Social Media Glossary

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Person browsing phone

We put together a social media glossary to help you understand the important terms in the ever-changing social media game! This glossary contains both terms and concepts we’ve created and defined and the most commonly used terms in the industry. This social media glossary will be helpful if you’re a newcomer, a seasoned SMM, or just looking for clarification.

This list is in alphabetical order

Select a letter to jump to that section

C

Community management

(see also: engagement (inbound)): refers to responding to comments and messages in your own inbox and on your own social feeds.

Content Generated

Generally used to measure engagement, influencer, and user-generated content campaigns, content generated refers to the quantity of content generated from members of your audience. These pieces of content can include photos, Instagram stories, blog posts, graphics, Reels, videos, and more.

Conversion

Refers to your desired result from your call-to-action. For example, if you publish a piece of content instructing your audience to sign up for your mailing list, the total conversions would be the number of email signups received. Conversions can be sales, event registrations, and more.

Cost per click

Is calculated by dividing the ad spend by the number of clicks to the website or landing page, to determine on average how much each individual click costs.

CTR (click through rate)

Measures the rate at which people have clicked through a piece of content to a website or landing page. The averages for CTRs differ depending on type of industry or content, but the higher the better! CTR shows that people are interested in your brand and want to learn more.

E

Engagement

Adding together the number of likes + comments + shares for each tracked time period.

Engagement (inbound)

(see also: community management): refers to responding to comments and messages in your own inbox and on your own social feeds.

Engagement (influencer)

Refers to connecting with influencers and content creators online who are relevant to your brand, and their communities.

Engagement (outbound)

Refers to growing your community and connecting with folks who are new to your brand through hashtags, locations, and accounts that attract people with similar interests and values.

Engagement Per Follower

The average number in which each individual follower engages with your posts. (Ideally 1.5-2 times per week) This stat is almost impossible to track manually – we recommend using Sprout Social to track this.

Engagement Per Post

Adding together likes + comments and shares per post. Calculate separately for each individual platform to see which one is receiving the most engagement for your brand.

Engagement Rate

Measures the rate at which your followers, fans or people scrolling your social page engage with your content. This shows that they are consuming the content you’ve posted, not just scrolling by. The average engagement rate differs per industry, but the higher the better!

Event Attendees

Refers to the total number of attendees at a particular event (note that this differs from ticket purchases or registrations, as sometimes those who register in advance are no-shows, and sometimes attendees buy tickets or register for events onsite).

F

Follower

An account (which may be an individual or a brand) that is actively following another account, allowing them to see that account’s new posts and updates in their newsfeed.

Follower Growth

Refers to the number of new followers gained on a given platform as a result of a particular campaign or ongoing social media efforts.

Foot Traffic

Refers to onsite foot traffic to a particular shop, event, popup, or other physical location, generated as a result of a particular campaign or ongoing social media efforts.

I

Impressions

Measure the number of times that people (followers or non-followers) saw your page or post for the tracked time period - ie, the number of times your content is displayed. The same user could have seen you multiple times, so impressions are always higher than reach. Impressions are very important for brand awareness!

Influencer

An individual content creator who partners with brands and organizations to advertise products or services on their own platform. Influencer relationships can be paid or in-kind, and often involve not only reaching the influencer’s audience, but also utilizing the influencer’s creativity for engaging content the brand can repurpose.

INFLUENCER ENGAGEMENT

Refers to the total number of influencers who participated in a particular social media campaign. Influencers are individual content creators who partner with brands and organizations to advertise products or services on their own platform. Influencer relationships can be paid or in-kind, and often involve not only reaching the influencer’s audience, but also utilizing the influencer’s creativity for engaging content the brand can repurpose.

P

Post

An individual piece of content published on social media. This can be a photo, graphic, copy, video, link, or some combination thereof, culminating in one single published piece.

Published Media

The number of “posts” you have published that time period. Compare to your average or last time periods number for an increase or decrease in percentage.

Q

Quality Connections

Refers to genuine connections built and relationships generated between a brand and customers, other brand partners, industry experts, and more through social media.

R

Reach

The individual number of people (followers or non-followers) who saw your page or post for the tracked time period. Reach differs from impressions because while one person may have viewed your post 3 times, they could only ever have been “reached” once. (This is why your impressions should always be higher than your reach.) These fans may or may not have engaged (like, comment or share) with your media but were served your content.

Return on Investment (ROI)

Refers to the ultimate payoff you receive after investing resources (which can be time, energy, money, or all of the above) into a particular campaign or effort.

T

Time, money, and energy

Are all resources that can be used to grow a brand’s presence and strategy on social media. By streamlining and effectively using time, money, and energy, we help our clients use their resources in a smart, effective way.

W

Web traffic

Refers to the website traffic generated as a result of a particular campaign or ongoing social media efforts.