Social Media Marketing Terms – 45+ Terms Explained and Simplified - header image

Social Media Marketing Terms – 45+ Terms Explained and Simplified


If you’re working in marketing, chances are you are continuously dealing with either a team that works on social media, or you, yourself are working with social media sites and social media tools on the daily.  As fun as it is, social media is also a very technical field, with codes and words of its own.

Because of its technicality and how new most of these tools and words are, it can be challenging to keep up and to make sure all of the marketing teams are communicating effectively and that they understand each other. For that reason, we have compiled the most used social media marketing terms in one glossary. *Insert crowd cheering*

Of course, not every single technical word is in here, but this glossary can be a starting point if you want to understand an article, a conversation, or an email about social media. So next time you get that email that with a bunch of  lingo that you don’t fully understand, or you’re about to jump into a meeting with a social media marketing team, keep this glossary handy! It will help you make sure that you understand fully what is going on.


A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P |Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z



A/B Testing – Testing two variables like time of posting, color of button, kind of call to action, landing pages, ad, to see which one performs better. AB testing is not limited to two variables. If you want to run AB tests on the color of your call to action button, you can try as many colors as you like, then decide which one is performing best, while still calling that process an A/B test.

Algorithm – The algorithm refers to the program that sorts out all the available content on the social platform. After sorting the content out, it shows you the pieces of content that are rated as higher quality, more engaging, and more relevant to you and your interests. The algorithm is a self-training piece of software that continually evolves and learns how to solve content. The algorithm is what decides which piece of content will be prioritized on your newsfeed.

Analytics – It can refer to either the data or the analysis of that data to be able to communicate it, recognize patterns, understanding behaviors, and so on. Analytics are either provided by social platforms or by more thorough tools like Google Analytics. The same word is used to talk about the raw data and the interpreted data.

API (Application programming interface) – Relative to computer programming. An API allows an application to extract information from a service, and use it for another application, or analysis. In short, APIs allow applications to communicate with each other. APIs are useful to either automate tasks or to extract data for more in-depth analysis.

ARP (Average Response Time) – If you are using social media for customer service, this metric is crucial. The average response time is the average time a social media account takes to respond to a customer message. That metric is public on Facebook pages, for example, and can be necessary for a customer as a shorter average might create more confidence and connection between the user and the company.

Audience – The followers to a social media account. It also includes the people watching or engaging with a piece of content even they’re not following the report. Might consist of anyone that is not a follower, but that corresponds to the marketing target. An audience is all the people that are consuming your content and to some extent, the people that might be interested in your content (because of their interests, age group and so on).

AuthenticityAuthenticity is a crucial component of a strong social media communication strategy. This adjective is used if you can sense that the content is aligned with the person’s actual beliefs and values. In other words: people can sense on social media when the person posting doesn’t strongly agree or relates to the content they’re posting. Authenticity leads to more proximity to your audience, so it usually leads to more engagement and more interactions.
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B2B – An adjective to refer to a company that sells its services or products to another company.

B2C – An adjective to refer to a company that sells its services or products to the public.

Bio (link in bio) – The bio is the little bit of text on your social media profile that describes your brand and who you are. Bios are usually quite short and filled with keywords to best represent their field, their product, their offer, and their unique value.

On Instagram, you can have a link in your bio (that’s what the link in bio means), and it is pretty much the only clickable link that you can find on Instagram. Choosing the right link can, therefore, be crucial for your traffic and presence on socials. You can read how to add multiple links in your instagram bio

Blog – A website full of articles, commentaries, content, with a reliable content calendar. Blogs publish content regularly. They can be created and ran by individuals, professionals, and bigger businesses. Blogs are still the best way to drive organic traffic to a website and to showcase your authority, knowledge, and expertise on a subject.

Brand – Anything related to the awareness of your product or business. Branding insists on what makes your business different from others. It focuses on how unique your company or product is.

Business Manager – Or sometimes referred to as the Facebook Business Manager is the interface that helps you manage your business pages, teams, ad accounts, and so on. That piece of software helps you manage your Facebook pages and content, but it is mostly used to run Facebook ads and to consult analytics. The Facebook Business Manager also provides another layer of security as it makes sure that the company stays in control of the page, instead of being run by an individual (a regular Facebook profile).
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Chatbot – A Chatbot is an artificial intelligence that is used on a chat platform to interact with customers. It is mostly used for customer service as it responds instantly, providing the users with an instant solution to most problems. They usually can interact with other apps so you can make chatbots able to book an appointment or send an email, for example. While the content creation aspect of chatbots is way less used now than it used to, chatbots are still an accessible customer service solution.

Clickbait – A piece of content is considered clickbait if a manipulative and highly teasing title, image, or any other medium that pushes the people to click to see the content. Clickbait is kind of a pop culture team on the internet these days because it has been overused in the past to capture the attention of the users, by lying in the title of the content or any other manipulative, dishonest tactics and almost everyone has experienced this before. While clickbait content performs well to drive traffic, it usually doesn’t convert well, and it may give your brand a bad image over time.

Community Manager – The community manager is the person that works on building the community and the audience. The community manager replies to comment, creates engaging content on social media, basically uses every tool available to generate discussion, and to trigger engagement within the community. The community manager is the person impersonating the brand on social media, to make it more human and authentic.

CPC (Cost Per Click) – The cost per click corresponds to the average amount of money that you are spending to get a lead to click on your ad on social media. When you are running ads, you are looking for the lowest cost per click as possible. It is probably the most monitored metric when you are running social media ads.

CPM (Cost Per Mille) – The cost per mille corresponds to the average amount of money that you are spending for 1,000 impressions of your ad content. While the cost per click helps you measure conversion rates and other conversion metrics, the cost per mille enables you to understand how your brand awareness performs.

CTA (Call To Action)A call to action (CTA) is a link, a button, or any other apparent clickable sign on a webpage, an email, a website, or any other digital format. A call to action should be distinct and should redirect to a sale, a sign-up form, or any other action you would like your leads to go to. A right call to action is a short, bold, and clear message. Your potential customers must understand what they’ll get when they click.
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Dark Post – While being a non-official term, dark posts are ads that do not appear on the advertiser’s profile or timeline. The ad is published and running as if it were posted as a regular, organic post from the advertiser, but you won’t be able to find this post on the advertiser’s timeline. The point of that is to have different posts depending on the targeting of the campaign, or if the copy or message of the ad is irrelevant to the existing followers of the page.

For example, a dark post explaining what your brand is about and what your product does might not be relevant and engaging to people that already follow you and consider your business as a solution to their previously known problems.

Demographics – A way to segment your audience or target audience, through gender, age, income, social class, and so on. Demographics are usually the first step of creating a buyer persona or establishing your audience. Read our expert facebook tips from leading marketers

DM (Direct Message)A DM is a private message sent directly to a user’s inbox. While interactions on social media are public, direct messages are the only way to make sure that the communication is private.

DM can be used for customer service, for example, to solve a problem that a user is experiencing privately, or to provide personalized solutions that wouldn’t be relevant to everyone, and therefore, don’t need to be public, or it can be used as a PR tool, to contact influencers, other brands and so on. Direct messages are more similar to chat services than emails.
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EBook – Longer than a blog post, an Ebook is a longer informative piece of content that is usually provided in exchange for an email address. An ebook is mostly used for awareness and for passively generating leads.

Engagement Rate – The number of interactions (likes, comments, shares) divided by the number of people reached. It’s the most common and also the most popular metrics that are used in social media marketing. The engagement rate is the metrics used to measure how good an influencer performs. It is used by the social media platforms to figure out if a piece of content is relevant or not.

Evergreen ContentA piece of content is called evergreen when it brings value, no matter when the piece of content is consumed. A piece of evergreen content is timeless and cannot be outdated. Evergreen content is the preferred kind of content for an SEO strategy as it drives the best results for the longest time.
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Facebook – You probably know what Facebook is already. Besides being content where your business can have a page, and, therefore, content, followers, engagement and so on, Facebook has the most popular and also one of the most effective advertising platforms online.

Facebook allows you to run ads on their platform for quite cheap, giving you exact metrics on your campaigns and targeting options that are incredibly detailed and precise.

Follower – A follower is a social media user that is subscribed to your content. That means that this user is interested in your brand and content. That person will see your content on their newsfeed and are more likely to engage with it. Followers are an audience on a specific social media channel.

FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out)It is the feeling some users feel when they see the missed opportunities and events, they could have gone to. FOMO can also push the user to open their social media apps more often to make sure that they are not missing on content from their favorite brands, shows, or friends. It describes the urge to be updated about what is happening on social media regularly.
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GoogleGoogle is the most used search engine, by far. It is also an entire ecosystem with tools such as YouTube, Google Analytics, Google Docs, Google Maps, Google calendar, and so on. Because of the communication between all these tools, Google it’s a very ergonomic ecosystem to work with.
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Hashtag – It’s a way to apply a tag or a category to a social media post. By searching through hashtags, you’re filtering the content that you will see. This way, it makes it easier to sort out all the content present on a social platform. It’s also a way to help these social platforms understand what your content is about.

Hashtags are keywords preceded by a pound sign ( # ), and they can be used on all social media platforms. They’re a crucial element to grow your audience and to help your content discovered. Discover best tools that will help you improve your instagram engagement

Header – The header image is the generic term to refer to the large photo displayed on your social media profiles. The correct names would be header image for Twitter, the cover image on Facebook, and banner image on LinkedIn. For more natural communication, that photo is usually called the header.

HomepageOr sometimes Homescreen, or Newsfeed: the main page when you access a social media site. On that homepage, the platform has curated content that hopefully matches the interests of the user. The user will scroll through their homepage to consume content and interact with it. In digital marketing, your goal is to have your content curated by the platform, so it shows up on as many people’s homepage.
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Impression – Impressions are a social media metric that tells you how many times a piece of content has been displayed on a newsfeed. Impressions and reach are different metrics as you can count multiple impressions by users. Impressions give you a good indicator of how your posts perform in terms of awareness and competition: the more impression, the more awareness and the less competition in your niche.

Inbound marketing – Opposed to outbound marketing. It refers to every marketing strategy made to draw the client in. It’s all about the attention of the customer. Through branding, content, and ads, you’re trying to get your target’s attention so that they can, themselves, purchase your products or get to know your brand and services better.

Infographic – A visual piece of content that is easily readable, easily understandable, and usually aesthetically pleasing. Infographics are great pieces of content to make a complex concept or complex interactions more visual. They tend to drive a higher engagement because they’re easily understandable and entirely shareable, in nature.

InstagramYou’re probably familiar with Instagram. Instagram belongs to Facebook. It’s an image and video-driven platform. It is the platform with the most significant growth in the number of daily users and the number of interactions per day.

Therefore, it is usually the number one choice (even ahead of Facebook) when it comes to creating a digital marketing strategy for a company. Instagram shares the same targeting and advertising platform as Facebook making it a solid choice to drive powerful and rather cheap ads on social media. Read our guides on Instagram video length and Instagram story
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KPI (Key Performance Indicator)KPIs are the metrics that matter for your business specifically or your field. KPIs are different from companies to companies. They’re analytics and data that are relevant to a business and that are monitored often to make sure that a campaign and that the general business is going well or not. KPIs are usually the best way to measure how a business is doing rather than focusing on a more general metric like the number of sales or whatever.
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Like – A like is a form of engagement on social media. Users will see a piece of content and then press like to show approval, support, or to show interest in the content. This form of engagement exists on all social media sites.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a business-oriented social media platform. Despite its niche, LinkedIn counts more than 400 million users today, and it is the leading social media site for professionals.

While their advertising system is a lot more expensive than the competitors and while their targeting options aren’t as precise and as useful, LinkedIn still allows great organic results, especially if you have a content-driven company as content consumption on this platform is relatively new on that audience.

LurkerA lurker is an internet and social media user that does not participate or engage with the content in any way. They don’t like, comment, nor share. Lurkers are the majority of internet users. This is why getting people to engage in social media is a hard task because the majority of the people will just read without even liking the content.
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Marketing Automation – Tools or a series of tools that automate your marketing campaigns. In this case, the marketer acts as an orchestra conductor. He’s setting up all the tools and data. Then the automation tool does the marketing work by itself.

MemeA meme can be summed up as an internet inside joke. Memes are popular on the internet and a huge part of internet culture today.. Memes are jokes and quotes that are widely known and universal. They’re often used by brands on the internet to be perceived as more friendly and internet cultured. However, when poorly used, the internet community shows no mercy, and that brand will be remembered as the brand that ‘tried to appropriate internet culture’.
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 NewsfeedSame a Homescreen or Homepage: the main page when you access a social media site. On that homepage, the platform has curated content that hopefully matches the interests of the user.

The user will scroll through their homepage to consume content and interact with it. In digital marketing, your goal is to have your content curated by the platform, so it shows up on as many people’s homepage.
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Pinterest – Pinterest is an image sharing based social media site. Bloggers and commerce shops mostly use it. Pinterest is often forgotten in terms of digital marketing by companies. For that matter, it can be quite a powerful tool to reach a new audience.

Some companies have been known to be very successful on Pinterest, while some others have never tried anything on it. If you want to try something new, and that might be less competitive (depending on your field), Pinterest might be worth a try.

Podcast – A podcast is an audio piece of content. There is no centralized podcast platform yet. They can be listened to on several websites and services such as Apple Podcast, Spotify, Soundcloud, and so on. While podcasts were the least popular form of content a couple of years ago, it is making a comeback. The audience of podcasts is more narrow (like marketing podcasts fans), but it is usually highly engaged with the content and brand.

PPC (Pay Per Click)It’s a way to pay for a marketing campaign on the internet. You only pay when the person exposed to the ad clicks on it. Sometimes, it also refers to the amount of money spent on one click on your campaign. The PPC defines both the method and the actual number, which can make it a confusing term to use sometimes.
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Reach – The reach is a crucial metric in social media. The reach gives you the number of accounts that have been exposed to a piece of content. While the number of impressions gives you the total amount of time a piece of content has been seen, the reach gives you the number of unique accounts that have been exposed to the content. Reach and impressions are the visitors and visits/views of social media.

Reddit – Reddit is a social news site that gathers communities. Communities are formed under specific subreddits, which are like categories or topic-oriented forums. While Reddit is less popular than other social media sites, the communities there are highly engaged and usually highly qualified.

Retargeting – It’s a form of online targeting advertising. It shows ads to people that have visited your website in the past, or that are in your database for purchasing in the past.

The targeted person will see ads on social media and in the form of banners on websites. The point of retargeting is to get a customer that knows your brand already to buy your product. It targets people that are interested in your products or that are already clients of yours, so the targeted people are likely to buy.

RetweetA retweet is a shared tweet. Retweeting gives full credit to the creator of the tweet, but it expands its reach by exposing that tweet to more communities. Retweets are what makes Twitter a very viral platform. When you retweet a piece of your content, you can add a comment to it. That will create a tweet from your account, and other users will see that your comment applies to the embed tweet underneath your post.
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Selfie – A selfie is a self-portrait usually taken with the front camera of a phone. Selfies are typically shared on social media and are very common for content. You can also shoot video selfies. Those are usually referred to as vlogs (as vlogs are often filmed that way).

Snapchat – A social media app that allows you to communicate through stories and self-destructive messages. Everything on Snapchat is temporary and lasts a maximum of 24 hours. Snapchat is usually used to give behind the scenes and bonus content to your audience.

Because of how brief the content is on this platform, content is a lot more spontaneous and a lot less planned and edited. While Snapchat was massively popular among younger people, its popularity is decreasing since Instagram added the stories features and format.

Social Media – Social media is a media site based on social interactions. Content is published on the site, and people can socially interact with the published content (by liking it, commenting on it, sharing it and so on). On such sites, every single person is a publisher, and all the content is made to be interacted with.

Because of the popularity of such sites and because of how much time people tend to spend on it, marketers are using social media site as a publishing platform and as a way to engage easily with their audience, and as a way to build awareness and as a way to reinforce their clientele.

Social ProofSocial proof is a psychological phenomenon in which people ten to act and do what the majority of the people are doing. In real life, that can be applied to the line in front of a restaurant. If lots of people are waiting to eat there, it’s probably good. Therefore, you’re more likely to eat there and get in line yourself. On social media, it is applied to content and accounts.

Pieces of content that have lots of likes, shares, and interactions are usually considered as excellent pieces of content. Therefore you will be more likely to engage with it and eventually share it, which will contribute to the vitality of the content. Same for accounts, if lots of people follow an account, you are more likely to follow them as well, because that significant number of followers indicates that the account is excellent and worth a follow.
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Targeting – Targeting refers to the way you select who will see your ad when you are running ads on social media. Targeting is the step when you decide who will see your content based on demographics, interests, location, and so on. It is a crucial part of every social media ad as that setting will determine how good or how bad your ad will perform.

Depending on your targeting, the pricing of your ad can also change drastically. Therefore, targeting is the most basic setting to play with while running ads on social media. Read more killing tips from industries marketing experts

Traffic – Traffic is the metric that you will probably hear the most in meetings and emails. Traffic is the universal metric; it’s the metric that everyone is continually trying to improve.

Traffic is the number of visits on your website, social media profile, and so one. It describes the number of times people have seen your site. Even if not every visitor of your site is going to make a purchase, more traffic usually means more opportunities and more awareness about your brand and service.

Troll – On the internet, a troll is someone that creates controversy on a subject. They usually comment on content to either create drama or to show a unique and cynical point of view on the subject. While trolls are generally perceived as a bad thing, they are usually driving lots of conversation and are often used by brands to make a campaign go viral, even if relying on trolls can be extremely risky.

TT (Trending Topic) – A trending topic is a sudden event or situation that gets very popular very quickly. Hashtags or specific keywords usually track it because of the sudden rising popularity of a hashtag or phrase. Trending topics are most relevant on Twitter, where information tends to spread very quickly and where there is a section of the site dedicated to these topics called ‘Trends for you’.

TwitterA social media site where people can post ’Tweets’ that are similar to a tiny blog post, and they can be up to 280 characters. Twitter is usually referred to as a micro-blogging platform where people share their thoughts, opinions, and mood. Twitter is the best social media platform to drive conversation or to take care of customer service.

Twitter is less of a media platform, but more of a giant chatroom. Twitter is not as popular as Facebook and other social media sites, but the community on there tends to be highly engaged and very loyal to the platform. Read our guide on how to post a video on twitter
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UGC (User Generated Content) – User-generated content is a piece of content created by a user, that promotes a brand or a company. User-generated content is often shared by brands themselves to improve their social proof and to build trust upon their followers. When a brand posts a UGC, it highlights what real users think of the brand.

As a user, being promoted or reposted by a brand is considered as a reward. It pushes more users to create these UGC, making them wish to get reposted. Once a brand starts reposting and sharing UGC, more people tend to create UGC on social media, improving the awareness and trust of the brand.

Unique VisitorUnique visitors are a metric to follow carefully. The number of unique visitors tells you how many single users have visited your site. This number is smaller than the number of page views as an only person can view several pages of your website, and as a viewer can visit your site several times.

Ideally, you want the highest number of unique visitors, as the number of visits can go up quite quickly without a lot of unique visitors. This metric helps you understand how much traffic your site is getting.
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Viral Marketing – A viral marketing campaign aims to get a piece of content (like an ad or a social media post) massively shared. In a viral marketing campaign, it’s the shares that are spreading the message. In a way, people become the primary source of traffic in that campaign.

Viral marketing is usually quite cheap and very useful because these pieces of content tend to be memorized easily and because it gives a lot of social proof to your brand and/or product. While marketers highly appreciate viral marketing, it is hard to create such a campaign as it relies a lot on the quality and sharability of the main piece of content of the campaign, and as it builds a lot on the target’s behavior.

VlogA vlog is a video blog. It is a piece of content that relies on video to tell a story, and that is then shared on social media. Vlogs are usually made using a smartphone or a point and shoot camera to make it easier for the creator to film himself. Vlogs are a popular form of content because it has a very organic look and amateur feel to it. Brands usually rely on that unpolished content to show a more behind the scene, more intimate and personal side of their business.
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Web 2.0 – Web 2.0 refers to that era of the internet where users are not only content consumers, but they are also creators through blogs, vlogs, websites, and so on. Web 2.0 made that possible by making the uploading and hosting process a lot easier. That means that you can now start creating content on the internet without any technical knowledge. Web 2.0 allowed non-engineers and non-programmers to start posting and creating on the internet.

WebinarA webinar is an online presentation or seminar. The audience usually logs in on a site and then has access to a private online room where they can interact with the webinar host, and basically attend an online seminar. Webinar are the exact replica of a seminar or presentation but online: the host streams a video of themselves or their screen and comments on it through audio, while the audience can only listen and eventually comment using a writing chat room.
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YouTube – YouTube is part of the Google ecosystem. It’s a video-sharing website. It’s the most used search engine tool right after Google itself. For that matter, YouTube is a very powerful tool to improve your SEO and brand awareness.
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Zapier – Zapier is an app that makes different apps, services, websites communicate with each other. Zapier helps you automate tasks by defining triggers and actions. Basically, Zapier can help you automatically post your latest Instagram post into a tweet. Or it can save your favorite tweets into a file on Google Doc. Zapier is highly customizable and it  a powerful tool to help you automate certain tasks and even some posting processes on social media.