If you’re using social media (or if you’re not, you better start ASAP!) to advertise your business, connect with customers, or grow your client base, then you definitely need to add these 26 social media definitions to your marketing dictionary.



An algorithm is a sequence of instructions that a computer may use to complete a task. On social media, an algorithm is a social platform’s set of rules to determine how and when users see certain content on their feed. While exact instructions for different platforms are pretty private, the algorithms are usually based on interactions, interests, and relationships with other users. 


Boosted Post

A boosted post content that is published to a social media platform that has been promoted to users outside of the poster’s following. Since boosting a post is a form of advertising, the publisher typically has to pay to boost their content. 



A social media practice with a generally negative effect, clickbait is web content that uses misleading, embellished, or deceptive headlines to get readers to click a link to view the full story. The goal of clickbait is to generate more page views to increase advertising revenue on a site. Luckily, many social platforms have algorithms that are instructed to hide clickbait posts, so this is a tactic to avoid.


Direct Message (DM)

A direct message, also known as a DM, is a private chat or message sent through social media. This is a great way to privately interact with customers or followers one-on-one.



You can embed content from social media into a webpage or blog post. By properly embedding content into a page, the content (typically an image, video, or GIF) fits nicely into the text or components included on a page rather than standing out; plus, correctly embedded content will easily link to the origin.



A user’s feed is like a live bulletin or list of new content on a social media platform. This is where a social media platform’s algorithm really comes into play to provide the most interesting and relevant content to a user.



GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format, but you’ll likely never hear anyone call it by its full name. GIFs are looped, animated images without words or sound and have become wildly popularized on social media over the past few years.



A hashtag is a word or short phrase after the “#” sign - historically known as a “pound sign” or its technical term “octothorp”. Posts or images can be tagged using a hashtag to be linked to a list of searchable and trending topics, like #MondayMotivation or #COVID19.  



An influencer is a person that uses their high social media audience or following to promote a trend, company, or product. Influencers are often compensated for posting on behalf of a product or company are serve as a great way to organically reach a greater audience.



One of the most used digital image formats, JPEG is a compressed image file. Most social media platforms accept this format when posting.


Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

A key performance indicator, also known as a KPI, is a goal to be tracked in order to measure things like audience reach, return on investment, and interaction rates. Each business will likely have different KPIs depending on their industry goals.



A “like” is a way for users to engage with posts on different social media platforms. With one click, users can react to content, images, videos, or any other published media. The number of “likes” received is a good KPI metric to track as well.



To mute a person or business on social media allows you to filter their published content out of your feed without having to unfollow, unfriend, or block them. You’re still able interact with them by clicking directly into their profile or sending them a direct message, but you will not see their posts on your feed.



Newsjacking is the practice of tagging a trending topic or story in your post in order to connect with the audience that is following that trend at the moment. The best way to do this is to use hashtags so that users following the trend can see your post in the newsfeed.


Organic Reach

The number of users that view or interact with a post without paying to boost or promote it is known as the organic reach. Users see posts organically on their feed from accounts or other users that they already follow, like, or have been shared by mutual users. 



A platform is just an easy way to signify any social networking website or app, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn. However, there may be separate platforms within a network; for example, you may see the feed on LinkedIn to see posts and published content as one platform and LinkedIn’s job searching and posting tool as another platform.



A query is a question addressed to a verified organization or business. On social media, queries are often posted publicly to a company’s newsfeed or by tagging a business account.



Anytime a user shares another user’s original content on social media, it is called a repost. Reposts have different names on different platforms: Instagram = regram, Twitter = retweet, and Pinterest = repin.


Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, more popularly known as SEO, includes using specific keywords to increase the searchability of a webpage. Using SEO keywords is a free strategy to increase click and visit rates. If you’re publishing a website or are lacking in visits, doing more research into SEO strategies is a great place to start.



Something that is trending on social media is just a topic, movement, or breaking news that is popular on social media at a certain time. Social media trends usually don’t last more than a few days and can be tracked or followed by using hashtags. Topics that are trending can vary based on category (i.e. politics, fashion, celebrities, etc.) and location.



To unfollow someone on social media is to remove them from your direct network. 



A combination of “video” and “blogging”, vlogging is content that is published via video blog. Vlogs are popular on YouTube and there are countless topics of vlogs out there.



A webinar is an online class, training, or presentation with the goal of teaching or educating users on how to use a product or service. Webinars can be interactive, meaning the presenter and viewers interact directly via chat or video conferencing, or they can be one-sided like a video presentation in which the viewers do not interact with the presenter.


And that’s the X, Y, and Z of social media. Whether you’re new to social media as an advertising platform or just want to increase your knowledge of the ever-evolving networks, having a full understanding of these terms is a great place to start! Next time you’re on social media, try to find and point out these terms to see how they’re used in the real world. 


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