For most people, social media has become a daily part of life and something they check regularly. With the constant emergence of new technology and new social media networks, even the most seasoned social media expert can get confused by some of the terminology. To help with that, we’ve compiled a short-list of the most common social media terms you may need to know.

Actions: Actions are any clicks on a social media post, generally on links or photos attached to the post.

Algorithm: An algorithm is a set of formulas that determine what a user sees in their feed. Facebook, Instagram and Google all rely on algorithms to enable users to see more content from people they are interested in and with information they care about.

Bitly: Bitly is a free URL shortening service that also provides statistics for the links users share online. It is primarily used to condense long URLs to make links easier to share on social networks.

Clickthrough rate: Clickthrough rate is a common metric used to denote the number of times a visitor clicks on one of your links, divided by the total number of impressions a piece of content receives. This rate shows how successful you are at converting user views to user clicks.

Community Manager: The community manager is responsible for building and managing the online communications for a business to grow an online community. A community manager often posts content, answers questions, hides comments with questionable subject matter and engages with those users who are engaging with you.

Conversions: Conversion rate refers to the percentage of people who completed an intended action (i.e. clicking on your links, following your account, etc.).

DM: A DM is a “direct message,” or private message, a user can send to your account. These are seen by the community manager and answered privately.

Engagement rate: Engagement rate is a popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction, such as likes, shares and comments, a piece of content receives.

Facebook: This social networking site aims to connect people with friends, family, acquaintances and businesses from all over the world and enables them to post, share and engage with a variety of content such as photos and status updates.

Follower: A follower refers to a person who subscribes to your account to receive your updates.

Handle: Handle is the term used to describe someone’s @username on Twitter, which is tied to their profile. For instance, Cooksey Communications’ Twitter handle is @cookseypr.

Hashtag: My favorite way to describe a hashtag is to think of it as an online filing cabinet. By adding a hashtag to your posts, you categorize it and make it easily searchable by users looking for that topic or subject matter.

Impressions: An impression refers to every time an ad is seen by your audience and counted. An ad can be seen multiple times by the same person, making your impression count higher than your reach.

Instagram: Instagram is a photo-sharing application that lets users take photos, apply filters to their images and share the photos instantly.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site that aims to foster professional relationships and connections.

Live Stream/Facebook Live/Live on Instagram: Most commonly, live streams are video feeds where users can watch in real time. Facebook and Instagram both have an in-app live stream option.

Mention: A mention is a term used to describe an instance in which a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet or post to attribute a piece of content or start a discussion.

News feed: Very literal in its definition, a news feed is a feed of information. Your homepage on Facebook is your news feed and on Twitter, it’s called a “timeline.”

Reach: Reach is an analytics metric that refers to the number of unique users who have come across content on a social platform such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Retweet: A retweet is when someone on Twitter sees your message and decides to re-share it with their own followers.

Search engine optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines.

Snapchat: Snapchat is a social app that allows users to send and receive time-sensitive photos and videos, known as “snaps,” which are hidden once the time limit expires.

Tag: Tagging is a social media functionality commonly used on Facebook and Instagram that allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update.

 Twitter: Twitter is a social networking microblogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called “tweets.”

 YouTube: A social media network made exclusively of user-generated videos.

The wonderful world of social media is evolving every day. What was once popular just a few months ago could be viewed as out-of-date now, so it’s imperative for your business to stay on top of the latest changes to existing platforms and be aware of those that are up-and-coming.

Allison Chvojan
Senior Account Executive