If you’ve got a brand, we’re willing to bet you’ve already got a social media presence. But with 89% of marketers already using Facebook to promote their companies, and nearly a billion active Instagram users following a brand on the platform, it’s not enough to just set your social on autopilot. To give your business an edge on the wild, wild, web, you’ve gotta understand the ins and outs of social media — and all the terms that come with it.
Have you heard of a FYP? What about PPC? The social media space is constantly evolving, and with it, the words we use to describe all the moving pieces. To help you start acing your social game, we’ve gathered a list of social media terms you’ll want to know. Let’s get into it.
Glossary of social media terms:
Analytics is the term for all the data that you’ll need to track the performance of your social media content. Because it’s a catch-all term, everything from impressions to page views to clicks are included.
A bio is a short intro that accompanies your user profile for various social media platforms, and often includes the most basic of information about a user.
Boosting is a tactic that allows you to promote a social post so that more people will see it. Users can pay to have their posts show up as sponsored content in non-followers’ feeds. Because boosting can help show your brand to people who haven’t seen it yet, it can be a helpful tool to increase reach and build a following.
Clickbait is something you want to avoid! This term describes the practice of creating content that is solely meant to solicit clicks, rather than provide any useful information. This term applies to headlines or social copy that misrepresents the information in a post in a sensationalized way.
Clickthrough rate refers to the number of times a viewer or visitor “clicks through” to external links, and is a key engagement metric. You can calculate the rate by taking your click number and dividing it by the post’s total number of impressions.
Another key metric for social media engagement, cost-per-click (stylized as CPC) breaks down how much a social advertiser must pay per click on social content: whether that be a text post, an image, or a video.
A dark post is the term for a social media ad that does not appear on a brand’s timeline. Instead, the dark post only appears on targeted users’ news feeds.
Dark social refers to social traffic with unconfirmed sources. The biggest cause of dark social comes from the private sharing of links from different chats or direct messaging platforms.
Direct message (DM)
Often referred to as a “DM,” this is the term for private chat communication on social media. Because it takes place in user’s private messages, DMs can be a great way to connect directly with your customers or solve support problems.
An embed is a social media post displayed on another website, page, or platform. The majority of major social media platforms include simple-to-use tools that allow users to find a source “embed code’ which they can copy for use elsewhere online.
This can often be the most valuable type of content! Evergreen content describes all articles, videos, or posts that continuously add value to a visitor or viewer. Evergreen content is made super valuable by its long shelf life, and ideally can drive consistent traffic and engagement over time.
This social media metric counts the number of interactions with your piece of content (comments, shares, likes) against its amount of impressions.
A follower is a term for a person or user who follows or subscribes to your brand, page, or channel on social media. These followers make up your primary audience and will receive your social media posts and content on their news feeds.
For You Page (#FYP)
A new term that comes from the video-sharing platform TikTok, the For You Page (stylized at #FYP) can be the be-all, end-all for TikTok success. The TikTok For You Page is uniquely created and updated for every user based on their friends and interests, but ultimately often serves as the make or break source for any viral success.
A geotag allows users to let others know their location when they create a post. Geotagging either uses location data or allows users to provide their own info. Users can then check an embedded map function to see what content has been posted in their area.
This is your username on various social media platforms. A user’s handle is usually accompanied by an “@” sign.
A word or phrase which, when denoted by a “#,” automatically puts your post into the relevant category for other users to search.
Unlike a view, like, or comment, an impression is every time a post or ad appears on a user’s newsfeed, regardless of whether or not it earns any interaction.
Influencers are social media users with large followings or high-quality content (sometimes both). These social media figures promote products or services to their audience in exchange for payment or exposure.
A catch-all term for all social media analytics and metrics. Insights are a collection of various analytics, and help give a glimpse into how your social media content is performing.
Another base metric for social media interactions, a like occurs when a user clicks the “like” button on a post or piece of content.
Live streaming is a form of video content that broadcasts online in real-time. This popular feature has integrations with platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Vimeo!
A marketing term that refers to a form of advertising that appears “natively” on social media platforms, this content is made to look like regular social media, as opposed to a standard advertisement.
The news feed is the central flow of content on social media platforms. This is where users will see posts and updates from the various users, pages, and groups that they follow.
Permalinks are web URLs that are contained within various blogs or social media posts and are intended to remain active permanently.
This acronym stands for “pay per click,” and is another form of online advertising model — and a buying type on some social media channels. Marketers host ads on different websites or search platforms and pay “per click,” or per visitor.
A post’s reach is total number of people exposed to a piece of online social content. (Reach does not necessarily measure if a user actually sees or interacts with the content, though. It merely counts all content that has been generated on users’ social feeds.)
This method of indexing content is helpful for finding new pieces of content as soon as they’re published.
Used mostly for blogs and other standardized content, an RSS feed allows users to keep track of output from different content creators in a single news aggregator.
Search engine optimization (SEO)
SEO is a term for the creation of and practices of improving on content for search engines. Pro-tip: social popularity helps rankings on Google, so make sure you social your content shortly after setting it live if you want to give it a better chance of showing up in search.
Tagging is a functionality that you’ll find on many social media platforms. It’s a way for users to hyperlink the accounts of other users or brands in a social media post.
Most notable for its use on Twitter, the concept of trending — or a trending topic — includes clickable links that appear next to your main social feed. These terms or hashtags are currently popular and being discussed by many users on the platform.
User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content (UGC) is a term for all the content organically created by a brand’s audience including social content, blog articles, videos, or photos.
Because it’s content quite literally created by your brand’s biggest fans, UGC is incredibly valuable. It can make it easier to understand your target audience while also building consumer trust.