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What does Facebook mean by ‘Reach’?

An excellent question.  When Facebook uses the term ‘Reach’ it means the number of unique people who saw your content. Not to be confused with Impressions which only shows you that your content was seen x amount of times, not the unique individuals which made up those viewings. Just to hammer that point home, if your Reach is 1,000 that would mean 1,000 individual people saw your content, whilst 1,000 Impressions may be made up of some individuals who saw your content numerous times.

Above shows the Reach over the past 7 days of a campaign. You can also see how this differs from the number of impressions

Reach can be broken down into the following sub categories:

Organic Reach

No bells or whistles on this one. It simply means the Reach attained purely by having a presence on Facebook. It is the Reach attained freely when you post material to your fans who read it in their newsfeed or see it on your page. You don’t specifically target or pay to promote your content.

Paid Reach


The other side of the Reach coin. Paid Reach, shockingly, is the Reach attained from paid advertisement, which allows for a more selective, strategy-driven campaign and so means your content is much more relevant to those you are targeting

Potential Reach

Potential Reach is the number of people who are active on Facebook that fall into the categories you defined with audience targeting. They are the demographic with whom you could potentially push your content towards.

Estimated Daily Reach

As the name suggests, this is an estimate of the amount of people your ad could reach dependent on other data such as the amount of budget you have put behind the campaign (more budget=more chance of your content being seen by more relevant people) and other factors such as the success of other ads that have been targeted toward similar markets as the one you are targeting.

Social Reach

This relates to the amount of times people have seen your content due to some sort of social connection, such as ‘[X’s friend] likes [your page]’. If a friend has liked a post, this will come up in their friend’s timeline as a type of activity feed and thus increases your reach beyond the audience you targeted and over to the friends of that audience. It also includes reach garnered through a user sharing it to their friends. This has previously been termed as ‘viral’ reach.

Did we miss something? Or not give you 100% clarity? The ASK series is all about shedding light, so leave a comment or send us a message and we’ll happily help.

Take a look at our explanation of Reach’s sibling, Impressions, here.

A burning question you’re dying for the ASK series to answer? Let us know and we’ll heroically slay the dragon of uncertainty.

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Media Executive at Midas Media. When I'm not writing or reading, I'm wondering how I would fare in a Zombie apocalypse. Pretty sure I'd ace it.

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