The Ultimate List of 101 Social Media Terminologies You Must Know

It is nearly impossible for businesses to flourish without an active social media strategy today. Did you know that over 65% of the global eligible population are hooked onto social media every single day? And each of them spends more than 28% of their time daily on media sharing, messaging and blogging platforms, review networks,...

It is nearly impossible for businesses to flourish without an active social media strategy today.

Did you know that over 65% of the global eligible population are hooked onto social media every single day? And each of them spends more than 28% of their time daily on media sharing, messaging and blogging platforms, review networks, and discussion forums. Engaging this 3.96 billion social media buffs with quality-driven, authentic content is significant for businesses to increase brand reach, generate higher leads and sales, and succeed in digital marketing initiatives.

‘The future is private,’ Mark Zuckerberg announced while integrating Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp in 2019. Providing people with personalized and intimate experiences with a social media discipline is the key to successful campaigns.

But, are you new to Social Media Marketing?

Don’t be overwhelmed by social media terms, definitions, jargon, and concepts. We will help you decode social lingo. Read this article before going ahead with social media campaigns.

What is Social Media Marketing?

Leveraging social media channels to connect with customers, build brand awareness, increase sales, and drive website traffic is called social media marketing. The process comprises of publishing engaging content and advertisements on your social media accounts, engaging your followers and community, listening to their responses and sentiments, and analyzing your campaign effectiveness. Yes, that is the cycle!

Why is Social Media Marketing essential to businesses?

Incorporating social media campaigns in your digital marketing strategy is the best cost-effective roadmap to achieve the marketing goals listed below.

  • Enhance brand awareness, exposure, and recognition
  • Improve brand loyalty and recall
  • Add credibility, value and trust factor to the brand
  • Engage, interact and resolve customer queries on a personal level
  • Raise Search Engine Optimization (SEO) rankings
  • Fetch higher conversion rates
  • Increase inbound website traffic
  • Run affordable and targeted ads with a higher Return on Investment (RoI) potential

Prominent Social Media Channels

Social media can be broadly classified into four categories, as deliberated below.

Social and Business Networking

Social networking is the most popular relation-building platform that helps connect brands with people, build personal and professional relationships, advertise and create brand awareness, capture new leads, and provide customer service. They also help people to find jobs, share information, and foster a great community bond. Facebook (over 2.3 billion monthly active users), LinkedIn (over 610 million users), and Twitter (over 326 million monthly active users) are leading social and business networking websites.

Media Sharing

Influencing people through photography, video sharing, and live streaming, media sharing platforms are an excellent channel for brands to reach visual people. Instagram (over 1 billion active monthly users), Pinterest (over 250 million monthly active users), and YouTube (over 1.8 billion monthly logged-in users) are great examples of effective media sharing platforms.

Social Blogging

Publishing engaging pieces of content on social blogging platforms are a great way to increase brand credibility, lead generation, and web traffic. Famous blogging platforms include Tumblr ( over 425.7 million accounts) and Medium (over 100 million monthly active users), among many others.

Review Networks

Customer review websites are a vital marketing tool for businesses, as users tend to have a 100% dependency on these networks. Comprising of user generated content, review networks such as Yelp (178 million unique monthly visitors ) and Glassdoor ( 67 million unique monthly visitors) help businesses to understand market behavior and design marketing campaigns accordingly.

Discussion Platforms

By discussing the latest breaking news feed, trending topics, and real-time happenings, discussion platforms serve as efficient market research and networking tool. You can join content threads to participate and offer solutions that will establish your subject matter expertise. Reddit (330 million monthly active users) and Quora (300 million monthly active users.) are few of the thriving discussion networks online.

Apart from the channels mentioned above, there are many social media channels such as TikTok, Snapchat, and Periscope that are rapidly emerging and gaining prominence in today’s scenario.

Decoding 101 Social Media Terms and Definitions

A typical netizen usually has one or more accounts on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube. As the users are predominantly from the millennial and Gen Z crowd, there is bound to be differences in values, spending patterns, and even vocabulary. Understanding and decoding social media parlance is critical for businesses to run successful and effective social marketing campaigns.

For example, let’s imagine that your CTA is asking the Tweeterati fam to DM you.

Sounds like Greek and Latin? Even active twitter users and business handles who are no strangers to the direct message concept tend to get baffled!

Well, there is no need to be overwhelmed in your social network anymore.

Here is your exclusive access to 101 social media glossary

  1. AddThis – It is a social bookmarking tool that can bookmark or share content from Facebook, Google Bookmarks, Pinterest, and Twitter. These buttons will increase referral traffic and overall website performance.
  2. AMA – Acronym for ‘Ask Me Anything.’ People can prompt questions from other users (originated from Subreddit) using the ask me anything feature on Reddit and Instagram.
  3. Algorithm – The set of rules which helps social networks to decide which post will come first in your feed automatically. Use social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Instagram that have robust algorithms for content promotion strategies.
  4. Application Programming Interface (API) – A documented interface that enables software applications to work in unison with social networks is called an API. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Tumblr have amazing APIs.
  5. Avatar – An image or username that represents a person online is called Avatar. Use a real picture or a corporate logo as an Avatar display picture for added credibility.
  6. Average Response Time- A critical customer service metric, it represents the average time the brand takes to respond to queries from people on any particular media platform. Keep it as short as possible for enhanced customer experience.
  7. A/B Testing – Also known as split testing, this important metric compares two variations of an ad or a piece of content to see which version performs better on a given media platform.
  8. Banner Ads – Social media ads that are placed at the top of a page, on both sides, or as an insert in the content are called Banner Ads. Add contextual placements to make the banner ads effective.
  9. Bio – A short note that is used to describe yourself on a social network is called a bio. Use appropriate hashtags and landing page links to boost traffic and awareness.
  10. Blog – One of the most powerful SEO tools, the blog refers to a particular media platform that contains detailed articles on a specific topic. WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger are popular blogging platforms. Post blogs regularly to earn backlinks, web traffic, and search engine rankings.
  11. Brand Advocate-   A customer, employee, or a stakeholder who posts positive messages and reviews, supporting the brand on social media is called a brand advocate.
  12. Boosted Post – A paid ad or post that helps increase brand reach by targeting the right niche audience for a specified budget and duration. Use Facebook Promoted Posts to get that additional paid reach.
  13. Call To Action (CTA) –  Simple piece of content that prompts the reader to perform the intended action. Write persuasive, compelling CTAs for increased conversion rates.
  14. Caption– The short blurb or a story that is used to describe a photo or a gif on social media is called a caption. Enrich captions with hashtags, mentions, and emojis for higher engagement.
  15. Chatbot– An Artificial Intelligence (AI) based messaging application that stimulates conversations with the page visitor. Integrate chatbots in your Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for higher conversion rates.
  16. Check-in – It is a way of locating or tagging a social media post to indicate the user location or the place of content creation. Leverage check-in features in social networks such as Facebook and Instagram to understand consumer hangout spots and spending behavior.
  17. Clickbait – Using sensationalized, manipulative headline, or copy to attract clicks from people viewing their news feed is called clickbait. But beware, few social networking sites consider clickbait as spam and lowers the post reach.
  18. Clickthrough Rate (CTR) – The percentage of people who click on your post from their news feed or native ads is referred to as Clickthrough Rate. Remember that post clicks and post impressions carry different meanings in different social networks.
  19. Conversion Rate (CVR) – Percentage of users who make the intended action after seeing your post or ad is referred to as Conversion Rate. Conversion can be in terms of purchasing an item, signing up for a newsletter, or downloading an ebook.
  20. Cliquers – Active social media users who are influential among their small group of friends and family are Cliquers.
  21. Cross- Channel – Using a mixture of social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram is called cross-channel social media strategy. Optimal usage of cross-channel social media strategy is a great way to increase your brand reach.
  22. Crowdsourcing – The act of grouping in a large number of people online for generating ideas or content is called crowdsourcing. Use crowdsourcing to build trust by asking the audience to select a new product name or rebranding initiative.
  23. Community – A group of people who convene towards a specific goal or interest is called a community. Build communities on social media for a broader and quicker reach at a low cost.
  24. Content Marketing – The strategy used by businesses to educate, inform, and entertain customers, prospects, and generic social network users for generating leads, sales, and advocacy is content marketing. Content marketers publish and curate authentic, engaging articles, videos, gifs, and infographics on social media for broader content reach and engagement.
  25. Content Curation –  The process of sharing content that was created by someone else is called content curation. Add value to your readers and get increased social shares, links, and better ranking by curating excellent articles, videos, gifs, and infographics.
  26. Dark Posts – A social media ad that only appears on the pages of the targeted people is called a dark post. Employ Instagram dark posts, unpublished page posts on Facebook, promoted-only tweets on Twitter, and direct sponsored content on LinkedIn for effective targetting.
  27. Dark Social – Web traffic coming from many media channels that analytics tools find challenging to track is called dark social. Share links of videos and rich media privately in chats or direct messages to increase dark social engagement.
  28. Direct Message – Private message sent directly to a user’s inbox is called DM. Send DMs on Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and other social media platforms for personalized customer service and private query resolution.
  29. Engagement Rate – A popular social media metric used to describe the number of likes, shares, and comments, a piece of content receives. Work this engagement rate formula: Number of people who engaged with your post divided by the number of people who saw your post multiplied by 100.
  30. Evergreen – Ideal for reposting and repurposing, evergreen content does not carry timeline-based relevance. Identify and repurpose relevant content to increase engagement.
  31. Ephemeral–  Social media posts that delete themselves automatically after the set amount of time has passed is called ephemeral content. Motivate your users to engage via FOMO, for spontaneous, timely action.
  32. Ebook – An electronic book that can be read online in a PDF format is called ebook. It is an excellent digital marketing tool to generate leads and build credibility.
  33. Fam – Social media slang, meaning close friends. A short form for family.
  34. FOMO – The acronym for Fear of Missing Out, FOMO, motivates users to forage for events or opportunities every single minute. Make posts on exclusive or limited-time offers that users need to act on quickly to avoid missing out.
  35. Follower – A person who subscribes to your account to receive your updates is called a follower. Increased followers mean increased content reach.
  36. Feed– A generic term for the homepage content stream is known as a feed. Seeing other people’s posts on your feed provides the trigger to engage with them.
  37. Filler Content – Daily publishing of quotes, product information, and generic posts to keep the social media page active and alive are called filler content. Never let your social media platforms get redundant. Keep posting something every day.
  38. Geotag – Directional coordinates that are attached to a piece of content on social media is called a geotag. Use geotagging while posting pictures or videos to highlight the location of the snap. 
  39. Geotargeting – The technique of adjusting your ad content based on the location of the user. Go for localized geotargeting for customized and personalized engagement.
  40. Groups – People with similar passions join together to form a group and discuss specific topics. Gain behavioral insights, and deliver customized posts to increase engagement among group members.
  41. Hashtag – Connecting your social media posts to other users or posts on the same subject or trending topic is done through a hashtag. Preceded a word or phrase with a ‘#’ to make it easily findable for users. 
  42. Header Image – The visual you place at the top of your social media profile is called a header image. Show off your brand personality, promote your product, or an upcoming event on your header image.
  43. Impressions- A social media metric that measures how many times your post has appeared in user feeds. Count post impressions based on the number of times users have looked at your post.
  44. Insights – Valuable analytics about business pages and how they are performing compared to similar competitor pages are known as Insights. Subscribe to social media analytics to gain a complete understanding of your social media performance.
  45. Instant Messaging (IM)– Real-time, direct text-based communication between two or more people is called instant messaging (IM).
  46. Influencers– Subject matter experts or celebrities with large social media following and the power to affect purchase decisions are called Influencers. Promoting and amplifying your content through social media influencers is the best way to achieve wider reach and conversion rates.
  47. Key performance indicator (KPI)-The most vital metric to track and check if you are meeting your social strategy objective, KPIs are critical to measuring campaign performance. Define your KPIs efficiently for better analytics and reporting.
  48. Listicle – A list-based article that is popular on social media because of its quick, easy-to-digest format. Work on listicles for easier content consumption and higher conversions.
  49. Like – Users show approval and resonate with the content by hitting the like button. Liking the post is a quick way of engaging instead of taking the time to write a comment or share the post.
  50. Link Building – An important search engine optimization (SEO) rank improving technique where the content marketers get links to their site from other websites. Blog frequently and post content in authority sites to build links.
  51. Live Streaming – Delivering real-time content via social media is called live streaming. Go live on social media platforms to interact directly with your audience.
  52. Lurker – Users who read discussion threads on message boards, social networks, or any other interactive media platform, but rarely or never participate in the discussion.
  53. Mashup – Mixing multiple media files drawn from different sources to create new work is called a mashup. They are great for garnering user attention and engagement.
  54. Meme –  A captioned image, video, or rich media content that resonates with the thoughts and feelings of a specific audience is called a meme. Elicit humorous engagement from users by posting viral memes.
  55. Memejacking– Capitalizing on current trending memes is called memejacking. Increase brand relevance and draw traffic using ethical memejacking techniques.
  56. Mention – Online references to a brand, product, or company is called mentions in social media. Track brand mentions to measure SEO ranking and brand equity.
  57. Metrics – Analytics that measure the performance of your posts, ads, or overall social account is called metrics. Decide upon the best content and strategies using metrics such as impressions, reach, followers, engagement rate, and click rates.
  58. Mix-n-Minglers – Social media users who regularly interact and share information with a diverse group of connections are called Mix-n-Minglers.
  59. Native Advertising -Displaying paid content to users in a way that looks organic is called native advertising. Use more native ads than display ads, as they garner higher impressions and conversion rates.
  60. Newsjacking – The technique of including current events and breaking news feeds into your social network content is called newsjacking. Leverage newsjacking with relevant hashtags for higher engagement and mentions.
  61. No Shows- People who have social accounts but do not frequently engage on social media.
  62. NewsFeed – A newsfeed has different connotations in different social networks. In Facebook, newsfeed refers to the latest updates from friends, while on Twitter, newsfeed refers to Timeline.
  63. Newcomers – Passive social media users who log in only to connect with friends and enhance online relationships are Newcomers.
  64. Onlookers – Active social media users who log in regularly to observe social activity but share almost no personal information.
  65. Original Content – Fresh, creative writing and imagery constitutes an original content. Content creators produce original content to build a platform that boosts brand reputation and credibility as subject-matter experts and thought leaders.
  66. Organic Reach – A social media metric that shows the number of unique users who have seen your social media post. Maximize your organic reach by targeting the right audience with highly engaging content.
  67. Permalink -A web address or Uniform Resource Locator (URL) of a particular post that will remain unchanged for many years into the future is called a permalink. Use them as content hyperlinks, as they are less likely to corrupt or rot.
  68. Podcast –  A series of digital audio files that users can download to a personal device through RSS feeds for easy listening is called Podcast. Promote your podcasts on social media for greater reach and downloads.
  69. Platforms– The software powering social networks, APIs, backend functionalities, and markup language, is called social platforms. They are often used ambiguously to represent social media networks or channels.
  70. PPC – The acronym for Pay Per Click, the Social PPC (Pay Per Click) is a form of paid digital advertising used solely for placement on social media channels. Combine cost-effective per click ads with social campaigns for incredible results.
  71. Real-Time Search – Indexing social network content into search engines, as and when it is published, is called real-time search.
  72. Real-Time Marketing – The strategy that helps marketers to engage with users instantly based on breaking news and information is called real-time marketing. Publish timely news feeds to garner engagement via shares, comments, and likes.
  73. Reach– A social media metric that shows the number of people who have seen your post. Measure your progress in spreading brand awareness by looking at your social media reach.
  74. Retargeting – Targeting ads at users who have already interacted with your brand or website is called retargeting. Recapture potential leads that did not convert and remarket your services to reach your marketing goal.
  75. RSS Feed – It is a method of subscribing to content from a website, a blog, or any media. Get real-time updates without actually visiting the blog posts or sites.
  76. RSS Reader – Allowing users to aggregate articles from multiple websites into one place, RSS readers enable RSS feeds for faster and efficient content disbursal and consumption. 
  77. SEO  – Improving the volume and quality of website traffic from search engines is called SEO. Increase your SEO ranking by posting frequent and consistent social media content enriched with the right keywords.
  78. Selfie Marketing –  A user generated content marketing technique, selfie marketing enables users to contribute their content to interact with brands. Use selfie content to make your community feel good about themselves and spread a positive brand message.
  79. Sparks – Active and deeply engaged social media aficionados who serve as enthusiastic brand advocates are called sparks.
  80. Story – A string of videos or images that lasts for a specified timeline of 24 hours is called a story. Create stories on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to attract interest and engagement from users.
  81. Shareable Content – A piece of content that evokes strong emotions and reactions, and that is more likely to be shared by users, is called shareable content. Post shareable content on social media and then trust the users to boost their virality and reach.
  82. Sentiment Analysis -Retrieving insights about customer perception of a product, service, or brand is called sentiment analysis. Put social media conversations into context and understand customer sentiments towards your brand from channels such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  83. Social Listening – Tracking conversations around brand topics, products, and services is called social listening. Use specialized social listening tools to gathers insights from mentions, comments, hashtags, and other relevant activities.
  84. Social Media Monitoring – A passive technique of evaluating brand or product mentions and following what your audience is saying is social media monitoring.
  85. Social Customer Service – Answering customer inquiries, handling complaints, and offering support via social media is called social customer service. Use the ‘message us’ button on social media pages effectively to resolve customer queries and increase customer loyalty.
  86. Social ROI – It is a crucial metric to assess the revenue your social media activities have generated compared to the amount invested in social campaigns on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Calculate Social ROI using this formula: Profit gained subtracted from cost incurred, and divided by cost incurred, and multiplied by 100.
  87. Social Proof – Imitating the behaviors of other people on social media is called social proof. Leverage celebrity endorsements, customer testimonials, and FOMO for effective social proof marketing.
  88. Social Selling – Leveraging the power of social communication to drive sales is called social selling. Educate, engage, and resolve customer queries for better social selling.
  89. Social Media Archiving – Keeping a record of all posts, messages, and metadata is called social archiving. This process is critical for regulatory compliance for networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  90. Tag – A social media functionality that allows users to links the profile of the person or business targetted or referred to in the content. Use the exclusive tagging features available in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Linkedin to increase your target and reach.
  91. Targeting– Selecting the potential audience for your ads and campaigns is called targeting. Many social advertising platforms let you choose targets based on age, location, gender, interests, and other factors.
  92. Text Ads– Simple ads with text blurbs and small imagery are text ads. Design text ads for highly targeted, compelling marketing campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
  93. Thread – A series of comments or conversations happening on discussion forums is called a thread. Contributing to trending threads by helping resolve consumer issues is a great way to build credibility and trust.
  94. Trending – A specific topic, subject, event, or a hashtag that receives a sudden surge in popularity on social media is known as a trending topic. Publish videos, blog posts, and other relevant trending topic content on Twitter, Facebook, and other networks for increased reach and engagement.
  95. Traffic– The number of users who visit a particular website or a landing page constitutes its traffic. Use social media marketing effectively on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube to boost web traffic and leads.
  96. Trolls – People who deliberately provoke or bully others by posting offensive, inflammatory and off-topic messages are called trolls. Antisocial users and not angry customers usually plant them.
  97. Twitterati – Active Twitter users are called Tweeterati. They tweet and retweet on any particular topic that they are passionate about.
  98. User Generated Content – Blogs, videos, photos, quotes, memes, and other content that is created by users and fans are called user generated content.  Post UGC campaigns on a particular topic that is trending to spark conversations and drive more engagement from users.
  99. Viral – Anything that spreads exponentially on social media is termed viral. Creating viral content for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube users is a cost-effective way to reach and engage more audiences.
  100. Webinars – An online seminar or presentation that is live-streamed or pre-recorded by a company, team, or individual to educate the audience on a topic is called a webinar. Post webinars on Twitter and LinkedIn for effective lead generation and to build brand credibility.
  101. Vlog- A portmanteau of the words, ‘video’ and ‘blog,’ Vlog enables smooth video sharing across media platforms. Incorporate brand stories in vlogs for incredible reach and engagement on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

It’s Time to Become a Social Animal!

Now that we have decoded social jargon, terms, acronyms, and personas, it high time you get on with your social media marketing strategy. Remember these pointers to excel in your social media initiatives.

  • Great content creation, amplification, and analytics constitute the holy digital marketing trinity.
  • Increase brand reach using your public feeds but provide value through private, personalized interactions.
  • Leverage content management and social media marketing tools to ease your digital marketing journey.

Invest in a powerful social media tool such as the Social Animal, to see visible results in increased web traffic, SEO rankings, lead generation, conversion rates, community strength, brand awareness, engagement, brand loyalty, and much much more.

Benefits of Deploying Social Animal in your Marketing Efforts

  • Create killer content with intriguing headlines and region-specific keywords
  • Curate relevant content to drive following and engagement,
  • Amplify your content and drive conversion through the right influencers
  • Find relevant high-level influencers using sophisticated algorithms
  • Devise and implement powerful Facebook strategies based on audience interests and trends
  • Monitor competition and strategize to stand apart from the usual rut
  • Provide proactive metrics and reports via dynamic dashboards

So what are you waiting for?

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Suja Jude is a brand storyteller, technology blogger, and a communications specialist, on top of being a messy mom and a feisty feminist. She specializes in helping companies leverage their online presence to drive brand reputation and ROI. Her decade-old experience spans across SaaS, fintech, retail, and education industries. A passionate advocate for child welfare and nature conservation, she firmly believes that humanity and technology must go hand in hand.