If you’re a career-long digital marketer, then you’re probably used to hashtagging on Instagram or creating Facebook event invites. However, new tools, platforms, features, and networks are being constantly introduced. As social media continues to evolve, even seasoned marketers can get confused – not to mention those new to marketing! Many small firms don’t have dedicated marketing staff, so everyone needs to be comfortable with social media and other digital tactics. To help, we’ve compiled some of the most popular terms to know. We’ll start at “A” and work our way down!
- A/B Test – A/B testing is running an experiment to see what version of something performs best with your target audience. For example, on social media you might A/B test Instagram photo copy or the top converting CTA tests on Facebook.
- Alt text (Alternative text) – Alt text, also called alt tags, are a written description of what appears in an image within HTML code. It’s an important part of accessibility and web design and also helps search engines index images for SEO.
- AMA – AMA is an acronym for “ask me anything,” which originated in a popular subreddit where users will use the term to generate and respond to questions from other users. It can be very useful in dialogue based platforms.
- Analytics – Analytics is the data that helps marketers track the performance of their social media or web content. Examples could include page views, time on page, clickthrough rate, or engagement rate.
- Algorithm – An algorithm is a set of formulas developed for a computer to perform a particular task. Digital marketers hear this term often, as the algorithms sites like Facebook and Google use are critical for developing content strategies.
- Application Programming Interface (API) – An API is a documented interface that allows one software application to interact with another application. Many platforms have APIs that allow them to incorporate seamlessly with other tools.
- Artificial Intelligence – Artificial intelligence refers to machines with cognitive capabilities that mirror human capabilities. You’ll hear it often when discussing ChatGPT and other such tools.
- AI Chatbot – An AI chatbot is a program within a website or app that uses machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to carry on human-like conversations. Many brands deploy AI chatbots on social media to handle customer conversations.
- Avatar – An avatar is a graphic or username that symbolizes a person online, mostly within forums and social networks.
- Bitly – Bitly is a free URL shortening service that provides statistics for the links users share online. Bitly is most often used to condense long URLs to make them easier to share on various social networks.
- Bitmoji – A Bitmoji is an avatar or emoji that users can generate to look like them. Bitmojis can then be added to a personal or Snapchat keyboard so users can send them to friends or use them in place of profile pictures.
- Bio – A bio on social media refers to a short bit of introductory text that explains who the user is.
- Blog – Blog is a word that was created from two words: “web log.” Blogs are generally maintained by an individual or a business with regular entries of content on a specific topic. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Blogging is a key part of any digital strategy.
- Blogger – Blogger is a free blogging platform owned by Google that allows individuals and companies to host and publish their own blog. .
- Blog Talk Radio – Blog Talk Radio is a free web application that allows users to host live online radio shows, which have become increasingly popular in recent years.
- BoardReader – BoardReader is a free search engine that allows users to search for keywords only in posts and titles of online forums, a popular form of social networking.
- Bookmarking – Just as it sounds, bookmarking online is the same idea of placing a bookmark in a physical publication — you’re simply marking something you found important or want to continue reading later. Online, it’s happening through websites using one of the various bookmarking services available, such as Pocket, or right within your own browser.
- Boost – Boosting on social media means paying money to a platform to amplify one of your posts for more reach.
- Canva – Canva is an intuitive design tool for both non-designers and designers. It offers several templates that adhere to the known dimensions for shareable social images on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
- Carousel – A carousel is social media content in a sequence that contains multiple images which viewers can scroll or tap through.
- Chat – Chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet but traditionally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat platform, usually referred to as instant messaging (IM) applications.
- Chatbot – A chatbot simulates human conversations online by answering common questions or routing people to resources they can use to solve their issues.
- ChatGPT – ChatGPT is OpenAI’s conversational AI. It runs on GPT, a language model that uses natural language processing to understand text prompts and pull material or data from the web to respond to those prompts. It can answer questions or generate content, like an email subject line for new services. You can learn more about ChatGPT in our past posts.
- Clickthrough Rate – Clickthrough rate (CTR) is a common social media metric referring to the number of times a visitor clicked through content divided by the total number of impressions a piece of content receives. It’s particularly important for email optimization.
- Conversational AI – Conversational AI is any technology that mimics a human conversation style to have logical and legible conversations. Conversational AI is able to understand the sentiment of text and answer questions, mimicking human cognitive abilities.
- Collective Intelligence – Collective intelligence is a shared intelligence that is developed from the collaboration and competition of several individuals and often appears in decision-making in social networks.
- Community Manager – The community manager is responsible for building and managing the online communications for an organization in an effort to develop and grow an online community.
- Connections – On LinkedIn, a “connection” is like a “friend” on Facebook. Instead of friends, though, the people you are connecting with are more likely professional contacts that you’ve met, heard speak, done business with, or know through another person. Connections are categorized by 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree.
- Conversion Rate – Conversion rate refers to a common metric tracked in social media that is the percentage of people who took an intended action (i.e. filling out a form, downloading content, etc).
- Cost per mille (CPM) – Cost per mille means cost per thousand, or the amount you will pay for an ad for every thousand impressions it gets.
- Creative Commons – Creative Commons is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others (within copyright rules). It provides things like free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.
- Creator – A creator is anyone who develops and shares content on the internet. Creators might also be referred to as influencers.
- Crowdsourcing – Crowdsourcing refers to the act of requesting ideas or content from a group of people, typically in an online setting.
- Digg – Digg is a social news website that allows members to upload and vote for articles. Articles with the most votes appear on the site’s homepage and are likely to be seen by the biggest portion of the site’s membership, as well as other visitors.
- Direct Message (or DM) – Direct messages — also referred to as “DMs” — are private conversations that occur on some social networks like Twitter and Instagram.
- Discover (or Snapchat Discover) – Discover is a section of Snapchat’s app related to bigger brands, influencers, and longer-form story content.
- Disqus – Disqus is a comment system and moderation tool for websites. This service lets users add community management and social web integration to any site on any platform.
- Disappearing content – Disappearing content on social media is anything shared with a time limit, such as Snapchat stories and BeReals. This sort of short-form content has grown in popularity in recent years.
- Ebook – An ebook is an electronic version of a book. Most ebooks are not actually available in print (unless a person prints them). They are typically published in PDF format. For legal marketers, ebooks commonly serve as lead-generating content — people must fill out a form to receive their ebook.
- Emoji – Emojis are silly cartoonish images that can be sent along with text in social media and private messages. Some marketers experiment with placing them in email or subject lines, too.
- Endorsement – An endorsement on LinkedIn refers to an instance in which another LinkedIn user acknowledges you for one of the skills you mentioned on your profile.
- Engagement Rate – Engagement rate is a popular social media metric used to refer to the amount of interaction — such as likes, shares, comments — particular content receives.
- Eventbrite – Eventbrite is a provider of online event management and ticketing services. It’s free as long as your event is free. If you sell tickets to your event, Eventbrite collects a fee per ticket.
- Facebook – Facebook is a social media platform founded for college students in 2004. Now, the site connects people with friends, family, acquaintances, and businesses from all over the world and enables them to post, share, and engage with all sorts of content like photos and status updates. The platform currently boasts around 2.11 billion users and offers sophisticated paid advertising options.
- Fans – Fans is the term used for those who like your Facebook Page.
- Feed – A feed contains all the recent content uploaded by the people (or accounts) someone follows on social media. Feed is actually an Instagram-specific term, but other networks have their own version, like Timeline on Twitter and “For You” Page on TikTok.
- Finsta – Short for “fake insta” this term describes one’s secret or fake Instagram page, often created to hide from employers.
- Flickr – Flickr is a social network for online picture sharing. The service allows users to store photos online and then share them with others through various profiles or groups.
- Forums – Commonly known as a message board, a forum is an online discussion site. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board, and a technological evolution of the dial-up bulletin board system.
- Follower – A follower refers to a person who subscribes to your account in order to receive your updates on social media.
- Friends – Friends is the term used on Facebook to represent the connections you make and the people you follow. These are people you consider yourself to be friendly enough with that you want them to see your Facebook profile and engage with you.
- #FYP (For Your Page) – A TikTok “For You” Page features videos that are algorithmically curated based on a user’s behavior on the app. #FYP is also a hashtag that TikTok users put in their videos to prioritize their content on other users’ “Your Page” feed.
- GaggleAMP – GaggleAMP is a social media marketing platform that provides businesses with the ability to take advantage of its employee’s online presence to enhance brand awareness and expand reach.
- Geotag – A geotag is the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. For instance, Instagram users often use geotagging to highlight the location of a photo they posted.
- GIF – GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. In social media, GIFs serve as small-scale animations and film clips and have become popular responses in online conversations.
- Google Documents – Google Documents is a suite of web-based office applications that includes tools for word processing, presentations, spreadsheets, etc. All documents are stored and edited online which allows multiple people to collaborate on a document in real-time. Everything is saved in Google Drive.
- Google+ – Google+ is Google’s discontinued social network.
- Groups – Both Facebook and LinkedIn offer a Groups feature where people in similar industries or with similar interests can join and discuss related topics.
- Grid – A grid is an overview of the content on someone’s Instagram and TikTok profile that displays many of their recent posts. You can click on an image or video in someone’s grid to view an individual post, and many marketers take great care in setting up photos for a visibly pleasing grid.
- Handle – Handle is a username used for public accounts on social media.
- Header image – A header image is the large graphic displayed at the top of your profile on Twitter. It is also commonly referred to as the banner image on LinkedIn or the cover image on Facebook.
- Hashtag – A hashtag is a tag used on a variety of social networks as a way to annotate a message and help people locate content. A hashtag is a word or phrase with a “#” symbol (i.e. #InboundMarketing). Social networks use hashtags to categorize information and make it easily searchable for users.
- HTML – HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a programming language used to build web pages. Think of HTML as the brick-and-mortar of pages on the web. It provides foundation and structure while the CSS adds style. HTML continues to evolve over the years, with HTML5 being the latest version.
- Impressions – An impression refers to a way in which marketers and advertisers keep track of every time an ad is “fetched” and counted.
- Inbound Marketing – Inbound marketing uses permission-based marketing tactics to be found by potential clients, convert them into leads and advocates, and analyze the process along the way. Inbound marketing uses methods and tools such as SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation, email marketing, lead nurturing, marketing automation, surveys, personalization, and CRM.
- Influencer – An influencer is a social media user with a large following of people that enjoy their content and trust their opinions. Influencer marketing is helpful for reaching new audiences in your niche.
- Influencer Marketing – Influencer marketing involves collaborating with content creators in specific niches and leveraging the relationship and trust they have with their audience to reach a specific goal, like driving sales.
- Insights – Many social media networks, like Facebook or Instagram, offer insights pages to their business accounts. These pages can allow the users to see actionable analytics about their page and how they’re performing compared to other pages.
- Instagram – Instagram is a popular photo and video sharing platform that lets users upload content and share it instantly on the app with their followers. It is a more image-based application.
- Instant Messaging – Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time, direct text-based communication between two or more people. More sophisticated IM tools also allow enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or video calling.
- Instagram Live – Instagram Live allows businesses and individuals to share a live broadcast in real-time.
- KPI – A key performance indicator (KPI) is a data point reflecting performance and progress towards a goal.
- Lens – A lens is a Snapchat term describing an AR filter that adds digital elements to someone’s real-life environment.
- Link Building – Link building is a crucial aspect of search engine optimization where website owners develop strategies to earn links to their site from other websites with the goal of improving their search engine ranking. Blogging is one of the most popular methods of link-building.
- LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 930 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking, building community, and lead generation.
- LinkedIn SlideShare – LinkedIn SlideShare is an online social tool for sharing presentations and documents. Users can favorite and embed presentations as well as share them on other social networks such as Twitter.
- Listed – The act of being “listed” on Twitter refers to when a user curates a custom list of Twitter users to more easily keep tabs on their tweets.
- Live streaming – Live streaming refers to delivering content online in real-time. This term was originally popularized in social media by apps such as Meerkat and Periscope.
- Mashup – A content mashup contains various types of media taken from pre-existing sources to create a new work. Digital mashups allow users to create new pieces of content by combining multiple online content sources.
- Machine Learning – Machine learning is a type of artificial intelligence where computers sort through large amounts of data, discover patterns, and learn from those patterns to complete future tasks. Machine learning systems get smarter as they obtain more knowledge. Social listening tools are a prime example of machine learning in social media.
- Macro-influencer – A macro-influencer is a tier below a celebrity or mega-influencer. They still have a prominent presence and usually have anywhere from 100k – 1M followers.
- Meme – A meme is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept that’s widely shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form and many viral content posts are memes.
- Mention – A mention is a Twitter term used to describe an instance in which a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet to attribute a piece of content or start a discussion.
- Metaverse – The metaverse is an online universe where people can play games, explore new worlds, and build their own worlds. Metaverses use VR and AR technology.
- Metric – A metric is a single point of measurement, such as click-through rate or impressions.
- Micro-influencer – A micro-influencer is a creator or influencer with a follower/subscriber count between 10k – 100k.
- Monetize – Monetizing is the process of making money from online content.
- Nano-influencer – A nano-influencer or creator has less than 10k followers.
- Native Advertising – Native content refers to a type of online advertising that appears as organic content. The ad copy and format adheres to the format of a regular post on the network it’s being published on. The goal is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the natural conversation.
- News Feed – A news feed is what it sounds like: a feed full of news. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users’ accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.
- Newsjacking – Newsjacking refers to the practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success. This is a popular tactic for coming up with blog and content ideas.
- NFT – An NFT (non-fungible token) is a digital asset with a unique blockchain signature that belongs to one single person. It can be anything from unique artwork to metaverse collectibles. Because of its blockchain signature, NFTs can’t be replicated.
- Objective – Your social media objective is the goal you want to achieve from running a campaign or sharing content on social media.
- Organic Reach – Organic reach is the number of people who see your content without paid ads or any form of sponsored content.
- Paid social – Paid social is an advertising or marketing message you pay to share on social media sites.
- Permalink – A permalink is an address or URL of a particular post within a blog or website that remains indefinitely consistent.
- Pin – Pinning content means keeping content at the top of your social media profile to increase engagement or share your most important messages with your followers. Users can pin content to the top of their Instagram grid, Twitter profile, or TikTok page.
- Platform – Platform refers to a social media network, like YouTube or TikTok.
- Podcast – A podcast is a series of digital media files, usually audio, that are released episodically and often downloaded through an RSS feed. It’s like an audio tv show.
- Pocket – Pocket is an app that enables users to maintain a reading list of articles they’ve saved from the internet to read later.
- Post – A post is the content you share on various social media.
- PPC – PPC is an acronym for pay per click. Pay per click is an online advertising model in which marketers display ads on various websites or search engines and pay only when a visitor clicks through. Bid-based PPC involves an auction in which advertisers compete with other advertisers by setting a max bid for each click. Whenever a visitor triggers the ad spot, the auction process pans out to select which ad will be displayed.
- Quantcast – Quantcast provides website traffic and demographics for websites. The tool is mostly used by online advertisers looking to target specific demographics.
- Reach – Reach is the number of people who can see the content you share on social media, whether they follow you or not.
- Real-Time Search – Real-time search is the method of indexing content being published online into search engine results with virtually no delay.
- Real-Time Marketing – Real-time marketing is a strategy where marketers publish timely content as news breaks. It involves creating quick-witted responses to current events.
- Recommendation – A recommendation on LinkedIn is a term used to describe a written note from another LinkedIn member that reinforces the user’s professional credibility or expertise.
- Reel – A Reel is an Instagram video. A video shared to Stories is not a Reel, but you can turn it into a Reel by saving it and re-uploading it as a Reel.
- Reddit – Reddit is a social news site that contains specific, topic-oriented communities of users who share and comment on stories. It’s a good place for industry leaders to contribute and conduct discussions.
- Reply – A reply is a Twitter action that allows a user to respond to a tweet through a separate tweet that begins with the other user’s @username. This differs from a mention, because tweets that start with an @username only appear in the timelines of users who follow both parties.
- Retargeting – Retargeting is an online marketing technique where marketers display ads to people who have visited their website or are part of their contacts database.
- Retweet – A retweet is when someone on Twitter sees your message and decides to re-share it with his or her followers. A retweet button allows them to quickly resend the message while attributing it to the original sharer’s name.
- ROI – Return on investment is the amount of money you make from various campaigns or channels compared to the amount you spend to run it.
- RSS Feed – RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blogs and videos in a standardized format. Content publishers can syndicate a feed, which allows users to subscribe to the content and read it when they please from a location other than the website (such as Feedly or other RSS readers).
- Search Engine Optimization – Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines. Effective SEO is crucial for being found online.
- Shadowban – Shadowban is when a social media platform hides or restricts someone’s content without notifying them. It typically happens after someone violates community guidelines.
- Snapchat – Snapchat is a social app that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive photos and videos known as “snaps,” which are hidden from the recipients once the time limit expires (images and videos still remain on the Snapchat server). Users can add text and drawings to their snaps and control the list of recipients in which they send them to.
- Snap Map – The Snap Map is a feature of Snapchat that allows you to see where your friends are as well as hot spots where people are publicly posting stories.
- Story – A Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok story is a set of videos or images that lasts for 24 hours. Accounts can create stories to be shared publicly or just to a customized group of recipients.
- Social Inbox – Social Inbox is an app in the HubSpot software that plugs into your contacts database and allows users to optimize their social monitoring, publishing, and analysis.
- Social Media Monitoring – Social media monitoring is the process of monitoring and responding to mentions related to a company that occur in social media.
- Social Proof – Social proof refers to a common psychological phenomenon in which people seek direction from those around them to determine how they are supposed to act or think in a given situation. In social media, social proof might be identified by the number of interactions a piece of content receives or the number of followers you have.
- Social Selling – Social selling is a sales concept where representatives use the power of social communication to engage with prospects by answering their questions, providing helpful content, clarifying information, etc.
- Sponsored – The term sponsored typically refers to an influencer or creator paid by a brand to share content promoting a product or service.
- StumbleUpon – StumbleUpon is a free web-browser extension that works as an intelligent browsing tool for discovering and sharing web sites.
- Subreddit – Discussion board dedicated to a specific topic on reddit.
- Subscriber(s) – A subscriber “follows” someone’s profile on YouTube. On other social media sites, a subscriber could be someone who pays for access to exclusive content.
- Tag – Tagging is a social media functionality used on Facebook and Instagram where users can create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update.
- Thread – A series of comments or discussion posts in a subreddit.
- TikTok – TikTok is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms ever created. The app is incredibly popular with Gen Z and is similar to Vine. It highlights bite sized looping videos that can also have musical overlays.
- Trending Topic – Trending topics refer to the most talked about subjects and hashtags on a social media platform. These commonly appear on networks like Twitter and Facebook and serve as clickable links where users can either click through to join the conversation or simply browse the related content.
- Tumblr – Tumblr is a microblogging platform that allows users to post text, images, video, audio, links, and quotes to their blog.
- Twitch – Twitch is a live streaming social platform that gained notoriety from gamers using it to stream their video game skills. More brands have started to notice Twitch and use it in their efforts.
- Twitter – Twitter is a real-time social network that allows users to share 140-character updates with those who follow them. Users can favorite and retweet the posts of other accounts, as well as engage in conversations using @ mentions, replies, and hashtags for categorizing their content.
- Twitter Spaces – Twitter Spaces is a feature that enables users to have live audio conversations within the app.
- Twitter Topics – A recently launched Twitter feature that allows users to follow specific topic categories from marketing to politics and everything in between. Once users follow topics, they see more content related to these subjects on their feeds.
- Tweepi – Tweepi is a social media management tool that provides users with a platform for simplifying the way they manage their social following. It’s typically used for mass following or unfollowing a group of people based on certain criteria.
- Tweetdeck – Tweetdeck is a Twitter tool that provides users with a way to manage their Twitter presence using custom columns. The platform integrates with the Twitter API to allow users to send or receive tweets.
- Twitterverse – Also called the Twittersphere, Twitterverse is a nickname referring to the community of users who are active on Twitter.
- User-Generated Content (or UGC) – Content — like blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. —that consumers create. It can be a good strategy to tap into your audience online to collect this type of content to support a campaign or initiative.
- Verified – This means that someone’s profile is certified as real and owned by who the profile says it is. It helps accounts that could be threatened by impersonators or fakes.
- Viral – Viral is a term used to describe an instance in which a piece of content — YouTube video, blog article, photo, etc. — achieves a high level of awareness. Viral distribution relies heavily on the frequent sharing of one particular piece of content in several places over the internet.
- Virtual Reality (VR) – Virtual reality is any software that immerses people into a three-dimensional and interactive virtual “new” world. Virtual reality normally requires a special sensory device.
- Vlogging – Vlogging employs video to tell a story or report on information. Vlogs are most popular on video-sharing networks like YouTube.
- Webinar – A webinar is an online seminar or presentation hosted by an individual or an organization, normally as a lead generation tool. Generally, webinars are held to educate audiences about a particular subject while opening up the floor for a discussion to occur.
- WhatsApp – WhatsApp is a messaging, phone, and social media app that allows people to connect internationally over a Wi-Fi network for secure messaging.
- Yelp – Technically Yelp isn’t a social media platform but it is an important way to spread awareness and be found if you’re a business owner. The platform is one of the leading sites for finding reviews and online recommendations.
- YouTube Shorts – YouTube Shorts are short-form videos up to 60 seconds in length. They’re an efficient way to share “snackable” videos with your audience.
- Zapier – Zapier is a software that leverages “zaps” to connect apps and provides users with a way to automate tasks. Zaps are automatic workflows that contain both Triggers and Actions.
We understand that keeping up with the ever-changing scope of social media can be challenging. Hopefully this glossary is helpful.
Struggling to implement a social media strategy? We’ve helped many law firms and companies leverage social media to increase brand awareness and lead generation. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.