Social Media Glossary – Social Media Terms You Need to Know


  • Algorithm a set of formulas developed for a computer to perform a certain function.
  • App a software application designed to run on smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices.
  • API short for Application Programming Interface, API is a programming format that a website or piece of software uses to allow other websites to interact with it.
  • Augmented Reality a live view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data.
  • Avatar an image or username that represents a person online within forums and social networks.


  • generates shorter URLs that can be used for posting links where users are limited to specific character lengths. Users paste the long URL into a text box and the site generates one that is shorter.
  • Blog Shorthand for ‘Weblog’ a blog offers an easy way to present brief entries of discussion or informational content.


  • Call to Action (CTA) can be a banner, button, or some type of graphic or text on a website meant to prompt a user to click it and continue onto a next step.
  • Chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet but traditionally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat application commonly referred to as instant messaging applications, such as Skype.
  • Circles is the name given to a group of people on Google+ that the user has characterised.
  • Cloud Computing Cloud computing allows users to access their data from anywhere rather than being tied to a particular machine.
  • Comment a response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to a post or message on a social network.
  • Crowdsourcing is the practice of asking a collection of individuals online for opinions, suggestions, or submissions.


  • Digg is a popular social news site that lets people discover and share content from anywhere on the Web.


  • Ebook is an electronic version of a traditional printed book that can be downloaded from the Internet and read on a computer or handheld device.
  • E-commerce is the buying and selling of products or services through electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.
  • Embedding the act of adding code to a website so that a video or photo can be displayed on that site while being hosted by another.
  • EdgeRank the Facebook algorithm that decides which stories appear in a user’s News Feed.
  • Endorsements a LinkedIn feature that allows you to recognize the skills and expertise of your connections.
  • Engagement is paramount to social media success and involves talking to, responding and interacting with people.


  • Facebook is a social networking site that connects people with friends and others who work, study, and live around them. Facebook is the largest social network in the world with more than 800 million users.
  • Firefox is an open-source web browser. It has emerged as one of the most popular web browsers on the internet and allows users to customize their browser through the use of third-party extensions.
  • Flickr a social network based around online picture sharing.
  • Forums also known as a message board, are simply online discussion sites.
  • Follow Friday (#ff) is a trend via the hashtag #ff every Friday on Twitter. Users select other usernames and tweet them with #ff in their post, meaning they recommend following those Twitter users.
  • Foursquare a social network in which people ‘check in’ and share their locations and connect with others in close physical proximity to each other.


  • Google Chrome is a web browser produced by Google that fully integrates into its online search system as well as other applications.
  • Google+ is a social network created by Google.


  • Hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#’’ that is used on the social network Twitter as a way to annotate and categorise a message
  • HootSuite a social media management system that helps brands streamline campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Pages.
  • HTML Hypertext Mark-up Language (HTML) is a programing language for web pages.


  • Inbound Marketing a style of marketing that essentially focuses permission-based marketing techniques, leveraging tactics such as SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation, email marketing, lead nurturing, and analytics.
  • Influencer a person or business considered to be a thought leader or expert.
  • Instagram a photo sharing application that lets users take photos, apply filters to their images, and share the photos instantly on the Instagram network and other social networks.
  • Instant Messaging (IM) is a form of real-time, direct text-based communication between two or more people.


  • Klout is a measure of social influence that is scored out of 100- the higher the score, the more influence you have on the social world. This service allows users to connect various social accounts such as Facebook and Twitter and then provides every user with their Klout score.


  • Like is an action that can be made by a Facebook user as a quick way to show approval and share a message.
  • Link Building is an aspect of SEO in which website owners develop strategies to generate links to their site from other websites with the hopes of improving their search engine ranking.
  • LinkedIn is considered as the most professional, business-oriented social networking site.
  • Lurker someone on social networks who simply listens and watches, but doesn’t participate in conversations or the activity on the site.


  • Meme a meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept to be shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form.
  • Metadata refers to information — including titles, descriptions, tags and captions — that describes a media item such as a video, photo or blog post.


  • News Feed a news feed is literally a feed full of news.


  • Outbound Marketing utilizes traditional interruptive marketing tactics such as direct mail, trade shows, print and TV advertising, and cold calling.


  • Permalink is an address or URL of a particular post within a blog or website.
  • Pinterest is a social network that essentially acts as an online pinboard allowing users to ‘pin’ images or products, services, places etc. that they like or want
  • Podcast is a series of digital media files, either audio or video, that are released episodically and often downloaded through an RSS feed.


  • Reddit is a social news site that is built upon a community of users who share and comment on stories.
  • Retweet is when someone on Twitter sees a message and decides to re-share it with their followers.
  • ROI (Return on Investment) is the concept of an investment of some resource yielding a benefit to the investor. As a performance measure, it is used to evaluate the efficiency of an investment.
  • RSS Feed (Really Simple Syndication) allows the content from regularly updated websites such as blogs or podcasts to be aggregated and posted to one website (often called a “reader”) or mobile device.
  • RSS Reader allows users to aggregate articles from multiple websites into one place using RSS feeds. The purpose of these aggregators is to allow for a faster and more efficient consumption of information.


  • Scribd turns document formats such as PDF, Word, and PowerPoint into a web document for viewing and sharing online.
  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a marketing tactic that, when combined with SEO, helps a business or organization attract customers, generate brand awareness, and build trust by increasing its website’s visibility.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engines via unpaid or organic search traffic.
  • SlideShare is an online social network for sharing presentations and documents.
  • Skype is a free program that allows for text, audio, and video chats between users.
  • Social Media Monitoring a process of monitoring and responding to mentions related to a business that occurs in social media.


  • Tagging is a relevant keyword or term assigned to a piece of information such as a blog post, photo or video that describes the item.
  • Trackback a method for website authors to request notification when somebody links to one of their documents. This enables authors to keep track of who is linking to their articles.
  • Trending signifies a topic or event which is currently popular and discussed a lot online.
  • Tweetup is an organized gathering of people who use Twitter. Users often include a hashtag, such as #tweetup when publicizing a tweetup.
  • Twitter is a popular micro blogging social platform


  • URL (Uniform Resource Locator) is the technical term for a web address.


  • Viral when a piece of content on the Internet gets shared multiple times on social networks organically, without encouragement from the business or person who created it, it is said to have ‘gone viral.’


  • Webinar (short for web-based seminar) is simply making presentations via the Internet.
  • WhatsApp a cross-platform mobile messaging app that allows users to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.
  • Widgets are stand-alone applications that can be embedded in other applications.
  • WordPress a web software that allows you to create and update a blog or a website.


  • Yelp a social networking, user review, and local search website that allow users to find places to eat, shop and drink based on other user reviews.
  • YouTube a social network based around video sharing.

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