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Social Media Marketing Glossary

Updated: Oct 30, 2019


Social media is rife with acronyms, jargon and phrases. We've rounded up all the social media marketing terms you always wanted to know but were too nervous to ask!


Read on or download it for future reference.

Flummoxed by social media terminology? Read on to demystify all the most important social media terms.

A/B Test - A/B testing is used to consider how small differences in a marketing campaign might influence customer behaviour. This might be the title of a newsletter or email, the text for a banner advert, the text on a call-to-action button or the layout of a web page. The idea is to run two variations of the campaign with a controlled group of customers to see which version is the most successful.

Bitly - Bitly is a free URL shortening service that provides statistics for the links users share online. Bitly is popularly used to condense long URLs to make them easier to share on social networks such as Twitter.

Canva - Canva is an easy-to-use design tool for non-designers and designers alike. The tool offers several templates that adhere to the required dimensions for sharable social images on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc.

Call to Action (CTA) - A phrase written to motivate the reader to take action such as signing up for a newsletter, purchasing something or downloading something. On websites they are typically styled differently from the other text on a page so that they stand out even more.

Click-through Rate (CTR) - The total clicks on a link divided by the number of times that ad link has been shown, expressed as a percentage.

Community Management - Community management is the building and monitoring of online communities generated from your brand’s social media, blogs etc

Conversion - Completing an action that a brand wants a user to take, often resulting in revenue in some way. See also: Call to Action (CTA)

Conversion Funnel - A defined path that visitors would take to reach a brand’s ultimate objective.

Conversion Rate - The number of conversions divided by the number of visitors, expressed as a percentage.

Cost per acquisition (CPA) - Refers to the cost of acquiring a new consumers. The advertiser pays only when a desired action is achieved (sometimes called a Cost per Lead or CPL)

Cost per Click (CPC) - The amount an advertiser pays when a link is clicked on.

Cost per Lead (CPL) - The cost an advertiser pays for an interested person’s contact details, using a lead ad on Facebook or LinkedIn. These kinds of ads prepopulate a user’s details to add them to their database, receive a discount coupon etc.

Cost per mille (CPM) - Amount paid for every 1 000 impressions served of an advertisement.

Demographics - Statistical information about a particular population, such as age, gender, language or location

Facebook - Facebook is a social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The site connects 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.

Geotag - A geotag is the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. For example, Instagram users often use geotagging to highlight the location in which their photo was taken.

Handle - Handle is the term used to describe someone's @username on Twitter. For example, D.O. Digital’s handle is: @do_academy

Hashtag - A hashtag is a label used on social media to demonstrate what a piece of content is about. It enables content to be searched and discovered more easily.

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

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) - The metrics which are examined to determine the success of a campaign.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site mainly used for professional networking, demonstrating thought leadership and business to business (B2B) marketing.

Meme - A meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept that's widely shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form.

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

News Feed - A news feed is literally a feed full of news. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users' accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.

Online Reputation Management (ORM) - Understanding and influencing the perception of an entity online.

Pay per click (PPC) - Pay per click advertising is advertising where the advertiser pays only for each click on their advert, not for the opportunity for it to be seen or displayed.

Recommendation - A recommendation on LinkedIn is a term used to describe a written note from another LinkedIn member that aims to reinforce the user's professional credibility or expertise.

Remarketing - Remarketing is an online marketing and advertising technique that allows marketers to display ads to people who have visited their website or are part of their contacts database.

Responsive Design - Websites which fluidly respond to a user’s device or screen resolution (e.g. phone, tablet or desktop).

Return on Investment (ROI) - The ratio of cost to profit.

Sentiment - The emotion attached to a particular mention which is positive, negative or neutral.

SMART Objectives - A marketing objective that is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time bound.

Social Commerce - Subset of eCommerce which involves social media.

Strategy - A set of ideas which outline how a product or brand will be positioned and achieve its objectives. This guides decisions on how to create, distribute, promote and price the product or service.

Trackable Link - A trackable link is a URL e.g. www.dodigital.academy which is shortened using a link shortening service such as bitl.y to create a link that looks like this: https://bit.ly/2zp91eW It not only shortens long URL’s but it also gives the creator basic analytics in terms of how many people clicked that link

Trend - To trend on social media means your content experiences a spike in popularity on a social media channel.

Twitter - Twitter is a real-time social network that allows users to share 140-character updates with their following. Users can favorite and retweet the posts of other users, as well as engage in conversations using @ mentions, replies, and hashtags for categorizing their content.

User-Generated Content (UGC) - User-generated content is content (blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc) that is created by consumers. Marketers typically tap into their audience in an online setting to collect this type of content to support a campaign or initiative.

Urchin Tracking Module (UTM) - A UTM code is a simple code that you can attach to a custom URL in order to track a source, medium, and campaign name. This enables Google Analytics to tell you where searchers came from as well as what campaign directed them to you. You can create UTM links with Google’s Campaign URL Builder.

Viral - When a piece of content is shared in very large numbers it is considered to be viral. There is no exact number of shares that constitutes something having gone viral, it is simply exponentially larger than usual.


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