Social media dictionary

social_media_phoneThe world of social media has its own vocabulary. Not ‘lol’, ‘bff’ or the horrible term ‘bae’, though that does sometimes come into it. We’re talking about phrases like ‘tweets’, ‘posts’, ‘likes’, ‘hits’ and ‘follows’. To the untrained eye, this can look like a jumble of gibberish, but don’t worry we’re here to help you out.

Avatar – Something that represents you online. It can be an image or a username and is most often used within forums on social networks.

Bio – Pretty straightforward – it’s short for biography. It’s a short bit of explainer text to show you who the user is. This is used mostly on Twitter, but also on other social media platforms too.

Blog – The internet smashed together ‘web blog’ to create the word ‘blog’, and they’re really taking off! They are usually long-form pieces that are released regularly by individuals and brands to share their views with the world.

Chat – The internet is the new home of chatting. It generally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat application such as Facebook Messenger, direct messages and WhatsApp.

Circles – Your circle is a cluster of your friends, colleagues, family or connections on Google+. You have complete control of your circles, allowing you to share content with each segment so your boss doesn’t see those embarrassing pictures from the family barbecue!

Clickbait – We’ve all seen it at the side of our screen, it’s a piece of marketing or advertising material that uses a sensational headline to attract clicks. It creates just enough curiosity to provoke engagement.

Click-Through-Rate (CTR) – Used in social media metrics, your CTR represents the number of times a link to your site has been visible to users (impressions), divided by the number of times users have actively clicked that link. E.g. If a link is clicked 5 out of every 100 times it is viewed, then your CTR is 5%.

Comment – A response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to something on the internet. It’s also sometimes known as a ‘reply’ or ‘message’.

Connections – This is one for you LinkedIn users – it’s the business equivalent of a Facebook friend. You connect with professionals you’ve either met or have interest in their work. They are categorised by 1st degree, 2nd degree and 3rd degree based on the commonality of your network.

Direct Message – As we mentioned earlier in the ‘chat’ definition, this is a means of one-to-one communication on Twitter and is a great asset for converting tweets into sales.

Endorsement – LinkedIn allows its users to recognise other people’s skills and endorse them for it. This will give your profile a boost and let other people know what you’re good at.

Engagement Rate – This describes the amount of interaction (likes, shares, comments, retweets etc.) your content receives. The higher it is, the better the content.

Fans – Fans are different to friends on Facebook. Fans are the people who like your page, whilst friends are connected to you personally and can see everything you post/interact with on Facebook, so be careful with who you add.

Follower – it’s not as creepy as it sounds. It simply means someone who has subscribed to your account to receive updates that you choose to make public.

Geotag – A geotag is a tag earmarking the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. Instagram users often use this to highlight the location in which their photo was taken.

GIF – An acronym for Graphics Interange Format (just call it a GIF, people will know what you mean!), GIFS are small-scale animations and film clips that often go viral quickly!

Handle – This describes someone’s username on Twitter. Whatever comes after the @ is a handle.

Hashtag – This is used on a variety of social networks to categorize information and make it easily searchable.

Like – A quick way to show your approval on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter.

Meme – Typically an image, a meme describes a thought, idea, joke, quote or concept that’s widely shared online.

Mention – A Twitter term that refers to when a user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet to start a discussion or attribute a piece of work to them.

News Feed – Literally, a feed full of news. All your friends’/followers’ posts will end up on your Facebook news feed. The Twitter equivalent is a Timeline.

Retweet – On Twitter, when someone sees your message and decides to share it with their followers, that is a retweet. They can now quote your tweet through a retweet and add their own input too.

Trending – Trending topics are the most talked about topics on a social media network. Both Twitter and Facebook have a box on your homepage dedicated to the top trends so that you can find out more and interact with the internet on the topic.

Vlogging – Just like a blog, two words were bashed together – ‘Video’ and ‘logging’. This type of content uses video to tell a story. These are most commonly used on video sharing networks like YouTube and Vimeo.

The world of social media isn’t so hard to understand once you’ve got the terminology down. Use this online dictionary to help you move on to the next levels of social media success. If you want to know any more about these terms, check out our Embrace the Space social media training courses.

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