This post covers over 75+ social media definitions and glossary terms for entrepreneurs.
I am breaking it down from the basics to advanced so you’re covered on all angles. I’ve also included social media platform specific terms (like Instagram Reels) at the bottom for Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok.
Understanding how social media works in the first place is the key piece to creating a social media strategy for your business! If you don’t understand why engagement matters, for example, you won’t participate in it fully.
The social media world changes so fast, and it can be tricky to keep up with all the new terms, so I will try to keep this post updated as often as possible!
If you’re a veteran on social or new to social media, keep this list handy and bookmark it.
Here’s the ultimate social media glossary:
Algorithm: A computer-generated set or process of rules to be followed in calculations. For social media terms, a set of content to deliver to a user based on interests, activity and interactions.
Analytics: Metrics and data that track your posts and social media performance on platforms. Analytics can be collected from each individual social platform or monitored by a third party you authorize (such as a scheduling platform).
Avatar: A computer-generated digital image of your profile picture using a software called bitmoji.
Block: Not allowing a user to contact, follow, or see your content.
Boosted post: A type of advertisement where you can pay to show your post to other users who are not following you.
Call to action: A phrase, question or instruction to encourage a reader to take action with a click, follow or register. Used to entice urgency and increase engagement.
Caption: The writing, headline, or copy you create for a post.
Clickbait: Using a catchy, misleading or sensationalized headline to get a reader to click to a story, which is then a disappointing read. Not considered a best practice.
Click-through rate (CTR): The number of clicks divided by total impressions. A measurement of how many people clicked through on a link you provided, such as Read More, Buy or Visit.
Comment: A message that someone else refers to directly on a post. A form of engagement.
Community manager: A social media professional who manages comments, posts, relationships, nurtures and acts on behalf of a person or community. Most commonly used to represent a brand.
Content: Anything that is published or produced for the online world that is directed towards an end-user. This could be a blog, podcast, e-mail or social media post.
Conversion: A conversion occurs when a user takes an action on your post or website. An example would be signing up for your e-mail list, downloading a lead magnet or making a purchase.
Conversion rate: A percentage of users who saw a post or ad who took a specified action based on the post. Can be measured as a metric for social media.
Cost per click (CPC): In an ad campaign, a metric for how much each click a user takes costs the brand. A low CPC means more traffic at a lower price, and high CPC means paying for a lot of traffic.
DM: A private message between you and another user not seen publicly on a social media platform.
Emoji: Cartoon images that be used to express an emotion or image. 😀
Engagement: Any form of interaction with a brand through likes, comments, saves, shares and follows.
Engagement rate: The metric of how many users interacted with social media content. It is calculated as (the number of people who engaged with your post / the number of people who saw your post) x 100%.
Evergreen: Content that be produced over and over again at any time of year and maintains its value over time. It is designed to be used long-term and bring traffic to a post or website for years.
Feed: The stream of content that you subscribe to and see from other users on your social media account. This is controlled by an algorithm.
Followers: Accounts or users that have subscribed or “followed” your account or content on social media. They will continue to see your content in their feed.
Graphics Interchange Format (GIF): A file format that displays animated images and static images.
Handle: Another word for your username on social media with a @ in front. A personalized URL for your account.
Hashtag: Defined by the # symbol, a way of connecting your posts on social media on the same subject or trending topic. Clicking on a hashtag in a search reveals all posts that include that tag. They act like a keyword for social media posts.
Impressions: A metric that counts how many times an ad or post is displayed on a social network users feeds, even more than once.
Keyword: A specific word or set of words to make a phrase to connect a topic to a post.
Like: An action made on social media to show that you or someone likes a piece of content or post.
Link in bio: Some social media platforms such as Instagram don’t allow direct links within posts for a user to click on, therefore “link in bio” refers to the URL link the account owner placed in the profile account that users can click on.
Live: Available on most social media platforms, going “Live” means you are live-streaming what’s going on in your real life.
Location: A specific way to tag a social media post to let others know where you are or where a photo was taken. Also known as a check-in.
Metric: A measurement or statistic that monitors the performance of posts, ads, or overall social media account. It is used to determine if a strategy is working.
Pay per click (PPC): The type of advertising where a brand pays each time a user clicks on an ad. The amount that is paid for each click in a PPC campaign is the cost per click CPC.
Post: Content that is published to social media from a specific account.
Profile/Bio/Page: Your individual or business account that viewers land on when they find your business on social media. Your profile is your information that you upload to the platform and may include your photo, description, location, contact info etc.
Reach: A metric that tells you how many users have seen your post.
Save: A type of engagement that a user can take on your post to save your content that they can refer to for future use.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The practice of increasing organic reach and visibility of a webpage or social media account through the search ranking results of a page.
Share: Re-posting a post another person or business made to your social media page.
Social media ROI: Social media return on investment is the measurement of how much a brand gets out of the time, money and effort put into a social media strategy. The formula is defined as (profit gained from social media – cost of social media) / cost of social media x 100.
Sponsored posts: Social media posts are advertisements where an influencer or celebrity highlights a brand or product that they have been paid to promote.
Stories: A type of video content that disappears after 24 hours on Instagram, Snapchat or Facebook.
Tag: Linking a social media account to a post. Also a shortened form of “hashtag”.
Unfollow: The action to unsubscribe from a social media account so it no longer appears in a users home feed.
Uniform Resource Locator (URL): The address of a website or other link on the Internet. This can also be referred to as your link in bio.
User-generated content (UGC): Fan created content promoting a brand or product that a brand can choose to promote or share on their social media. Brands can asks their fans to participate in a challenge, hashtag or contest,and ask permission to use that fans content for their own.
Vanity metric: An analytics term that can be measured as a positive indicator of performance but is not a significant return on investment. This includes likes, impressions or followers.
Verified: A term that you have proven your identity to the social media platform provider and gained a verified label in return in the form of a checkmark next to your handle. This is used for celebrities, brands, influencers or other public figures as a way of protecting fraud from the person or brand.
Viral: The term “to go viral” is the statement that a post or account have brought in a larger number of views, media, or engagement in a short time frame. The term viral is like a virus going across the internet.
Ads Manager: Facebook’s tool to run and create ads. It can manage ads on both FB and Instagram.
Business Manager: A tool of Facebook’s that allows you to manage an organization’s Page and account. It also shows your ad information, users and other admins.
Event: A listing that shares a private or public event you host. You can make it in-person or virtual.
Fan: Someone who likes your Facebook Page. Also known as a follower.
Friend: Someone that you connect with and agree to see each other’s content on Facebook.
Groups: A community you join that might be related to your city, neighbourhood, business type or hobby/interest where you can chat with fellow members interested in the same things.
Marketplace: Facebook’s exclusive classified listings you can post for sale or buy. You can also join Marketplace groups within your community or product type where people promote their items for sale.
Reaction: An extension of the Like button to express other emotions such as Love, Haha, Wow, Sad and Angry.
Guides: Allows users to create a curated flow of posts from places, products or posts with Instagram.
IGTV: A video service specific to Instagram that allows videos to be uploading up to 15 minutes.
Insights: Instagram’s internal platform for measuring your account’s analytics and metrics.
Reels: Short video clips up to 30 seconds that be added with music, filters, text and transitions. Reels can also be compared to TikTok videos.
Sticker: Graphic elements that can be added to image and video stories within the app. They can be clickable, animated and add personality to your content.
Article: A long-form post similar to a blog that you can share from your account.
Connection: The equivalent of a Facebook friend is a “Connection” on LinkedIn.
Endorsements: Allows your connections to endorse you for specific skills and abilities for others to see on your profile.
Recommendation: A review or testimonial from a connection of you that shows up directly on your profile.
Board: A specific type of categorized content that you create as a showcase for Pins to live on a Board.
Description: A paragraph or phrase that tells the user what the Pin or Board is all about and can expect to read.
Fresh Pin: An image or video that hasn’t been seen before on Pinterest. You can create several Pin images to the same URL link, and each of those Pins would be fresh when saved to Pinterest for the first time.
Pins: The name of a post on Pinterest. A Pin is made of a picture and description and links to a URL.
Re-Pin: To save another user’s Pin to one of your own Pinterest boards.
Duet: A user can take another user’s video and add to it or reacting to the original video.
FYP (For You Page): TikTok’s version of the home page or feed. It is curated content based on your interests and follows. The algorithm send users content from people you follow or other content you might be interested in or related to. Also used as a hashtag used to promote your content higher on other users “Your Page” feed.
Mention: To refer or tag other user accounts by using the @ symbol followed by the username.
Thread: A string of messages of users Tweeting back and forth to each other publicly.
Trending: Topics or hashtags that are becoming popular by users posting about it on the platform. The Trending page is where you can find this information.
Tweet: Twitter’s definition of a post, with a maximum of 280 characters.
Retweet: Re-sharing another user’s Tweet, or post, to your account.