What is social reach? And why should you care? Well, let’s start our explanation with an example of social reach from many many years ago. Pretty much since the beginning, most people have had this weird desire to meet other people and stay in close contact with them. Over time we decided to give those people the name of “friends.” Yes, I know. Way scientific stuff here. Just wait, it gets better.
Back in the early days if you wanted to call your friends, you’d go outside and yell as loud as you could with the hope of someone relaying the message. Pretty inefficient, right? But it was all we had. Then came the ol’ can and string, morse code, telephone, etc. Each time a new device was invented, it became easier and easier to reach out to our friends.
Which brings us to 2016, where I know more about my high school friends’ lives (even though I haven’t seen them 15 years) than I know about my cousin who has yet to join Facebook. (Come on, still holding out? It’s time to joooin. Just do it.)
So, what is social reach today?
Thanks to social media, our businesses actually have “friends” now, too. Or at least people we’d like to think are our friends. Social reach is the quantifiable sum of people who have “liked”, “followed” or “joined” you in some way, shape or form on one of the social networks. You can ideally reach these people by sending out a message via one (or more than one) of the social networks.
Social reach is the quantifiable sum of people who have followed you on one of the social networks.Click to tweet
How to quantify social reach
Well, if math isn’t your strong suit… here’s a calculator:
|Enter the number of followers, likes, subscribers, etc into the boxes below for each individual network:|
And for those who still may not get it, here’s the mathematical breakdown (whiteboard style):
Does that mean I can get a message to all those people whenever I want?
Unfortunately, just because people follow you on social networks, does not necessarily mean they will ever see your message. There are a number of reasons your message may not “reach” your full social reach potential:
- People don’t necessarily check every social network, every single day
- Some social networks use algorithms to show results in your feed, thus showing or not showing your message depending on the algorithm’s mood
- Duplicate followers across networks, the same person may follow you on more than one social network, thus lowering the actual number you may reach
- Other social noise may push your message down past their view
So why should we care about social reach?
Social reach has existed since the early days, we just didn’t really have a name for it, nor did anyone care to count. Now that we have quantifiable data to go off of, we can actually know the exact number of people within our social reach.
Social reach can be a powerful number when used correctly. Numerous studies have shown that when a business’ social reach increases, the amount of traffic to their website also increases. It also gives you the regular opportunity to contact an audience that has at least at some point in the past shown enough interest in you that they would want to follow you. This can be very powerful for maintaining client relationships and hopefully capturing their future business as well.
All that being said, it is of course in your best interest to increase your social reach as much as possible. The higher your social reach, the more potential for success you will have.