Why doesn’t Sprout provide a Total Reach metric?

In social media, Reach is defined as the number of unique users (social profiles) that have seen a post. Reach is different from Impressions, which are the total number of times a network displays a post to users. Impressions include multiple exposures to the same user.

In Sprout Social Reporting, Reach is only available as a metric for individual posts. When Sprout receives data from social networks, duplicate Impressions have been removed to provide an accurate picture of the number of individual profiles that have been exposed to the post. 

In this example, Post A has 3 total Impressions, while the true total Reach of Post A is 2. The true Total Reach of Post A and Post B combined is also 2 because the same 2 users were exposed to the posts.

Sam Jean Pat Lin Reach
Post A 👀 👀 👀     2
Post B 👀 👀     2
True Total Reach         2

Some social media management tools use a metric called Total Reach that sums the Reach metrics of individual posts. Sprout doesn’t provide this metric because Total Reach is often inaccurate and inflated. Third-party tools like Sprout don’t receive the granularity of data required to de-duplicate posts across networks. As a result, Total Reach can include individual posts with duplicate viewers, providing you with a metric that doesn’t accurately reflect your Reach.

In this example, while Post A and Post B both have a Reach of 2, the true total Reach of the two posts combined is 4 since 4 unique users were exposed to the posts.

  Sam Jean Pat Lin Reach
Post A 👀 👀 👀     2
Post B     👀 👀 2
True Total Reach         4

Instead, we provide an Average Reach (per Post) metric that provides more accurate, meaningful and useful information about the impact of an aggregate group of posts. Average Reach can better help you understand the size of your audience and the relative value of posts you make on various networks. Learn more about the metrics Sprout provides in this overview.

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