Hurts to say this. But Instagram impressions does not matter anymore.
Definition of Impressions: The total number of times your post has been seen
Definition of Reach: The number of unique accounts who saw your post
*This post is not created solely based on my view. It was after several agencies and bloggers brought this up and I deep dived into this topic!
** Exceptions can be considered
5 reasons why impressions does not matter
1. The first and main reason is: Impressions can now be bought. Yes, it can. Shocking, but true. I’d show you the link, but I don’t want to trigger something wrong.
You can be the most authentic influencer on earth with the most organic follow count, but you will still be doubted and asked if they were all real right? The same is now going to happen(/has started happening) with impressions. If not bought, they get photoshopped.
PS: Google Analytics numbers are tampered with, daily, too. I know bloggers that do so. What can you believe nowadays?
2. The frequency of your postings.
I was at Maldives a few months ago and I’d post 4-5 images daily. By the end of the week, my impressions were a whopping +700,000. Well, now in comparison, I don’t post that often and my impressions have reduced by half. Does this mean I become less influential? What about the times when agencies ask me for my stats (unfortunately) the week I post less?! PR’s, agencies and brands do pay attention to this.
3. The number of impressions you have does not tell the full story.
The entire marketing world is blinded by the notion that more impressions always correlates to a successful piece of content. E.g. you might hear somebody say “500,000 people saw my YouTube pre-roll ad!” But, the truth is that they likely didn’t. What probably happened was that as soon as the ad started, the “viewer” clicked away to another tab or did something else until it was over. Or looked at their phone. So even though they didn’t pay attention, the analytics still show that they saw it. The similar thing happens with Instagram. Due to comment pods being the current trend globally, your post may randomly appear on the explore page (irrespective of how good/bad it is).
Do you know why the cross button on pop ups you see on random websites are so tiny? because we accidentally click it like 5 times with the sole purpose of closing the window but instead it opens the actual website. While those extra clicks look like engagement, they were only expressions of frustration with the brand.
4. It’s the attention, not the numbers – Instead of talking about how many people see your content, we need to be focusing on how much value that piece of content actually brings to the audience.
These days everyone is only focussed about the aesthetic appearance of their profiles (so am I). By constantly focussing on how great my profile should look, I unknowingly disregard my bad pictures that were taken at bad lit restaurants (although the food was amazing)! For any platform, you need to understand the context of how your followers interpret your posts. Once you do that, you can reverse engineer how you can go deep to connect with that consumer and how that “impression” translates into a sale.
5. Then what actually matters? Engagement, Shares, Saves, Reach and Clicks
Agencies, PR companies, and brands do not consider normal comments as engagement anymore. The stuff they do care? how many people tag their friends in your post to spread the word, the number of people that saved/bookmarked that post, an audience that asks questions about that specific product, consumers showing interest to buy that product and how many website “clicks” you get on yourblog postt.
Comments, likes, followers, and impressions can be bought via bots or money – but love can’t.
~ Numbers don’t matter, influence does ~
Reach does not equal value and our follower count doesn’t mean people are listening.