Social Media Marketing Terms: A Comprehensive Glossary
In social media marketing, things change quickly. There’s certain jargon that professionals use all the time, that would sound confusing to someone new to the industry. Plus, there are plenty of terms that are just used incorrectly on a regular basis. To help navigate through this ever-evolving vocabulary, yellowHEAD has compiled a list of the most popular social media marketing terms, categorized alphabetically for your ease.
Social Media Marketing Definitions
A/B Test – the method of comparing two versions of digital assets against each other to determine which one performs better.
Algorithm – a social media algorithm is the mathematical calculation that major platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and SnapChat use to understand user habits and to customize their experience on the platform.
Analytics – data from social media networks that marketers use to improve strategic business decisions.
API – stands for Application Programming Interface, a software interface that allows two applications to interact with each other.
ART – Average Response Time is a customer service metric. It is the average time it takes a brand to reply to questions, comments, or complaints on social media.
Avatar – an avatar is an image or username that represents a person online, on digital platforms and social networks.
Bio – a short description to introduce a user’s online profile
Bitmoji – a complementary social media software that allows users to create personalized cartoon drawings, which can be posted on their various social media profiles.
Blog – comprised of two words, web and log, a blog is a personal online journal that is frequently updated and intended for the general public.
Boost – the option to pay social media platforms to increase one of your existing post’s reach to your followers, a recommended audience, or a targeted audience.
Brand Advocate – an individual or organization who is loyal to a brand and takes part in promoting it. This can range from influencers, customers, employees, and even business partners.
Branded Hashtags – a special hashtag associated with a specific brand, used to inspire people to include the brand in the conversations that they’re having on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.
Brand Management – a function of marketing that employs various methods to increase the perceived value of a product or brand over time. Synonyms for brand management include ‘brand recognition’ and ‘brand awareness’.
Chatbot – a chatbot is an artificial intelligence program that can automate customer interactions for a company. Chatbots can be implemented on a number of social messaging apps to provide customer service, answer questions, and even set up appointments automatically.
Clickbait – an intriguing headline for an article that is intended to misleadingly drive website clicks, but has no actual relevance to the content on the landing page.
Clout – media power or impact; also refers to the amount of influence an individual user is capable of wielding on a given platform.
Crowdsourcing – asking for ideas, suggestions, information or content from an online community. User-generated content is a prime example of crowdsourcing through social media.
Collective Intelligence – the process by which a large group of individuals, harnessed through social media, gather and share their knowledge, data and skills for the purpose of solving issues.
Content – any text, images, sounds, videos, and animations which are created by individuals or companies online. The meaning of “content” in social media refers to media that has been posted or shared with others.
Comment – a form of engagement in which a user replies to a social media post.
Community Manager – a liaison between an organization and its audience. The community manager builds an authentic community among a business’s customers, employees, and partners through various types of online interaction.
Conversion Rate – the number of visitors to a website that complete a desired goal (a conversion) out of the total number of visitors.
CPC – Cost Per Click, the amount you pay for every person who clicks on your ad.
CTA – stands for Call To Action, a statement contained on a button that encourages the audience to click and take a certain action.
CTR – Click Through Rate is the percentage of people who clicked on a link when shown the post, ad, or other piece of content click on it.
Dark Post – an unpublished targeted ad that does not appear on the advertiser’s timeline, page, or stories, or in the feeds of its followers. It is only shown in the feed of the audience that is being specifically targeted.
Dark Social – a social media term used by marketers and search engine optimization (SEO) specialists to describe website referrals that are difficult to track.
Digg – a user driven social content website. All content on Digg is user submitted and after content is submitted, other users can read your submission and “Digg” what they like best.
Doxing – revealing personal information online to the public without permission from the owner.
Direct Message Marketing – also known as DM marketing. It is a strategy that focuses on using direct messages (DMs) to privately develop relationships and business initiatives.
Disquis – a comment system and moderation tool that allows you to add community management and social web integration to any site on any platform.
Disappearing Content – an item on social media that disappears after a specified period of time, most often 24 hours (however there are a variety of time spans). Examples of disappearing content include Instagram Stories, Snapchat, and Facebook Stories.
Evergreen Content – content that stays fresh and relevant for long periods of time, just like an Evergreen tree.
Emoji – a tiny cartoon graphic used in text messages and social media. They are used to fill in emotional cues otherwise missing from typed conversation and are an integral part of social media lingo.
Endorsement – when a LinkedIn user recognizes or “endorses” another user for one of the skills listed in their LinkedIn profile. It acts as a form of recommendation.
Engagement Rate – a social media metric used to measure how actively involved your audience is with a piece of content via likes, shares and comments.
Embed – digital content that is displayed within another piece of content using digital embedding tools.
Facebook Ads Manager – used to create, run, and analyze paid campaigns on the Facebook platform.
Feed – an updated list of all the new content posted by the accounts a user follows on social media.
Flickr – a social network for online picture sharing.
Follower – a person who follows another user’s profile or page and gets updates. Often gaining followers is the goal that many users have in mind when posting content.
Games Done Quick – a video game marathon series hosted on Twitch in which gamers raise money for charity. Much hype is generated on Twitter about the events.
Geo Tagging Marketing – when geographical coordinates are added to online content based on the location of a user’s mobile device in order to better reach a local audience. Geo tags can be attached to many types of content, including videos, photos and even applied to QR codes.
Geo Targeting – This is the method of delivering different content or advertisements to visitors and consumers based on their location. This can be defined by country, region, city, zip code, organization, IP address, or other criteria.
Hangouts – A video conferencing tool created by Google used for communicating and sharing ideas with colleagues, customers and friends. Hangout marketing
Hashtag – a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#). It was started on Twitter, but is now used on most social media platforms to identify digital content on a specific topic.
Impressions – a measure of the number of people who have seen a post, even if they didn’t click, comment, or otherwise engage with it.
Inbound Social Media Marketing – tailoring social media experiences for your target audience. This involves researching users and creating relevant content that they are interested in to gain their attention and convert them into paying customers.
Internet Platform – a digital service that facilitates communication between two or more online users. The range of features and services available in each platform can include marketplaces, search engines, social media, content creation, app stores, and more.
Keyword – a significant word from a title or document used particularly as an index to content.
Klout – a now-discontinued site and app that rated social media influence. Businesses were also able to pinpoint users with high “Klout” and allow them to take advantage of free products to promote, hoping that it would reflect positively on the brand. The term (sometimes also spelled in the traditional way, “clout”) refers to how much influence a user has.
KPI – A Key Performance Indicator is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.
Listicle – an article or piece of content shown in list format. The name is a portmanteau of “list” and “article”.
Like – a quick form of social media engagement where a person “likes” and shows approval for the given content.
Link Building – a type of search engine optimization strategy in which website owners find ways to get other sites to link back to theirs, in the hope it will boost their ranking on search engines.
Meme – a funny photo, image, piece of text, or video that’s copied from another user and modified with slight variations. They are often shared quickly across social media.
Metric – the data used to assess the impact of social media activity on marketing campaigns and a company’s revenue.
Media Analysis – an evaluation of how various types of media could best be suited to promote a product or service. It takes into consideration how certain messages will be portrayed on different mediums and how they could be perceived by the public.
Media Coverage – any media outlet where a brand or its services and products are discussed, such as news articles, blog posts, and videos.
Microblogging – In social media terminology, this means creating a short piece of content designed for quick audience interaction, it is a combination of instant messaging and content production that allows users to create short messages to be posted and shared online. Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok are all popular platforms for microblogging.
Native Advertising – a type of advertising that matches the form and function of the platform upon which it appears and blends in seamlessly with the other content.
Newsjacking – The practice of aligning a brand with a current event in an attempt to generate media attention and boost the brand’s exposure.
Objectives – A marketing objective is a specific and measurable goal, defining a particular action required to help you achieve the goal.
Online Profile – a user’s individual online identity created in order to interact with others in online communities. It features personal details about the user, as well as their individual settings and preferences.
Online Profiling – the process of collecting information on user interests and behavior to better understand a target audience.
PPC – Pay Per Click, is an internet advertising model used to drive traffic to websites, in which an advertiser pays a publisher when the ad is clicked.
PV – Page views. The number of visitors landing on a specific page.
Rate Buster – social media slang for an overachiever who makes others seem like they are underperforming.
Reach – the total number of people who see your content. Social media reach specifically refers to the amount of users who have come across your content on a social platform. Reach is also an acronym in social media slang for ‘Remember Everyone Affects Customer Happiness.’
Relevance Score – relevance score is calculated based on the positive and negative feedback an ad is expected to receive from its target audience. The more positive interactions an ad is expected to receive, the higher the ad’s relevance score will be.
Retargeting – the process of showing a company’s advertisements to users who have already visited that company’s site, page, or app, but left without taking a desired action.
Repost – to use another user’s content on social media by posting it again. This can include regramming, repinning, or retweeting.
RSS – A social media acronym standing for ‘really simple syndication’ or ‘rich site summary.’ A feed of all the published content from a source, typically a blog.
Social Media Slang – a type of internet shorthand. Acronyms represent short phrases and are used when communicating on social media. Some popular examples include LOL (Laugh Out Loud), TBT (ThrowBack Thursday), and TBH (to be honest).
Shareable Content – Content that spreads across the Internet as audiences connect and resonate with a topic, idea, or story, and click to share it with their friends and followers.
SEM – Search Engine Marketing. The practice of increasing visibility on search engines through paid ads.
Selfie – a self-portrait photo a person takes of themself. Selfies are commonly taken with a smartphone camera and then shared on social media.
Selfie Marketing – A social media marketing strategy commonly used for awareness campaigns in which brands create a trend for users to share via taking selfies. In terms of social media advertising, this is a trend that can easily go viral due to users wanting to get involved, share and be seen.
Social Awareness Campaign – A marketing effort to build public recognition of a problem through social media, messaging, and various communication tactics. It can show that a brand is aware and concerned about current societal problems.
Social Media – an app or website that facilitates the sharing of ideas, thoughts, and information through online networks and communities.
Social Media Content – anything that an individual or business posts or shares on social media platforms, such as text updates, article shares, photos, videos, and more.
Social Media Platform – a technology that allows people and businesses to interact together online. Examples include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tiktok, and Twitter.
Social Network – a dedicated website or other application which enables users to communicate with each other by posting information, comments, messages, images, etc.
Social Trends – a subject or style of content that experiences a surge in popularity on social media platforms, often for a limited duration of time.
SoLoMo – the merging of ‘social, local and mobile’ marketing efforts that are targeted geographically for users on the go.
SRP – stands for “social relationship platform”. A centralized platform that lets you publish content on multiple social media networks and then monitor and analyze the results
Targeting – choosing a certain set of people who will be shown your ads based on various demographic or behavioral data like age ranges or life events, or even customized lists you’ve built yourself.
Thread – a string of messages that make up a conversation. Threads are essential to keeping track of conversations in social media and email.
UGC – user generated content is any form of content i.e. social media posts, images, videos, reviews, etc. created by individual users (not brands) and published to an online or social network. Utilizing UGC content is quickly becoming a highly effective online marketing method.
Unfollow – a social media term that means to stop tracking a person, group, or organization on social media by unsubscribing from their account.
URL Shortener – URL shortener refers to a tool that can take a link that is too long and convert it into a more compact version.
UI – User interface. The visual aspect of a tool that a person uses for controlling it.
UV – Unique views. The number of individual page viewers. It could also apply to videos or images.
UX – User experience. This refers to the best practices around how people can easily interact with and perform actions within a website or application.
Vanity Metric – metrics that appear impressive to others but do not necessarily help you understand your own performance in a way that informs future strategies.
Verified Followers – an endorsement that shows that the identity of the person or company behind the account is geniune.
Viral – in social media slang, this refers to the sharing of content via social media that spreads quickly to millions of people online. Viral Thread Tracking is the act of researching which content has spread virally.
Vlogging – an abbreviation for video blogging, which is popular on YouTube.
Webinar – a blend of ‘web’ and ‘seminar’. A webinar is an event held virtually and attended (often exclusively) by an online audience.
X Development – a research and development facility founded in 2010 by Google that develops technologies in a variety of different sectors.
YouTube – one of the most popular video sharing platforms in the world. It launched in February 2005 and was acquired by Google in October 2006.
Zoom – A cloud-based video conference platform used to virtually meet with others. In social media terms, a Zoom meeting refers to a meeting that’s hosted using Zoom.
Why Social Media Slang Matters
The slang that’s developed thanks to social media has created a language of its own. From the first chatroom lol, social media slang has changed our culture and how we communicate. Below is a sampling of the most popular terms used on social media. As a social media marketer, knowing what they mean can be crucial for getting your ideas across and connecting with your audience, and ultimately making an impact.
AMA – a social media acronym that stands for Ask Me Anything. Often used by celebrities, influencers, industry experts or everyday social media users as an open invitation for questions during an interactive online interview.
BTS – a social media acronym for ‘behind the scenes.’ Brands use this term when giving their followers a sneak peak at what they are planning or doing.
DM – a “direct message” sent from one user to another. It can also be a group of users within a private message.
ELI5 – a social media slang term which stands for ‘explain like I’m five.’ Often used in forums like Reddit when people are looking for the simplest explanation to more complex topics.
FBO – it’s not official until it’s ‘Facebook Official’. This is when users make public announcements on major life events such as a new relationship or new job.
FOMO – stands for “Fear Of Missing Out”. It’s when a person worries they might be missing out on something, such as an event. It can sometimes be triggered by seeing posts or stories on social media.
IRL – used in social media to mean “in real life”.
LOL – “Laugh Out Loud” is a social media classic. It’s used to indicate that you find something funny, almost as if you were actually laughing IRL.
LMS – stands for “Like my status”. It’s an invitation for other users to engage with a post.
OP – Original Poster or Original Post, refers to the original content or user that posted the content and started a conversation thread or topic.
TBH – the social media acronym “tbt” stands for “to be honest”.
TBT – short for “Throwback Thursday”. It’s often used as the hashtag #tbt when sharing old photos or videos (especially on Tuesdays or Thursdays).
XO – used to represent “hugs and kisses”
Yaas – a particularly enthusiastic form of “yes”! Users can go to town, adding as many A’s as they see fit.
We hope this glossary has given you a new understanding of how social media marketing works. This list will continually be updated as terms change, so check back often.