Digital Marketing Terms Series - Social Media Marketing Terms

Digital Marketing Terms Series - Social Media Marketing Terms

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This is the second in a series of Internet marketing term blog posts that we’ll be posting over the next few weeks to help clients understand the marketing terms that are used for each aspect of digital marketing. Today, we’re focusing on social media marketing terms.

Social Media Marketing Terms

Business Manager – A Facebook platform that lets digital marketers control multiple Facebook pages (and ad accounts) from a single location.

Cover image – The full-width picture that’s custom-made and personalized by each user for their social media account, always located at or near the top of the page.

EdgeRank – The algorithm used by Facebook to rank groups, business/brand pages, celebrity/influencer pages or individual accounts to dictate which posts from those accounts are going to show up in the Newsfeed posts. The higher the EdgeRank, the higher the probability of that post showing up in the Newsfeeds of followers. Initially, this algorithm was mainly affected and controlled by the level of engagement (likes, shares, etc.) that accounts get from their posts, but has since been updated to include other elements. Facebook does not publicly reveal this data. It also doesn’t use the term “EdgeRank” internally.

Facebook Ads Manager – A comprehensive tool for creating Facebook ads, controlling when and where those ads will be shown, and tracking how well social media ad campaigns are doing on Facebook, Instagram or their Audience Network.

Facebook Advertising – Facebook lets advertisers reach Facebook users through their ad network. An assortment of ad types can be created to meet various business objectives set by companies. Facebook advertising is different from standard advertising in that audiences are established based on an expansive amount demographic information that Facebook has about its users. This is unlike, for example, Google advertising, which simply uses keywords.

Facebook Business Page – A public webpage on Facebook designated to a company/brand/entity. Users with business pages have access to Facebook Ads Manager. These pages also enable businesses to interact with users and vice versa (i.e. posted content such as photos or updates, page & comment likes, and message responses/comments).

Facebook Retargeting – Although this term can be applied to various types of retargeting, it’s most commonly defined as serving Facebook ads to previous website visitors whenever they're on Facebook. This is done by using a tracking pixel on a website. Other ways include serving Facebook ads to an uploaded customer list, Facebook/Instagram page followers, or engagers of your previously served Facebook ads. (Using these retargeting capabilities is the best way to make a real return on ad spend in Facebook.)

Follower – A person who follows a social media account to see that account’s updates/posts on social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, etc.

Following – Usually means a “social following”. The group of people/followers who have chosen to receive updates from a brand/business/entity or person across one or multiple social media sites.

Google+ – Google’s own social media site, which has been used to differing degrees of success by Google, and continues to receive updates that modify its functionality in various ways. Google+ can be used for business pages as well (Google My Business), which can highlight information, company events, updates, and so on.

Handle – A username on a social media account such as Instagram or Twitter; can also refer to a username used in chat rooms and/or web forums. (NOTE: On Twitter, there is an at sign – “@” – directly before someone’s username.)

Hashtag – Originally known as the ‘pound sign’, this symbol (#) is routinely used on social media sites (mainly Twitter and Instagram, but also on all major social media sites except for LinkedIn) as a way to assemble and catalog tweets and/or pictures by category or phrase in order to allow users to find them more easily. This symbol can be used on social media for both broad topics and specific, niche topics. The ‘#’ symbol is placed directly before the text. A popular Instagram example of this is #TBT (Throwback Thursday), where people post old photos of themselves form the past or reference things from popular culture (shows, movies, trends, etc.). Popular Twitter examples of this are when TV shows are being tweeted about in real time (also known as “live tweeting”), such as #TheWalkingDead.

Influencer – An individual, often in the press or on social media, who has a significant social media following (usually on YouTube, Instagram and/or Twitter) and an uncommonly strong impact on the opinions of other people.

Influencer Marketing – Set up very much like celebrity endorsements; Whether it’s an influencer or content creator who has created their audience, or an influencer or content creator who is regarded as a thought leader in their community, brands and marketers will often contact and collaborate with influencers and content creators to gain access to and better insight into particular communities (think gaming, technology, cooking, fashion/beauty, etc.). For example, many makeup and beauty brands sponsor or partner with beauty vloggers and makeup artist online to create video content for their subscribers.

Instagram – A social network for users to share with their followers any images they’ve created and/or photos (and sometimes videos) they’ve taken. Users are given a selection of filters they can use on their images before posting them.

Like – Mainly used on Facebook, but also used on other social media websites. People can “like” (or “heart”, or “thumbs up”) a post (and they can “unlike” that post [taking their like away], but they can’t “dislike” or “thumbs down” a post). “Likes” are a significant measure of social media participation/interaction for brands, publishers and marketers. The types of posts a user “likes” can also determine which types of content (including ads) will be shown to them on a social media site as they continue to use it.

LinkedIn – A social networking site tailored around connecting professionals to job positions, businesses, fellow professionals, and even thought leaders within their industry. LinkedIn is also a valid and reputable platform for job postings, as well as sharing marketing and other professional content for various industries for job searching and interview purposes.

Lookalike Audience – A targeting option that Facebook’s ad service offers. This audience is derived from a source audience (i.e. Facebook page fans/followers, or an email subscriber list), and from there Facebook will select recurring traits among audience members. Facebook will then direct ads at users showing similar interests and/or qualities.

Mention – Also known as “social mentions”, this typically refers to when a brand is mentioned on a social media site. These can be replies to or comments on a brand’s social media site post, general comments simply mentioning a brand, or just retweets/shares, likes, and other types of social media engagement.

Social Media Campaign – A sequence of planned social media posts that share a theme and promote a product or service.

Social Commerce – Selling tangible merchandise on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. (In the same way that “electronic commerce” was shortened to “e-commerce”, social commerce is occasionally shortened to “s-commerce”, or “f-commerce,” which is short for “Facebook commerce.”)

Social Media – A blanket term that often refers to the countless blogs, bookmarking sites, networking sites and other websites that allow visitors/users to communicate with each other (and, sometimes, the ability to communicate with the website owner as well). A category of online media where mainly users are actively submitting/uploading/publishing most of the information. Various types of social media exist including older, standard, accepted formats like forums and blogs, and more recent formats such as Wikis, podcasts, Social Networking sites, image sharing and video sharing sites, and virtual reality.

Social Media Marketing (SMM) – A digital marketing mix that uses various social networking website methods in order to advertise a product or service. Social media marketing blends the usual digital advertising components that are originally from social networks with the formation of “shareworthy” content (e.g. an article/blog post or video) that social media users are likely to advertise through their personal accounts. This is a highly successful, effective plan for businesses who want drive their brand awareness with purposefully sought out demographics.

(Social Media) Tags – Words or phrases used to label and sort individual blog posts, pictures, videos and other files or content; often based on keywords within the content. Using tags correctly not only organizes content for regular users so it can be found again easily, but it can help draw attention through SEO and social media optimization. Tags can be incredibly broad as well as incredibly specific.

Social Networking – A category of Social Media, social networking sites let users communicate with one another and create or edit content on the website. These websites, which businesses started using for digital marketing purposes, allow users to create their own webpages/online spheres within a platform (e.g. LinkedIn and Facebook), share photographs (e.g. Instagram or Flickr), send small bits of information/text (sometimes called “microblogging”) to their personal community/followers (e.g. Twitter), or social bookmarking/social news sites where users can suggest to others where to find information on the Internet (e.g. Digg and There are also an increasing number of websites, like Foursquare, that are mainly dependent on mobile and geographic locations.

Social Proof – also called informational social influence, this term refers to people (or, in your business’ case, prospective customers) believing that the actions of other people are right, based on the frequency that these actions are occurring; For digital marketing purposes, this proof exists as social engagement numbers/statistics including subscribers/followers/fans, tweets, retweets, likes, and other social shares.

Thread – A series of messages between 2 or more individuals. Might refer to a Twitter thread, a forum thread, or a comment thread on a social media post.

Trending – When a piece of digital content (e.g. a tweet or a video) “goes viral” and is shared far and wide and extensively discussed; can also refer to several social media posts about the same topic, which often include current news and/or entertainment topics (e.g. political events, emergencies/natural disasters, weekly TV shows, awards shows, other special events, etc.).

Twitter Advertising – Gives digital marketers the ability to advertise tweets on users’ feeds without those users needing to follow that brand in order for those ads to appear on their Twitter feed. These ads can be used to increase brand awareness, acquire more followers, broaden the brand’s social media reach, and/or reach out to potential customers concerning a product or service.

Twitter Retargeting – Twitter Tailored Audiences are used to construct retargeting campaigns that can present ads to individuals who have connected with or used your brand in the past. There are three ways to utilize Tailored Audiences, which includes lists, site retargeting using the Twitter tag, and interactions through a mobile app.

Video Marketing – A digital marketing strategy that uses online video consumption to a marketer’s and/or brand’s advantage by promoting that brand, their product or service. As mobile technology continues to progress significantly and video publication online becomes more and more commonplace, video marketing strategies have expanded their use to many digital marketing areas. This means that now, advertisers can utilize video as a viral marketing strategy, as a business communication strategy, as a method to strengthen thought leadership in a particular field of business, or for live streaming events. Video marketing is currently used via YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and sometimes Pinterest.

Weibo – This term signifies microblogging in the Chinese digital market. While Twitter is currently the only major microblogging site for the rest of the world, China has two main weibo platforms competing against one another: Sina Weibo (#1) and Tencent Weibo (#2). Because each individual Mandarin character can relay a vast amount of information, one weibo post (tweet) containing 140 characters can relay as much information as two paragraphs in other languages, including English. This gives these weibo sites a significant advantage over Twitter.

Word cloud / tag cloud – A visual representation of various words/phrases or tags, where the most frequently used words or tags are in the largest type, while the least used words or tags are in the smallest type. Typically used for social media posts or blog posts

YouTube advertising YouTube offers 6 distinct advertising options: Skppable video ads, non-skippable video ads, display ads, overlay ads, bumper ads, and sponsored cards. All ad options can be constructed and run through the Google AdWords platform.

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