Top 67 Social Media Terms and Definitions: An Ultimate Guide

Successful marketing and advertising teams stay aware of developing social media vocabulary so they can better promote products or services, increase brand awareness or engage with potential customers. You can learn about social media terms to develop strategies for future marketing campaigns to target new customers. If you work in a marketing position, knowing this terminology can help you connect with customers and create effective social media marketing strategies.

In this article, we list 67 social media terminologies and their definitions to help you advance in your career.

Social media terminologies

Here’s a list of 67 social media terms in alphabetical order:

1. A/B testing

A/B testing involves measuring the success of one advertisement against another. For example, you may compare two social media ads with different copy to learn which one performs better. For accurate results, consider testing multiple times and testing one variable at a time.

2. Algorithm

On social media, an algorithm organizes users’ feeds based on relevancy. Many sites prioritize showing posts from people or brands you interact with most often.

3. Analytics

Analytics is the process of reviewing social media metrics to inform marketing decisions. You can use a social network’s internal insight software to perform analytics or download external software for this analysis.

Read more: What Are Social Media Analytics and Why Are They Important?

4. Average response time

This metric is how long you take to respond to feedback on social media. Consider responding to followers within 24 hours to show you’re attentive to their needs.

5. Brand advocate

A brand advocate, or brand ambassador, is someone who supports a brand on social media. Consider asking brand advocates for video testimonials and sharing them to create peer marketing opportunities.

6. Brand authenticity

This is how honest and transparent a brand appears to its audience. Authentic marketing can make consumers connect emotionally with your ideas and promote a brand to others.

7. Brand awareness

Brand awareness is how memorable a brand is to its target audience. You might increase brand awareness by sharing user-generated content and responding to followers in an interesting or funny way.

Read more: Brand Awareness: How To Define, Measure and Improve It

8. Brand voice

Brand voice is how your communication style reflects the company’s brand. Consider making the brand voice distinct to stand out from competitors.

9. Business-to-business (B2B)

Business-to-business companies sell to other companies. If you work for a B2B company, you can use social media to target potential business clients by offering advice as an industry leader.

10 Business-to-consumer (B2C)

Business-to-consumer companies sell to consumers. You can use social media for a B2C company to engage with potential customers and provide support to existing ones.

11. Call to action (CTA)

Using a call to action on social media can inspire followers to take a certain action. They’re often more successful if they offer an incentive. For example, you may write a CTA that says, Buy now! All items are 50% off. Are you ready for these savings?

12. Carousel

A carousel is a social media ad that has multiple pictures or types of media embedded into a post. This type of ad often encourages user interaction, which may increase its reach.

13. Click-through rate

This rate measures how many people click on a call-to-action link. If the click-through rate is low, you can determine how to rephrase a call to action to encourage more engagement.

14. Conversion rate (CVR)

A conversion rate is how often marketers “convert” consumers into people who interact with their social media content in a certain way, like clicking on an ad. Marketing teams often measure a campaign’s success by comparing its CVR to industry benchmarks.

Read more: Guide to CVR Marketing and How To Calculate CVR

15. Cost per mille (CPM)

Cost per mille is what you pay for every 1,000 impressions on your social media ad, with “mille” meaning 1,000 in Latin. Consider controlling the frequency of your CPM ad to ensure the same users observe it three times at a maximum.

16. Cross-channel

Each individual social media platform is a channel. Cross-channel marketing is content posted across all of a brand’s social media accounts.

17. Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing refers to asking a social media audience for content ideas. Consider creating contests that reward social media users for sharing, which can strengthen brand loyalty and help generate ideas.

18. Curation

Curation is the process of finding content your audience finds useful, even if it’s content created by others. For example, sharing blog posts from brand ambassadors can bring value to your audience and create brand loyalty.

Read more: What Is Content Curation? How To Do It and Why It’s Important

19. Dark post

These ads are visible only to people outside your follower list. A dark post can balance the promotional content followers see.

20. Dark social

Dark social is traffic coming to a brand’s page from an unknown source. It often happens when people share links through direct messages.

21. Disappearing content

This is content that deletes itself after a certain amount of time. It can lead to increased engagement because of its timeliness.

22. Employee advocacy

This is when a company’s employees post about it on social media. Employees might be more likely to share content that provides value to a variety of groups, like their friends or family.

23. Engagement

This social media metric tells you how often users interact with your posts. It comprises likes, comments, shares, bookmarks and click-throughs.

Related: How To Improve Social Media Engagement in 9 Steps

24. Engagement rate by impressions

This is the success of a post measured against the number of times a social media network displayed it. It’s often desirable to have an engagement rate by impressions between 1% and 5%. The formula is:

Engagement rate by impressions = (A post’s total impressions/its total engagements) x 100

25. Engagement rate by post

This is the success of your post measured against your total amount of followers. It can help you understand the types of posts that resonate with a brand’s followers. The formula is:

Engagement rate by post = (A post’s total engagements/total followers) x 100

26. Engagement rate by reach

This is the success of your post measured against the number of people who saw it. It’s a useful engagement rate calculation, because not all who follow a brand view every social media post. Here’s the formula:

Engagement rate by reach = (A post’s total engagements/the post’s total reach) x 100

27. Evergreen content

This is content that stays relevant long after it’s posted. Listicles, how-to articles and product reviews are often types of evergreen content. You can continue to share evergreen content periodically to gain more traffic.

28. Fear of missing out (FOMO)

You can use this acronym on social media to encourage customers to take immediate action. For example, you may post a call to action about buying shoes because there are only two pairs left in stock.

29. Geotagging

Geotagging is when marketers share their exact location in a social media post. It can make it easier for customers to find a business.

30. Geotargeting

Geotargeting is a strategy to focus social media ads based on a user’s location. To expand your audience, consider researching locations where the brand might succeed and make your ads relevant.

Read more: What Is Geotargeting? (And How Does It Work?)

31. Impressions

Impressions measure the number of times a site has displayed your content, regardless of whether a user looked at it. An individual user may count as multiple impressions if they view a post more than once.

32. Inbound marketing

This type of marketing allows users to find a brand by doing their own research. Inbound marketing is often successful when you create content that answers questions for every stage of a buyer’s journey.

33. In case you missed it (ICYMI)

This term is a useful acronym if you want to share a social media post multiple times. You might do this to add new information to the original post or get more engagement.

34. Influencers

These are people who can affect the buying decisions of your audience. They might help you achieve the brand’s goals if they have experience promoting similar products on social media.

35. Infographic

These are graphics that display information in a readable format. You can use them on social media to help users understand a concept, such as a company’s core values.

Read more: What Is an Infographic? Examples and Design Tips

36. Insights

Some social media platforms offer insights into how your content performs on the social network. Insight pages are often available to business account holders.

37. Key performance indicator (KPI)

Marketers use key performance indicators to quantify a social campaign’s success. Valuable KPIs measure the goals of your social media strategy, whether it’s converting more leads into sales or getting more traffic from search engines.

38. Link building

Link building encourages others to share a link, which helps with search engine optimization. Consider building authentic relationships with other brands and influencers before asking them to share a link on social media.

39. Listicle

This is an article formatted like a list that you can share on social media. Consider using listicles to simplify topics.

40. Marketing automation

Using software to analyze consumer patterns automatically is part of marketing automation. Consider looking at past campaigns to find places you can optimize your marketing processes on social media.

41. Metrics

These are numbers that measure the performance of social media content. One example is engagement, which is how often users interact with a post. Consider using metrics to measure long-term success on social media sites.

42. Native advertising

This is a social media ad that looks like a regular post. It can create engagement because users can like, comment on and share it.

43. Organic reach

This type of reach shows you how many users view your content without paying for any promotion. It includes any user who has viewed the content at least once.

Read more: What Is Organic Content? (Plus Benefits, Qualities and Tips)

44. Page reach

Page reach is how many users view any content posted on a specific page over a defined period. It allows you to understand how often your content reaches the brand’s followers.

45. Paid reach

Paid reach is how many users view the content you’ve paid to promote. For example, you may pay for targeted ads to reach consumers in specific demographics, such as a geographic location.

46. Pay-per-click

Pay-per-click is an advertising model that allows you to make payments based on how many people click on an ad. Consider targeting keywords customers search when they’re close to making a purchase, such as most affordable TVs.

Read more: What Is Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising and How Does It Work?

47. Post reach

This metric is how many users view a specific post on social media. It can help you determine the popularity of specific content.

48. Potential reach

This is your total amount of followers across all platforms. It represents the total number of people who may potentially view your content.

49. Reach

The reach represents how many people view your content, such as ads or posts, in their feeds. It counts individual users, so you can use it to measure the size of an audience.

50. Real-time marketing

Real-time marketing is when you use current events to connect with your target audience. For example, if you know a popular sporting event is happening soon, you might draft posts about each outcome and post the actual result when the event ends.

51. Retargeting

Retargeting is a form of social media advertising that targets people who have interacted with your content before. For example, if a person browsed for T-shirts, you can show them social media ads for more T-shirts.

52. Return on investment

On social media, the return on investment (ROI) refers to the value of your social media efforts compared with the time and money to create them. Here’s the formula to calculate ROI:

Return on investment = (Profit/total investment) x 100

Read more: How To Calculate Social Media ROI (With Tips and Example)

53. Rich site summary (RSS)

RSS feeds update subscribers about content, like blogs and social media sites, in one easy-to-read format. You can use RSS feeds to get more traffic on social media because subscribers receive a link with each notification.

54. Sentiment analysis

Sentiment analysis uses software to analyze conversations on social media. You can use this tool to understand how people feel about a brand and adjust advertising in response.

55. Shareable content

This is content that inspires people to share. It might include content that’s entertaining, exciting and relevant to your target audience’s interests.

56. Share of eye

This is how much space the brand visually takes up online compared to competitors. For example, marketers can use image recognition software to determine how often a company’s logo appears in photos.

57. Share of voice

This is how much space your text posts take up online and how often consumers talk about the brand. You can analyze specific campaigns to learn how many people know about them and what your audience values based on their conversations.

58. Social listening

Social listening involves using software to monitor conversations around certain words and phrases. With an understanding of the conversation’s context, you can learn how users feel about the brand and use those insights to strengthen future content.

Read more: Social Listening: What It Is, Why It’s Important and How To Do It

59. Social media monitoring

This is when you watch what people are saying about a brand and respond in real time. Consider using software that compiles the brand mentions into one application so you can reply faster.

60. Social media optimization (SMO)

You can use social media optimization to make successful content more consistently. Often, SMO involves including specific keywords in your posts and using software that schedules posts across various social media channels.

61. Social proof

Social proof happens when people make decisions based on what their peers are doing. You might measure the brand’s potential for social proof based on your follower count or interactions on posts.

62. Social selling

Social selling is a strategy to connect with target demographics through social media. It may involve responding to online reviews or sharing user-generated content.

63. Testimonials

These are usually video or written reviews from past customers. Consider raising brand awareness and authenticity by sharing testimonials that show how a product has improved a customer’s life.

64. Trending topic

This is a specific topic or event with a sudden increase in engagement. You can use these topics to learn what keeps users interested or to create real-time marketing opportunities.

65. User-generated content (UGC)

UGC is an acronym for user-generated content. It’s brand-specific content that comes from consumers, like a video testimonial about a product.

Read more: What Is User-Generated Content (UGC) in Marketing?

66. Vanity metrics

These are metrics that look impressive but have situational value. For example, impressions are often the highest number you view in your post’s metrics, but you may choose to use other metrics to measure brand awareness.

67. Video completion rate (VCR)

Video completion rate is a measurement that shows how many users watch a social media video or advertisement from beginning to end. It can help you determine what type of video content creates engagement with followers.

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