Social Media Glossary - The Social Media Terms Small Business Owners Need To Know
Published on 11th December 2018
Social media marketing is a great way to promote your business, create brand awareness, drive more traffic to your website, and engage with your customer base. But with so many buzzwords thrown into the mix, it can sometimes be hard to keep up.
We’ve compiled this handy social media glossary to give small business owners a helping hand, so that marketing your business on social media can be as simple as possible:
Social Media Glossary
Avatar – Also known as the profile picture, this is the image that represents you on a social media network. It will be displayed on your profile and will appear alongside your name whenever you interact with any content.
Bio – Short for biography, your bio is the short bit of text on your social media profile that explains who you are.
Clickbait – Clickbait is any content shared on social media that uses a sensationalised or misleading headline to entice users to click on it, usually with the sole aim of generating page views or advertising revenue, e.g. ‘You Will Never Do X Again After Reading This’
Cover photo – Also known as a header image, this is the large image displayed at the top of your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn profile.
Direct message (DM) – A direct message is a private message sent to a specific user through either Twitter or Instagram.
Engagement – Engagement is any way in which users interact with your content on a social network. This includes liking your post, clicking on any links, commenting, or sharing the post. The more engagement your post has, the more successful it will be.
Facebook – Facebook is the social media network founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. Users are able to share, like, and comment on content such as written posts and images, and can connect with friends, family members, and brands.
Follower – A follower is a social media user who has subscribed to your account in order to see your posts in their news feed.
Forum – Also known as a message board, a forum is a site where users can hold online discussions on specific topics.
GIF – A GIF is an image file that combines several frames into a single image to create an animated clip. GIFs are widely used on social media networks to convey reactions, to respond to messages, or to liven up posts.
Google+ - Google+ is Google’s social media network. Users could use it to connect with friends, family, and businesses, but following a data breach Google announced that it would be taking the network down in 2019.
Hashtag – Hashtags are words or phrases preceded by the # symbol that help to categorise posts on social media networks and make it easy for users to join in with online conversations or trends. Clicking on a hashtag will reveal all the messages tagged as this topic, e.g. #webdesign
Influencer – An influencer is a social media user who has a significant following on one or more social networks. They are often used by brands to influence the purchase decisions of their followers with promoted content that raises awareness about a particular trend, topic, company, or product.
InMail – InMail is the private messaging system within LinkedIn. You can send InMail messages to anyone on LinkedIn without needing an introduction or contact information, but you must have upgraded to a Premium account to do so.
Instagram – Instagram is a photo sharing app where users can post images and videos, and is primarily designed for mobile use. Users can also edit photos directly through the app.
Instant messaging (IM) – Instant messaging is a type of online chat that occurs in real-time between two or more people. Many social networks offer instant messaging through their platforms.
Like – If a user wants to show approval or appreciation for content on a social media network, they can like or favourite the post, image, or video, etc. This is done by clicking the like button, which is usually a heart or thumbs up symbol.
LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a social networking site designed for businesses and business professionals. It is mainly used for networking, job searching, and blogging.
List – A list is a curated set of Twitter accounts that users can bring together to form a separate timeline dedicated to a particular topic or group of users. Lists can be made public or private, and are a great way of curating content.
Live stream – To live stream means to broadcast real-time, live video over the internet of an event as it happens.
Live tweet – To live tweet is to tweet about something as it’s happening, such as an event you’re attending or a TV programme you’re watching.
Meme – A meme is any content on the internet that is widely shared and usually humorous in nature. Typically these are images, GIFs, or videos with slight variations along a theme, and these are a popular form of communication on social media networks.
News feed – The news feed, or timeline, is normally the home page of a social media network where users can see all the latest posts from the people and brands they are following.
Organic reach – The organic reach of your social media content refers to how many unique users have viewed it without any paid promotion.
Pinterest – Pinterest is a photo sharing social network that acts as a virtual pin board. Users can like, share, and save images – these are known as pins.
Reddit – Reddit is a social networking site that consists of numerous forums where users can share links, stories, and images relating to certain topics.
Retweet (RT) – A retweet is when a Twitter user shares another user’s tweet with their own followers. Users can also share tweets using the quote tweet function, which allows them to add their own comments above the original user’s tweet.
Share – On many social media networks, users have the option to share the content that appears in their timeline. This often involves the user reposting the content from the original source on their own timeline – thus increasing its reach - but content can also be shared via direct messages, emails, and more, with a link back to the original post.
Snapchat – Snapchat is a social app that allows users to send and receive photos and videos that expire after a few seconds. These are known as snaps. Users can also post snaps using the story feature – these expire after 24 hours.
Tag – To tag someone on social media means to mention them in a post or comment, or to identify them in a photo by adding a link back to their profile. The user will be notified of the tag, so it’s a great way to engage specific people and make sure that they see your content.
Thread – A thread is a series of messages on a social network that make up a conversation. A thread begins with an initial message and then continues through replies or comments. Threads are popular on Twitter as a way of posting longer messages despite the character limit.
Trending topic – These are any topics or hashtags that are currently generating a lot of conversation on a social media network. Users can click on the trending topics to browse all the related content and contribute their own.
Troll – A troll is a social media user who posts deliberately inflammatory comments on a piece of content in order to provoke a reaction and disrupt the conversation.
Twitter – Twitter is a social media network where users can send and interact with short messages known as tweets. These are restricted to 240 characters. Users can also share images and videos.
Viral – To ‘go viral’ means that a piece of content, such as an image or video, becomes very popular and spreads quickly on the internet because so many people are sharing it.
Can’t find the social media term you’re looking for? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our social media glossary for small businesses!
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