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The A-Z of Social Media Terms

Social Media Platforms are constantly updating and reinventing themselves so it can be hard to keep up to date with the latest terms, phrases and slang used. Here is Zelst’s A-Z of Social Media Terms which should help you with the basics of Social Media terminology. As the industry is growing and modernising, this glossary will be updated regularly with new terms and definitions.

+1: The Google+ equivalent to a Facebook ‘Like’. Used on Google+ social networking platform to show that you like or agree with a post.

#: Originally known as an octothorpe but more commonly referred to as a Hashtag. Hashtags are used all over social media especially on Twitter, where they sort of originated and also Instagram, Facebook and Google+. Hashtags are used to tag a topic to make it easy for people to come across your post or to join an online conversation or trend.


Analytics: Analytics tell you what’s happened on your social media site such as comments, shares, retweets and reach. Keeping up-to-date with your Analytics can give you an insight into what customers like and dislike and help you to tailor your social campaign to target them in a more effective way.

Archiving: Keeping records on your own database of what has happened on your site. Whether you want to look at statistics for a previous period or have a customer complaint which turns into a legal process, Archiving is vital for all social media accounts.

Active Accounts: User accounts for social media profiles which are used on a regular basis, usually defined monthly. For example, Facebook has 1.59 billion Active Accounts.

Average Response Time: This is the average time it takes a business to respond to a customer message. The Average Response Time is public to users on Facebook so keep an eye on your messages because a bad response time may lead to negative customer feedback and avoid customers choosing to buy your products.


Bio: A Bio is short for biography. Bios are used on the majority of social media platforms, they usually have a limited character limit and allow you to briefly sum up your profile to new and potential followers. On some sites such as Twitter, your Bio is the first thing that they see so make sure that you picky a catchy and engaging headline.

Brand Advocate: A Brand Advocate is a loyal customer who simply loves your brand and/or product. Brand Advocates are invaluable to your business as they will market and promote your business, be sure to communicate with your advocate and show how gracious you are for their support.


Caption: A short description used underneath your Instagram image. A Caption is a great way to describe what is going on within your image. Be sure to keep it short and sweet and use hashtags sparingly as you don’t want to look like you are spamming.

Channels: This is where you are distributing your content. Different social media platforms which you are using such as Facebook, Twitter and a blog would be classed as Channels.

Check-In: Where your users can tag themselves at your geographic location such as your business. When a user Checks-in somewhere, this will appear on their Newsfeed so that their friends online can see where they have been and what they have commented on it. You can then see what people genuinely think of your business and it’s also a great piece of free advertising. You can Check-in at a location using Facebook or Foursquare.

Circles: Used within the Google+ social media platform, adding people to your Circles is similar to adding friends on Facebook however you can add people to different Circles depending on interests, demographics and other criteria. On your home page you’ll be able to see what people in your Circles have been sharing,

Click-through Rate (CTR): Click-through Rate is often used within Google AdWords and Analytics which is calculated by the number of clicks divided by the number of impressions. However it can be beneficial to know your CTR on social media to see if the content which you are posting is being received well by your customers and if they are clicking through to your site.

Communities: Google+ users can join Communities with people which have the same interests such as cooking or gaming. You can communicate, share and read articles which have been posted throughout the Community. A Community can contain up to 350,000 people!

Connections: Primarily used within the LinkedIn social networking site, Connections are people who you have accepted your invitation or vice versa. Similar to the Facebook friend request however because LinkedIn is more of a formal platform they are referred to as Connections.

Consumer: Your Consumer is who you’re selling to, they’re your target audience.

Content Marketing: Marketing to customers through content creation. The key to successful Content Marketing is to produce content with is valuable to your customer. Learn more about Content Marketing.

Cover Photo: The large image at the top of your Facebook or Twitter profile. This is a large rectangular image which is public to everyone who clicks on your profile. Cover Photos can be used to show people about your business and are a great way to advertise promotions as they can be easily updated.


Direct Message: Direct Message is an action which you can take on Twitter. Instead of tagging a user in a public tweet, a Direct Message allows you to privately message a user. Direct Messages can only be sent to a Twitter user who is following you or sent to you through a user who you are following.

Discover (Snapchat): Snapchat has a Discover section where a handful of media companies show live updates to Snapchat users, these companies include MTV, BuzzFeed and Sky Sports. On Discover, users can read trending articles, watch short clips and find out what is happening around the world each day.

Display Ad: A form of Advertising which is used across Google’s Display Network. These adverts come in the form of visual banners which are shown across a range of websites. Display Ads can be used as a form of general advertising as well as remarketing to target customers who have previously visited your site. Learn more about Display Advertising.


Embedded Media: Digital media which is used in a different location to where it was originally posted. For example, a video which was originally posted on YouTube which has been placed on a content page will be Embedded. To add Embedded Media to a site you use a simple code which is provided by YouTube and you add it onto the back-end of your content page.

Emoji: These are small ideograms and smileys also known as emoticons which are sent through messages and comments to others. Emoji’s come in many different genres including facial expressions, types of weather and animals.

Engagement: Social Media Engagement is not related to a marriage proposal but encouraging people to interact with your posts. Engagement includes people clicking on articles, liking your post or commenting on a photo which you have shared.

Extended Circles: A Google+ term, Extended Circles are the people in your circles and their circles. When posting on Google+ you can choose whether to share it to your circles or Extended Circles, if you choose extended circles then your post will appear on their home page.


Facebook: Facebook is a social networking site which is used to connect people with family, friends, colleagues and businesses. Users are able to share, comment and like posts on this site and also message each other. Learn about how Facebook can help your business.

Facebook Fans: The people who like your Facebook page. By becoming a Facebook Fan, users will see your page posts on their News Feed so that they can keep up to date with your brand.

Facebook Like: Originally a Facebook Like consisted of a click on the thumbs up icon to show that you liked or agreed with a post. A recent update has extended the Facebook Like to a choice of emoticons including Like, Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.

Facebook Page: On Facebook you have the opportunity to create a Facebook Page, this is different to your personal profile as you can make a Facebook Page public. Facebook Pages can be created for a whole range of reasons including companies of all sizes, trends, pug appreciation posts and much more. Many companies use a Facebook Page to publicise their brand and share relevant and informative content to their Facebook Fans.

Facebook Reach: How many people who have seen your content from your Facebook Page. Facebook Reach can be put into four categories: Total reach, Post reach, Organic reach and Paid reach.

  • Total reach – the number of people who has seen any content on your Facebook page over the last 7 days
  • Post reach – the number of people who have seen a particular Facebook page post in their news feed
  • Organic reach – the number of people who have seen your content without you having to pay for it
  • Paid reach – the number of people who saw your post through promoted posts or display ads

Follower: A Twitter user who has subscribed to your Twitter account so they can see your tweets in their Newsfeed.

Following: Twitter users which you are Following

Friend: A Facebook connection. Not like a fan or a follower, to be a Facebook Friend with another user requires the two users accepting the request. See Friend Request below.

Friend Request: An act which is carried out on Facebook. If you notice that your friend is on Facebook and you are not connected then you can send them a Friend Request. Once connected you are then able to comment on their posts, tag them in posts and message them directly.


Geofilter: Snapchat filters which can be used when the location setting is switched on. These filters appear over your Snapchat image or video to show where you are. Geofilters are also used by brands to promote their products, for example Nike recently used a Geofilter to promote Air Max Day.

Geolocation and Geotagging: Using the location setting on smartphones you are able to tag yourself at a location through Social Media. Geotagging can be used on images, videos or message across many Social Media platforms.

GIF: A visual tool where you can use static images or a short video to create a short animated visual. GIF’s are often used for funny or viral purposes but can also be used for corporate purposes to show a much more appealing visual. See our Meet the Team Personal Profile Pages where we use GIFs for our profile photos.

Google+: An online Social Media platform owned by Google. Google+ hones in on peoples interests allowing them to join Communities and Circles and share relevant content among each other. Learn about how Google+ can help your business.


Hashtag: Hashtags or # are used all over social media especially on Twitter, where they sort of originated and also on Instagram, Facebook and Google+. Hashtags are used to tag a topic to make it easy for people to come across your post or to join an online conversation or trend.

Home: The Home page of your social media account is usually your Newsfeed page. Your Home page will constantly be updated with recent posts, images, shares and videos from people and pages which you follow.

Hootsuite: A tool used to manage multiple social media accounts. Hootsuite can be used to schedule and publish posts across social media platforms.


Impressions: The number of times a promoted post, advert or sponsored update is shown.

InMail: A private message which you can send to a user on LinkedIn. What makes InMail different to the typical message is that you can InMail people who you aren’t connected with whereas the usual message requires you to be connected to a user to message them.

Instagram: A visual content sharing platform. Instagram is an app which people use to share images of their day to day lives, most notably food and selfies. Instagram is also a simple photo editing app, people are able to add filters to their images to enhance them and then share with their friends. To increase your likes or followers on Instagram, people often caption their images with Hashtags to make it easier for their images to be found. Learn about how Instagram can help your business.

Interactive Content: Articles, images, videos or statuses which are posted online that encourage customers to engage. Engagement can including commenting, sharing with friends or liking the post.


Like: If somebody sees a post on your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for example which they agree with or would like to congratulate you then they can click on the Thumbs Up symbol or Heart symbol to like the post.

LinkedIn: LinkedIn is used widely by businesses and business professionals. Used primarily to show off your skills, on LinkedIn you can create a professional personal profile including your previous jobs, work experience, training and awards, recommendations and references alongside a company profile. Learn about how LinkedIn can help your business.

Links: A link is where somebody has shared your content with others through placing your URL on their site. For example, if a well-known food magazine included your URL on one of their blog posts, by clicking on the link it would lead back to your site.

Live Tweet: Although most tweets are technically live, to ‘live tweet’ refers to you tweeting about something which is currently happening such as an event or a TV programme.


Mention: When somebody tags your user name in a post, tweet or image on social media. Customers may mention you in a tweet to get your attention regarding a customer enquiry or complaint.

Messenger: A Facebook app that allows users to instantly message each other directly. Facebook Messenger can be used through the Facebook app or on its own app if downloaded. Through messenger you can message individuals, use group messages and share links, photos and videos.

Moments: A page on Twitter where you can see what is happening in the world. You can choose between popular stories of the day, news, sports, entertainment and fun. This is an easy way to stay update with the latest stories.


Newsfeed: The Newsfeed is usually the homepage of social media platforms. Newsfeeds are regularly updated with posts and tweets from your online connections. A Newsfeed allows you to keep updated with what is happening online and is a quick and easy way to catch up with what you’ve missed since your last log in.

Notification: A message which you receive to say that there has been activity on your account such as being mentioned in a post or tagged in a photo.


Ow.ly: A URL shortener which is used to condense a regular URL. Often used on Twitter, using Ow.ly uses less characters allowing you to write more in the limited space provided by each tweet. Ow.ly can be used on all social media platforms.


Pexels: Pexels is an image site filled with the best range of free stock photos. These high quality images do not require author attribution making this the ideal site for marketers everywhere. Please double check when downloading images from any site because a lack of attribution where necessary may result in a hefty fine. Learn more about Using Images from the Internet Legally.

Pinned Tweet: Tweets can be pinned to the top of a Twitter users profile page. You may choose to pin a tweet to your page if you have a sale on or an important announcement. This a free way to promote a tweet.

Pins: Posts or images shared on Pinterest are known as Pins. A Pin usually contains an image with a caption and can also include a link which may link to a product page or the full article post. When a user saves your pin, the pin is then Repinned to their board.

Pinboard: Users create Pinboards which have a focus such a ‘Bedroom Design’, from creating this Pinboard the user can then use the search bar to look for bedroom designs which they like, when they find something they like, they can then pin it to their Pinboard.

Pinterest: Pinterest is a virtual pin board for users to pin, like, share and follow images which appeal to them. Learn about how Pinterest can help your business.

Post: A Facebook status update which is shared. Content which is shared on a blog or a forum is also known as a Post.

Promoted Accounts: A paid form of Twitter Advertising, you may choose to promote your account to increase your following. Promoted Accounts are shown on profile pages and the Home Newsfeed.

Promoted Trends: Another form of Twitter Advertising, for big companies promoting a trend is a great way to increase customer interaction, whether this is time sensitive or event sensitive. Promoted Trends will appear at the top of the Trends Hashtags on the home Newsfeed.

Promoted Tweets: Tweets which are paid for and appear throughout the Home Newsfeed on Twitter. These ads are targeted to specific customers and appear in the same form as regular tweets except they have a Promoted marker at the top.


Quote Tweet: If a customer has tweeted you a compliment which you’d like to retweet to your following, choosing to Quote Tweet enables you to comment on the customer tweet, for example you may choose to thank them for their comments. Quote Tweets are a great way to personalise a retweet and show your brand personality.


Regram: Sharing another users Instagram post. Regramming allows you to give the original user credit for their image or video.

Relevant Content: Relevant Content is content which is written that is informative to people. You don’t want to be wasting time writing articles and blog posts that no one wants to read so making sure its relevant to your audience is vital.

Retargeting: An advertising technique which allows you to only target people who have already visited your site before.

Retweet/RT: A Tweet from a Twitter user which is shared by another Twitter user is known as a Retweet. Companies often create competition tweets which asks users to Retweet for a chance to win. This tactic increases brand awareness and customer engagement.


Scheduling: Scheduling allows companies to schedule social media posts to post automatically on set days and times. Scheduling using sites such as Hootsuite enables companies to manage their time more effectively and plan ahead.

Search Engine: Google, Bing, Yahoo and AOL are all search engines. A site designed for people to use to search for topics. Increasing your ranking and position on search engines will increase the chance of people find your site and content, products and/or services.

Search Engine Optimisation/SEO: SEO is a marketing practice which when implemented correctly increases your visibility on organic Search Engines.

Share: When a social media update is reposted by another user it is known as a Share.

Snapchat: Snapchat is a video and photo messaging app used globally. Users can use this app to share their day to day lives with their friends and family through sending photos or up to 10 second long videos. Users are able to send snapchats directly to people or share them on their stories which all of their friends can then watch as many times within a 24 hour period. Learn about how Snapchat can help your business.

Social Media: An online communication platform where people share information, pictures, video and can talk to each other.

Social Output: What you are posting on your social media sites. An image, video or blog posts are your socials outputs.


Tag: A keyword which is added to a social media posts. Users use Tags or Hashtags to enable their posts to be found by other users.

Thread: A strand of messages between users on a social media platform. Threads allow users to keep track of multiple conversations such a customer enquiries.

Traffic: The amount of people visiting your site. Traffic can be analysed using your Social Media Analytics through clicks.

Trend/Trending: When a particular topic, Tag or Hashtag is popular at any given moment. Trends are constantly being updated. Trends usually begin with a news story which is popular, a situation which is currently happening or an announcement such as ‘Glastonbury Line Up’.

Tweet: A user update which is shared across Twitter is known as a Tweet.

Twitter: Twitter is a social media platform which primary selling point is its 140 character limit. It allows users to quickly scroll through their twitter feed and instantly get a gist of what each tweet is about. Learn about how Twitter can help your business.


Unfollow: When a user unsubscribes from another users account. If you Unfollow an account, you will no longer see that users updates or posts on your Newsfeed.

Unfriend: To remove a friend from your social media contact list. Unfriending a user will stop them from being able to post on your wall, tag your in updates and comments and stop them from seeing your personal updates.

URL: A link from a website is known as a URL


Verified: A social media account which has been Verified is known to be authentic. Verified accounts are held by large companies, brands and public figures. If an account have been verified then you know that the account is not a fake or a fraud.


YouTube: YouTube is a free video sharing social platform used by millions of us every month. YouTube allows users to upload videos on any topic to the site and share globally. Learn about how YouTube can help your business.


Zelst: At Zelst we provide an unrivalled Social Media Marketing service. We won’t jump right in and assume we know your customer without doing our research. We like to learn about your company, your customers – current and potential and your goals, from this we can then tailor a unique social media strategy for your business. Learn more about our Social Media Marketing service.

If you are not currently using social media within your marketing campaign and would like to know more information about the benefits of using social media platforms then don’t hesitate to Contact Zelst directly where we will be more than willing to help you to come up with a successful social media strategy for your business.