubspot have a very helpful article here.