Everything is changing rapidly in the social media world. Users can find new uninitiated terms and features every month. And sometimes they even don’t know the meanings.
Nowadays you can find a lot of social networking sites to communicate and use them for your business goals. And all of them have their own distinctive characteristics and unique features. If you know just the definition of social media, it’s not enough to work with any platform. Your theoretical backgrounds should be deep and serious for implementing them to your social media strategy.
Networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram offer different approaches, tools, and options. Are you sure you know exactly what «Live streaming» means? And what about the acronyms AMA and API?
Here is the quick guide of social media definitions you may use in your business strategy. Many terms are probably familiar to you, and some of them you will never use. Anyway, such expertise can be useful to any marketer.
This A-Z ultimate social media glossary consists of the key definitions of social media marketing tools and features that will help anyone who wants to understand the social media landscape.
An algorithm is the set of values and formulas that were developed for computers to act a specific function. In social media, the most important algorithms are those that demonstrates what content users can see. For example, you can’t see every update from all your friends on Instagram. It can display just an algorithmically curated set of content that Instagram thinks is the most important.
Analytics contains the technology of data gathering that shows what happened. The main goal of analysts’ work is to study and test this data, looking for any patterns. The most frequently used way of data gathering is using special tracking tags applications or websites.
Application Programming Interface (API) allows one software application interact with another application.
The process of keeping and retaining company’s social media content. As more and more business communications occur on social networks, archiving becomes increasingly important. Companies can save content in their own secure databases.
A specific image, picture or username that represents a person online. Avatar is mostly used on social media and within forums.
The average period that a person or a company use to reply to a customer’s messages while solving any issue.
Audience selector is a tool on Facebook that allows you to choose audience you want to share your content with.
Big data is a large set of unstructured data. It always hard to analyze it because the data sets are complex and massive.
Bitly is a free popular service that helps to shorten URLs that provides statistics for the links that users share. You can use Bitly to condense long URLs to make them easier for sharing on social media.
A short text on social media that explains who you are.
A Twitter feature that allows you to prevent another user to follow you, add you to his/her Twitter lists, tag you in pictures, etc. Blocking is a good signal for the other users that you do not want to communicate with them.
A blog is a website on which its author shares own experience, thoughts, opinions, and activities. The word was created from two parts: “web” and “log”. Blogs are usually managed by individuals or businesses with regular content on specific topics.
Blogger is a free Google blogging platform that allows users and companies to host and publish their blogs (typically on a subdomain).
A customer who is totally satisfied with your brand and help you market and advertise it. Sometimes in the marketing world, brand advocates can start being a valuable resource for spreading news or product insight.
Canva is a popular online design tool with useful features. Here you can find different templates for shareable images on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or other social networks.
Chat is a kind of online communication. Usually, Chat refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based application.
This Foursquare and Facebook term means that a user has visited any specific location or event physically. With the help of this option, users can show their friends where they are.
Special clusters of users’ friends, families, partners or colleagues on Google+. If you want to share specific content with only one group, you can include a specific Circle in sharing options of your post.
An answer or response that can consider to be a direct reaction to any blog post or a social media message.
An application that proposes the web analytics to users. With the help of Compete, you can compare and contrast any statistics for different sites.
A manager who is responsible for creating and managing online communications for business goals to increase the amount an online community.
A connection is the analog of a friend in LinkedIn.
A conversion is a positive act in social media marketing that is taken on a site by visitors from social media. It shows that visitors are converting into customers. Tracking these conversions is important and crucial to receiving revenue on social media.
A marketing strategy that is focused on attracting and retaining customers with the help of creating and distribution of valuable content. It can be any text, videos, guides, infographics, etc.
One of the basic goals of content managers is to earn customer loyalty. Nowadays content marketing is the effective and vital technique for businesses, especially with the rise of search engines and social media.
A cover image is a large picture with horizontal orientation at the top of Facebook pages or profiles. This image is public and everyone can see it. Many brands use this feature to represent their abilities and advantages.
The measures companies have in place to manage social media risks and crises. Crisis management is a vital tool for large organizations that need to manage social media risks and respond effectively.
The process of attracting the community to assist in content, ideas or service for business goals. For example, some companies are looking for volunteers to translate their products.
A free online bookmarking service. The users of Delicious can save site addresses publicly and privately. That’s why they may be accessed from any device and shared with anyone.
The social news website that proposes users to submit and vote for articles. You can find the most popular articles on the homepage of the site.
Direct message (DM) is a private conversation on Twitter. Each part must be followed to send messages.
A special Twitter’s feature with the key options: Tweets, Activity, Find Friends, Who to Follow and Popular accounts.
The first option shows the most popular tweets on Twitter. Activity demonstrates all engagements of the people you follow, including replies and retweets. Find Friends proposes an option to import your contacts from a contact book and find them on Twitter. The Who to Follow option can help to find new accounts. The Popular Accounts option shares the well-liked accounts on Twitter.
Discover is also a function on Snapchat that contains a collection of handpicked videos provided by partners.
A small visual banner that is shown on websites. It can include video, images, audio, flash content, and can also be text-based. Usually, Display add is used for large audience-based media.
Ebook is an electronic version of a book, typically published in PDF. It is usually not available in print. Ebooks are useful for marketers and content managers and can serve as lead generating content.
The popular social media metric Engagement rate is used to show the amount of interaction: likes, comments, and shares.
A post that is displayed within another piece of content. For example, you can embed a Facebook post to your website.
Learn more: What does embed post mean
A provider of online ticketing services and event management. If your event is free, Eventbrite will provide free options. Otherwise, it collects a fee per ticket.
Facebook is a social media platform founded in 2004. It helps people communicate with friends, families and business partners from all over the world. Using your Facebook account, you can post and share different content: stories, images, video, status updates. The platform currently boasts around 1.65 billion active users (as of March 31, 2016).
A special Facebook space where users can communicate and share their content with a selected people. Facebook proposes 3 types of groups: public, closed, and secret groups.
Fans are the people who like your page on Facebook.
A small star icon on Twitter that highlight a tweet that you like.
A social media feed is a steady stream of updates and information. You can find this data format almost on every social media.
A filter is a special photographic effect that users apply to enhance images on social media. It includes offering a vintage look, sepia, black and white, altering saturation levels, etc. Filters are most frequently used on Instagram, where you can choose from over 20 different filters.
Flash mob is a social gathering, organized via social media, telecommunications or viral emails. It can be a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to perform an unusual act then quickly disperse. Everything happens in a short time.
A social network for picture sharing. This online service proposes to store images and then share them with friends.
An online site for discussions. It is the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board.
A follower is a person who joins your account to get your updates and content.
Follow Friday (#ff) is the activity on Twitter that happens on Friday. Users choose other usernames and tweet them with hashtag #ff to recommend following these users.
This service is based on geographical locations. It helps users find local places and activities that are relevant to their interests.
Friends represent all the people you follow and connections you make on Facebook.
The social media marketing platform that allows companies to leverage their employee’s presence on social media to increase brand awareness.
Geotagging is an option that allows you to define directional coordinates that can be added to any content online. Instagram users use geotagging to determine the location in which their pictures were taken.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) in social media is the small-scale animation and film clip.
A free web browser that integrates with its online search system and other applications.
Google Documents is a group of office applications that consists of tools for word processing, presentations, spreadsheet analysis, etc. You can store and edit your documents online. Google allows many people to collaborate on a document in real-time.
Google+ is a social network that allows users to connect with friends, family and business partners and their content. Google added the “+1” as the equivalent to a “Like” option on Facebook or Instagram.
Learn more: Google plus for business
This kind of image refers to the large picture displayed at the top of a Twitter profile (like a cover image on Facebook).
A popular video service on Google+. Hangout proposes to use a video chat with up to 10 users. It’s possible to name the chats, open a Google Doc, watch YouTube videos during them, etc.
A hashtag is a word (or phrase) preceded by a sign “#” that used on social networks to annotate a message. It also categorizes information and make it searchable.
The Periscope app feature that measure popularity. It acts as virtual thumbs up.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language) is a programming language for web pages. It provides content and structure while CSS supplies style.
Home is the first page you see when you sign into your social media account. It can include a timeline or feed of activities and news stories.
Inbound marketing is a marketing style focused on techniques to get found by potential customers and convert them into leads and advocates. It contains such tools as blogging, social media, SEO, lead generation, marketing automation, surveys, email marketing, personalization, and CRM.
An influencer is a social media user who can reach a significant audience and increase awareness about a topic, brand, company, or product.
Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets users take pictures, add filters and share their images instantly on the Instagram network and other social networks, for example Facebook or Flickr.
Learn more: How to get a lot of followers on instagram
Instant messaging (IM) is real-time, direct text-based communication between people. Today you can find messaging software that provide enhanced modes of communication, such as video calling or live voice.
Kik is a mobile messaging app. that proposes users to connect with others, send text, pictures, video, etc. It contains an in-app web browser, that is why users can check out links and other social media accounts without leaving the app.
Klout is a measure of social influence. With the help of Klout, you can connect different social accounts and then get your Klout score. The score is ranging from 1 to100. The higher the score, the more influence it estimates you have in the social world.
KUKU.io is an online SMM service, which allows you to create, schedule and publish posts to many social networks. KUKU.io supports Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, LinkedIn, Tumblr and other networks.
Learn more: Social media management tools
Likes are the activity made by Facebook or Instagram users. Using likes, you can show your approval without writing comments or sharing a post.
LinkedIn is a famous business-oriented social network with over 433 million members in over 200 countries (as of March 2016). The site is available in 24 languages.
You can use LinkedIn SlideShare for sharing your documents and presentations. It is also possible to embed presentations and share them on other social networks.
A List is a set of accounts on Twitter that you can group together in their own timeline. You can organize other Twitter users with the help of List. It can be public or you can add private settings.
Live streaming is the process of content delivering over the internet in real-time.
A Lurker is a person who reads discussions on social networks or the other interactive system but does not take part in the discussion.
An application that lets users streaming live video from their devices.
This term is used to describe a concept, idea or joke that’s widely shared online. Typically, it’s an image with a text.
An instance in which any Twitter user includes a username of the other user in the tweet.
Messenger is an application that allows Facebook users communicate with each other, using their smartphones.
Publishing small and frequent quantities of posts to a microblogging platform such as Tumblr or Twitter.
A mutual friend is any social media user that you follow, and who follows you back.
Notification is a message or a signal that shows a new activity on social media. For example, Facebook will send you a notification on your phone if somebody likes one of your Facebook images.
Organic Reach defines the number of people who can view your content without paid promotion.
A social video application for the users who want to broadcast live video from wherever they are. It allows to engage with others videos and follow users to receive notifications.
A permalink is a URL or an address of a particular post within a blog or site that remains indefinitely unchanged.
Pinterest is a free photo sharing social network that requires registration. Pinterest users can upload, save, and categorize “pins” through collections called “boards.” You can organize the boards by any topic, for example, “Fashion”, “Vegan food”, Sports cars”, etc.
All your favorite links on Pinterest are called Pins. Each Pin contains a picture with a description. You can organize Pins by topics or events and create visual collections called Pinboards.
A set of media files (typically audio content) released episodically and often downloaded through the RSS feed.
The app that gives users an opportunity to manage a reading list of articles they’ve saved to read them later.
According to the PPC advertising model, advertisers display ads on different websites or search engines and pay when a visitor clicks.
Quantcast is the tool used by online advertisers that provides traffic for websites.
According to the strategy of real-time marketing, you have to publish your content timely as news breaks.
The social news website, where you can find specific and topic-oriented communities of users who share and comment different stories.
A reply is an action on Twitter. It allows users to respond to tweets through a separate tweet that begins with the other user’s username. Replies differ from mentions, because tweets that start with a @username only appears in the timelines of users who follow both parties.
A retweet is a process on Twitter when someone decides to re-share your message with new followers. It’s easy to do it quickly with a retweet button.
Rich Site Summary (RSS) is a format for syndicating web content. People who create content use RSS feeds to broadcast their content to their target audience. And their readers can subscribe to RSS feeds and automatically get updates through a news reader.
The degree to which a company may use social media across multiple departments and branches.
Scheduling is a process of planning social media activities and content updates ahead of time. Scheduling allows users to save their time. You can use helpful social media monitoring tools or progress monitoring software for these purposes.
Scope is a live broadcast session created through Periscope.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the quality or volume or of unpaid traffic to your website from search engines.
The portrait made by yourself. It is taken with the help of the reverse camera on a smartphone. Selfies are popular among the users who share them on social media networks, using the hashtag #selfie.
The free program that allows you to text and arrange audio or video chats with other users.
Snapchat is an app that proposes users to send and receive pictures and videos, which they called “snaps.”
It’s also possible to add text and drawings to the snaps.
Social media monitoring is a process of tracking and responding to mentions and comments on social media related to specific businesses.
The type of marketing strategy when marketers use social media to identify target audiences, increase brand awareness, generate leads, and build relationships with customers. SMM is just one channel in the marketing mix.
Spam is a repetitive and junk content that clogs the social media users’ feeds. The term was first used in 1970 to describe unnecessary messages.
A keyword that users add to a post on social media with the goal of categorizing related content.
Using tagging, you can create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update. It is usually used on Instagram or Facebook.
A trend is a hashtag or topic that is popular on social media at a current moment. Trey are used on Facebook Twitter, Instagram, and other social networks.
Internet trolls are people who are known for creating controversies online. They usually hang out in comment sections, forums or chat rooms. Their purpose is disrupting the conversation by providing commentary that aims to evoke a reply.
Tumblr is a microblogging platform. It allows users to post all kind of content to their blog: text, video, audio, pictures, links, quotes, etc.
Twitter is a social network that allows its users to post and share 140-character content updates. Twitter users can retweet and favorite the posts of other users and also engage in other conversations. They often use hashtags for categorizing their content.
User-generated content consists of blogs, images, videos, and other content that is created by consumers.
The action of unsubscribing from another user’s account on Twitter.
The action of removing someone from a contact list on different social media.
The Uniform Resource Locator (URL) is the location of a specific page or other resources on the web.
The social video sharing service. Vine users can create and engage with short-form, six-second video clips. These videos can be shared across other social platforms, for example, Facebook or Twitter.
This term describes an instance when any content (an article, YouTube video, pictures, etc.) achieves awareness and popularity.
A vlog is a piece of content that proposes video to tell a story or report on information. You can find vlogs on YouTube.
Views are users who have looked at your Snap Story on Snapchat. Users need to click the “eye” next to the Story to see who has viewed it.
A webinar is an online presentation or seminar hosted by a person or a company. Webinars are held to educate target audiences. You can find many of them on different social media.
The private social network for organizations. Users often call it “Facebook for business.”
YouTube is a video-sharing website, created in 2005. It allows users to upload, view, comment, share or rate different videos. YouTube video content includes clips, music videos, TV shows, movies, audio recordings, and other content.
We have listed 120 important terms and expressions from the social media world. Is it enough to understand the basic concepts about social media? What do you think?
Feel free to add other terms in the comments below and we will add them here.