Social media posting doesn't just expand content's reach on one platform - it starts a conversation that leads to cross-channel sharing.

One of the most common ways for marketers to analyze the success of their social marketing campaigns is to take stock of their metrics. For a platform like Twitter, this might mean Retweets, mentions and favorites. This doesn’t hurt, but it also doesn’t tell the whole story of social marketing success.

Owning #Oscars

Earlier this week, Twitter’s popularity was on display during the Academy Awards when host Ellen DeGeneres took of selfie with  a handful of movie stars. She challenged viewers to make it the most retweeted Twitter post in history. By the end of the ceremony, over 2 million people had shared the picture, helping Ellen reach her goal.

In all, Twitter estimated there were 14.7 million Tweets explicitly about the Oscars. The network looked for any terms related to the show to come up with this number. However, what Twitter is bragging about now is that there were 3.3. billion impressions of Oscar tweets. But what is an impression, and how can it affect content marketing?

Furthering your reach

Social media is wonderful for reaching people who actually use social networks, but its reach goes far beyond users on those platforms. Google may not crawl sites like Facebook and Twitter, but it doesn’t mean what’s popular there won’t bleed through onto the internet at large. That’s where impressions come in – basically, they’re a rough measure of the number of times people saw a Tweet on Twitter, viewed its content on another website, heard about news surrounding that Tweet or were in any other way exposed to a Tweet.

Of course, no content marketing strategist is going to be able to finagle an Oscar-hosting gig. Twitter’s #Oscar impressions surely got a boost from being affiliated with one of the most-watched broadcasts of the year. Still, it’s worth noting that drumming up interest in a topic on one social network will lead to shares and links that go beyond a single platform. The more people are sharing content, the more likely Google will perceive its value and the better the exposure will be for content marketing materials.

Want to learn more? Check out these related articles:

What selfies mean for marketing
5 Twitter marketing tactics that generate the most engagement
Pew Research identifies 6 types of Twitter topic networks

Alex Butzbach is a Marketing Writer at Brafton. He studied Communications at Boston College, and after a brief stint teaching English in Japan, he entered the world of content marketing. When he isn't writing and researching, he can be found on a bike somewhere in Metro Boston.