Social Media Review: Glossary of Terms

Algorithm

How a social media platform determines which content to display at any given time to a particular user.

Analytics

The social media tools (and the information those tools provide) used for the analysis of data to determine the performance social media content.

Audience

The online community of users, including followers, who see or interact with your content.

Bio

The text on a brand’s social media profile that shares essential information about who the brand is. It may describe the nature of the business and the products or services that this business or organisation offers.

Boosted post

Also known as a promoted post. This is a social media post that is paid for to enhance certain targeting and encourage certain user behaviour. Boosted posts allow you to set an exact boost duration and budget.

Brand awareness

Brand awareness is the level of familiarity online consumers have with your brand. This is often one of the main goals of social media marketing and is an objective you can select for your ad campaigns. Brand awareness can be measured through impressions or reach.

Click-through rate

A measure of how many users who have viewed a social post, ad, or other piece of content click through to take some action (e.g. learn more, read more or buy). It essentially measures how effectively your social content drives people to your web content. The formula to calculate CTR is the number of clicks divided by the total number of impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Comment

A form of engagement in which a user responds to your social media post.

Cost per click

A metric for how much each click costs in a pay-per-click advertising campaign.

Direct messages

Often called “DMs”. These are private messages sent between users on various social media platforms.

Engagements

Any interactions users have with your posts including reactions, comments and shares.

Engagement rate

A social media metric used to describe the number of interactions a post receives in relation to the number of impressions.

Follower

A person who subscribes to your social media page in order to receive your updates.

Handle

A public username for a social media account preceded by an “@” symbol.

Hashtag

A word or phrase preceded by a “#” sign. It is used by social networks to categorise information and make it easy for users to find such information.

Impressions

The number of times your content is displayed in users’ social news feeds.

Insights

Observations about the performance of a social media page drawn from analytics.

Like

A form of engagement indicating that a user literally likes or approves of the post. This takes the form of a thumbs-up on Facebook and LinkedIn and a heart on Instagram and Twitter.

Mention

A Twitter term used to describe an instance in which a user includes someone else’s handle in their tweet.

Metric

A statistic that measures the individual indicators of the performance of your posts, ads, or account. Metrics may include impressions, reach, followers, engagement rate, link clicks, and more.

News feed

The home page of a social media platform where users can see all the latest updates from the accounts they follow.

Organic reach

The total number of unique users who view your content without a paid promotion.

Pay per click

An online advertising model in which advertisers display ads on various websites or search engines and pay when a visitor clicks through.

Reach

The total number of unique users who see your content in their social media news feed.

Reaction

A form of engagement indicated by an emoji on Facebook which, in addition to “like”, includes “love”, “haha”, “care”, “wow”, “sad”, and “angry”.

Reply

A Twitter action that allows a user to respond to a tweet through a separate tweet that begins with the other user’s handle. In contrast to a mention, tweets that start with a handle only appear in the timelines of users who follow both parties.

Retweet

When a Twitter user re-shares the tweet of another account with their followers.

Return on investment (ROI)

In a social media context, this is a measure of how much you get out of the time, money, and effort you put into your social media strategy. This can be used to determine which social media strategies (or aspects of your strategies) are delivering a good return on the time and money invested in them.

Search engine optimisation

Anything done to improve the ranking of a website on search engine results pages. The act of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

Share

To repost another user’s content on social media to your own news feed.

Tagging

A social media function performed on Facebook and Instagram that allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person or business page shown in the photo or mentioned in the status update.

Thread

A series of linked comments or discussion posts on Twitter.

Traffic

The number of users who visit a given website or page. In a social media context, increasing traffic to your website from social media users is a common marketing objective.

User-generated content

Content (e.g. blogs, videos, photos, etc.) that is created by online consumers. Social media marketers typically gather this type of content to support an online campaign or initiative.