How to Measure Social Media Reach

How to Measure Social Media Reach


Good food, road cycling and outdoor adventures are just some of the things that excite me in life. There's also Brand24, digital marketing and advertising -- some day I'd love to try the last one. Loving English language and literature since a kid.

Social media reach is one of the social media metrics you can track to assess the impact of your marketing activities.

We can talk about social media reach in relation to:

  • A social media post
  • A social media account

So what is social media reach?

I couldn’t find any social media reach definition online, so here’s my take:

Social media reach is an estimated number of social media users that could have contact with a social media post. Social media reach is based on the number of followers / fans / subscribers / connections and visibility percentage. This last one is an estimation of what part of an audience usually sees a given social media message on a given social media platform.

And here’s a short video that explains social media reach (and the difference between reach and impressions) really well:

As I mentioned earlier, social media reach can become one of your key performance indicators — something you can keep track of to see if your social media exposure expands.

Social media reach is super important in tracking the reach of:

  • Hashtags
  • Marketing campaigns
  • Hashtag campaigns
  • Events
  • Social media profiles, pages and fan pages

Social Media Reach as Your KPI

KPIs, also known as key performance indicators, are the metrics you can track over a given period of time to assess the performance of your marketing actions.

Some of them, include unique website visitors, event attendance, churn, customer retention, open rate of mails, etc.

While the above-mentioned KPIs are tracked across the board, KPIs in social media marketing are still something for marketers to acknowledge. Unawareness of social media KPIs is a common problem in digital marketing — social media reach comes with rescue.

Tracking the social media reach of your posts, hashtags, accounts and events is the way see if your social media exposure increases. Keep track of it in a spreadsheet.


Hashtags are a simple, yet powerful tool in the hands of marketers.

They can do much more than categorize social media conversations, connect people and look cool as branded hashtags.

First, however, you need to know how to use them.

If your company is keen on building a strong social media presence, using branded hashtags is a must.

Just like Shimano has its #rideshimano hashtag:

Such a branded hashtag does not only boost the brand awareness of a company, connects Shimano users and customers, but also gives Shimano an easy to measure how many social media users it, what’s the social media reach, etc. 

The social media reach of your company hashtag can become your social media KPI. You can track on the monthly basis if the social media reach of your hashtag increases or decreases.


Calculate the social media reach of your hashtags.

If you decide to go for it, you need to keep track of it on a monthly basis.

You also need to set a goal. You might want to increase your company social media reach by creating a social media strategy which will be focused on driving engagement and sharing your hashtagged social media posts — more people will get to see it.

Marketing Campaigns

Social media reach can be a KPI while tracking the performance of your marketing campaigns.

By measuring social media reach, you can see how your marketing campaign spreads in social media and how many users it reaches. The more people it reaches, the bigger the chance it succeeds.

#MeToo is one of the most popular campaigns that have gone viral in October.

Marketing Campaigns

Calculate the social media reach of your marketing campaign.

Whether it’s a marketing or public awareness campaign the goal there is the same — to reach as many Internet users as possible.

If you launch marketing campaigns often enough, your KPI here should be to increase the social media reach of each next campaign.

But how to do it is a topic for another story.


Social media reach of your event should be one of the top KPIs in relation to your event marketing.

What’s important here, the social media reach of your event can be tracked before, during and after the event. 

Your social media content about your event should reach as many social media users as possible — the more people stumble upon your event in social media, the bigger likelihood that the number of attendees increases, sponsors or speakers increases.

Measuring social media reach of an event tells you what buzz your event generates and how many people it reaches. The more people stumble upon your event in social media, the bigger likelihood that the number of attendees increases.

Creating an event hashtag is a must. Also, it’s good to encourage participants to use it in their social media posts about the event.

Above you can see that Inbound uses #INBOUND17 hashtag. If you’re planning an event, think about your event hashtag. It will then let you measure the social media reach of your event.

How to Calculate Social Media Reach

One of the ways to calculate social media reach is to use a social media monitoring tool, for example Brand24.

Among many features within the tool’s panel, you get the chance to measure the social media reach of social media posts, hashtags and accounts on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Social media monitoring tracks in real time any keywords of your choice. It tracks them in real time across all the Web: social media platforms, websites, news sites, blogs, discussion forums and other places.

This way, you can track, for example, your company name, company hashtag, event hashtag, the name of marketing campaign, a social media profile and more.

The most important pieces of data are inside the summary tab, including graphs showing the number of mentions and their social media reach day by day:

How to Measure Social Media Reach

The most important bits of data about social media reach are, however, inside the analysis tab. This is where you can identify social media profiles of the highest social media reach and more.

How to Measure Social Media Reach

Brand24 has some other useful features that can help you build and monitor the performance of your social media presence. Some of them include detecting the most influential authors, the most interactive mentions, email alerts, Slack integration, monitoring hashtag performance on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and much more.

If you feel like that’s what you need, you can try Brand24 out. It’s absolutely free and no credit card required.