If you run your own small business and you’ve been trying to reach out to consumers and strengthen your brand, you already know the importance of a good marketing strategy. With so many users in the digital space these days, many marketers are choosing to concentrate their efforts on digital marketing routes like social media marketing. While social media is often a cost-effective tool that can reach people on popular platforms, it’s not always easy to gauge engagement and effectiveness, whether you’re trying to measure impressions or social media reach. Thankfully, there are a few key facts about social media metrics that can help you figure out which of your efforts are working best and which could use a little tweaking.

1. Engagement Counts Impressions and Reach

A key way to tell whether your ads have been effective is to measure engagement, and this can be done by taking into account both impressions and reach. Reach simply means the number of users who see your content. For instance, if you post an ad that gets clicked on 100 times, your reach is 100. Impressions, on the other hand, are the number of times that users have been shown the content. This differs from reach in that it doesn’t measure clicks or direct engagement, but rather the number of people who were exposed to your content. For instance, if your ads were shown 200 times, your total impressions would be 200.

2. Both Exposure and Clicks Matter

All in all, the number of your impressions indicates your total exposure, while your reach indicates the number of users who actually clicked on your ad. Both of these numbers are important for gauging engagement, but if your goals are better served by clicks or exposure, they can also serve as useful metrics for how far along you’ve come to accomplishing that goal.

3. Social Media Platforms Measure Metrics Differently

Finally, it’s important to know that impressions and reach aren’t always counted the same way across different platforms. In fact, different social media channels often have their own ways of counting metrics. Facebook, for example, includes scrolling past an ad and then back up as an impression, which is a narrower definition than for some other channels.

With social media more popular than ever and countless users spending time online every day, the digital marketing space has exploded. Gauging social media reach and impressions, though, is sometimes easier said than done. With these key facts, however, you can start to determine users’ levels of engagement and whether your social media marketing strategy is effective in helping your business achieve its goals.