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True reach is a social media metric that many social media marketers use to determine how effective they are being at reaching their audience. There are various ways to determine true reach, but one way that I have seen used by online marketers is to measure your most loyal followers and the level of influence and interaction they have among their followers.

For instance, if you have 500 followers on Twitter and you interact with 10 of those on a regular basis and those 10 followers each have an average of 10 followers, your true reach is 100 (10 X 10).

Let’s expand the numbers a bit: You have 1,000 followers on Twitter and another 2,000 on Facebook. Let’s toss in another 2,000 connections on LinkedIn for a total of 5,000. If you have a network of 20 people across all three social networks who are influenced by your content and those 20 people have an aggregate of 250 followers and fans among them, then your true reach is 270.

So how do you know if your true reach is high or low? You can only measure it against your potential reach (your total number of followers plus their total number). With 5,000 social connections who among them have a total of 250 connections, your potential reach is 5,250.

Your true reach should be somewhere in the range of 25%-50% of your own total follower count. But I wouldn’t get wrapped around the numbers. Keep an eye on them and understand that the true reach metric is simply one of manysocial media measurements to watch.

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