You take the time to look nice for that meeting to impress your clients and you research like a mad man to be sure you have the most up to date information to give your clients. You toil over hours of content to be sure your message goes out the way you want it, and then you check the impressions on Facebook and only 20 people saw your awesome post. #fail

If you have a Fan Page I am sure you have seen the Facebook impressions that have started to show up. I was curious about these since some of our clients have way more impressions than fans sometimes even over 10 times the number of fans. So, where do these impressions come from?

What is a post impression?

A Facebook impression is the number of times your post has been shown whether on your page or in their news feed or an Open Graph social plugin (activity feeds on a webpage or a like or share button). Facebook put together an algorithm and they decide what is important enough to show individual users in their news feed. This means even people who have “liked” your page may not be seeing the content if they aren’t interacting with it.

The reason there are so many more impressions than fans on a page is because most users visit their home page multiple times per session, according to the Facebook Help Center. If the post is refreshed it counts as another impression because they will see it again.

Why are post impressions so awesome?

With a Facebook impression, it tells you exactly how many times people see it, and people can comment or like the “ad” telling you if it was a good post or not. You can get instant feedback from exactly the people you most want to see it. What other type of advertising gives you such great feedback?

In print advertising you don’t get that kind of feedback even if you have the circulation rate, it doesn’t guarantee  people have seen your ad and let’s be honest, a circulation rate for a magazine or newspaper is padded anyway because it includes people passing it on or seeing it in a doctor office. Not the most reliable count and there is no feedback.

So what’s the point?

The point is, impressions are important and you should be doing everything possible to get that count up. Just because people don’t “like” or comment on a post doesn’t mean it was a waste. Write content that people will want to share and do everything possible to get that content in front of as many people as possible. Put an Open Graph social plugin on your homepage, on your FBML tab and share great content.

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