[What Data Says] Social Media Reach Is Declining on All Major Platforms
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[What Data Says] Social Media Reach Is Declining on All Major Platforms

Elena Cucu
Elena Cucu
Table of Contents

Marketers can look at the social media reach metric in various ways. Some social media managers may view it as engagement by reach, whereas others may see it and think of reach rate data.

On that note, let's see what the analysis of 933.200 social posts has revealed about social media reach in 2023.

Social media reach metrics and insights you need to know for 2023

1. Why is reach so important?
2. How to measure social media reach
3. Facebook and Instagram engagement by reach stats for 2023
3. Methodology

This is a quote from Christina Garnett - senior marketing manager at Hubspot about social media reach in 2022.

1. Why is reach so important?

Before we get to the data, a quick word on the what is reach in social media and the importance of social media reach for measuring your brand's impact on social.

Reach is a great way to measure how aware people are of your brand. Unlike followers or impressions, it gives you a more accurate count of the people you've impacted and helps you estimate the size of your audience.

By tracking reach in social media, you can, for instance, see just how effective your campaigns are in real-time and make any necessary adjustments before it's too late.

Besides campaign measurement, reach can also provide some useful information about:

  • The real number of active followers
  • The impact of your partnerships with influencers and other brands
  • The interest generated around your online events and launches

Compared to other metrics (such as impressions), reach paints a more realistic picture of your content's performance because it counts each person only once, regardless of how many times they've seen your content.

If you want to dive deeper into reach vs impressions, check out our article highlighting the differences and importance of each.

2. How to measure social media reach

Measuring reach can be tricky, considering that this metric only takes into account unique users who were exposed to your content.

The average reach rate can be calculated by dividing the total reach of a post by the total number of followers and multiplying the result by 100.

One thing to keep in mind is that social media reach data will always be an estimate - regardless of the third-party analytics app you're using. For maximum accuracy, our recommendation is that you turn to native analytics dashboards (Meta, Linkedin, Twitter, TikTok).

Social media reach is one of the most important content KPIs, especially relevant for measuring brand awareness. As a result, reach is one of the go-to social media managersโ€™ metrics analyzed for this business objective.

Over the last couple of years, several social media studies have emphasized Instagramโ€™s superiority in performance compared to Facebook.

Whether for its increased reach, engagement, and many other KPIs, Instagram has proven to be the better choice for marketing purposes.

This is a quote from Andy Crestodina regarding social media reach.

Back in 2021, Instagram registered an average reach rate of 13.90%, while Facebookโ€™s average reach rate only went up to 6.53%.

When looking at the data, thereโ€™s an obvious dropping tendency for the average reach rates across multiple social media channels.

Over 2022, the average reach rate for both platforms has decreased dramatically - to 9.34% on Instagram and only 4.32% on Facebook.

This is a quote from Dorien Morin-van Dam - social media speclialist about social media reach

2. Facebook and Instagram engagement by reach stats for 2023

The average engagement rate per post by reach can be defined as total engagement (which includes the sum of several KPIs, depending on the platform analyzed) divided by the number of posts published and then all divided by the total reach.

The final result is to be multiplied by 100 to get a percentage.

With reach representing the total number of unique viewers a social post gained, engagement by reach displays how many interactions a post has gathered from those viewers.

Since a brand's social posts are usually seen only by a part of its total social media followers, the engagement rate by reach is considered a more accurate and insightful way of getting engagement data.

Compared to the engagement rate by followers, engagement by reach is frequently the preferred formula when measuring engagement.

Thatโ€™s because this measurement version shows how relevant a piece of content was for those users that have actually seen it.

Most of the time, the people reached make for a smaller base than the total follower base.

With fewer users taken into account as a reference, in this situation, there will be significant variations in numbers when calculating engagement by both followers and reach.

engagement rate by reach

Moreover, regardless of how marketers may look at engagement, according to data, one thing is clear - Instagram records higher engagement rates than Facebook.

In 2023, Instagram gets an engagement rate by reach of 4.20% on average, Facebook records average values that go up to a maximum of only 1.90%.

This is a quote of a Facebook marketing expert - Mari Smith - about social media reach.

3. Methodology

The findings of this study are based on the analysis of 933.200 social posts, published between February 2021 - February 2023, divided as follows: 613.013 Facebook posts and 320.187 Instagram posts.

The other social media platforms were not included in this research, as some have different ways of calculating engagement, while others do not offer reach data.

Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And thatโ€™s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!

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