Your 2019 Go-To Index of Social Media Terms

Sometimes it seems like the people on social media have a language all to themselves.  Between the high usage of acronyms and the ever-increasing tech talk that surfaces, it can be hard to follow the conversation.  But, don’t worry…I Got You! This is one post you are going to want to bookmark! It’s your 2019 go-to Index of social media terms you won’t be able to live without! For extra-added convenience, I have created a printer-friendly version of this index.  You may want to print it and keep it handy so you can refer to it often. To print the index, CLICK HERE.


The following list of social media terms are sorted alphabetically.  Ready to add new language to your vocabulary? Let’s dive in!



If you have spent any time speaking to a social media manager, this word is one that they will use often and can be often seen as a blessing and a curse. An algorithm is a set of rules or instructions used by social media apps to automate the delivery and prioritization of posts to a users feed,  This set of rules can be based on a number of things such as user past behavior, behavior/results/activity the app feels is important or should be a priority. Each app develops their own specific set of rules and they can be changed at any time, without warning, or explanation of how the algorithm works.



Analytics are the measurable outcomes of your social media efforts.  Depending on the platform, you will be able to see the results of your overall account or individual posts.  Analytics can includes things like follows/unfollows, likes, engagement, reach, shares, watch time, views, etc. Analytics is one of the best ways you can determine if your social media efforts are working.  Each app offers its own unique version of analytics. Take the time to get to know and understand what each app measures and focuses on.



API is short for Application Programming Interface which are building blocks programmers use to design, create and develop programs.



AR is an acronym for Augmented Reality.  This is a type of technology creates an interactive experience for a user.  It usually involves superimposing images or text into an image or video. Examples of this could be filters people use to change their facial features.  Both SnapChat and Instagram are known for their filters that either changes facial features or place people in other environments like a beach or a jungle.



In social media language, this is known as your profile picture.  It is usually a small thumbnail picture that represents yourself your business – an easy way for people to identify whether or not they are engaging with the correct account.



This is usually found in the social media users profile.  It is a summary or brief introduction of the user, allowing the user’s audience to get to know them.



A blog is a collection of articles written by a person or someone representing a company.  Typically, the articles are housed on a page within a website and are uploaded to the website on a consistent basis, usually daily, weekly, or monthly.  Blogs can be based on experiences, opinion, interests, or educational and can be on any topic.


Brand Advocate

This is an individual in your audience who is basically your brand’s unsolicited cheerleader.  This person is known for writing positive comments, sharing your content, and being overall supportive of your business.


Brand Awareness

This refers to how recognizable or familiar people are with your brand.  Social media tends to be a very effective way to make people more aware of your brand, understand your values, mission, services, and products.



A chat is usually a conversation that takes place online within a social media app.  It usually takes place in real time using text, images, emojis, and videos.



A chatbot is an automated program that can simulate a conversation with a user.



This is an acronym for “Cost Per Click.”  This refers to the fee you pay when you engage in paid advertising on a social media platform.



This is the acronym for “Call To Action.”  A call to action is a prompt from your online content compelling your audience to do something.  Common CTAs include things like:

  • Click Here
  • Download now
  • Sign up
  • Call now
  • Comment
  • Like
  • Share



CTR is the acronym for “click-through rate.”  This refers to the number of times users have actually click on your post to learn more or to go to a website.


Dark Post

Dark posts are posts that do not show up on your timeline.  Instead, think of them as posts that are created “behind the scenes” and are targeted for a specific audience.  The most common way these are used is through paid advertising within the app. Everything including the target audience, ad budget, ad creative, and content is selected in a “back office” setting.  Once the post goes live, it only hits the feed of the audience you selected. It never shows up on your business page timeline which is why it is called a dark post.



DM is short for Direct Message.  A direct message is a method of instant messaging taking place between an account and an audience member.  For example, if you are following an account on Instagram and they write a post that asks you to “DM them for more information,” the account is inviting you to start a private conversation with them.  But, don’t wait for an invitation to DM someone. Social media is called “social” media for a reason – to meet new people and build relationships.


Double Tap

This is Instagram jargon.  In order to “like” a photo on Instagram, the user taps on the picture twice with their finger.  Many times, you will see Instagrammers ask for a “double tap” as part of their CTA.



These are those fun little icons that convey a feeling or an emotion.  Common emojis you will see on social media are: thumbs up, smiley face, winky face, sad face, hearts etc.  Anything that depicts a face is usually yellow in color. In some instances, you can change face colors depending on the device and platform you are using.



This is the holy grail of social media. It is what social media managers strive for when putting content out on the socials.  Engagement typically refers to the reactions and actions that take place on any given post. The more comments, likes, shares, click-throughs a post gets, the better.  In most instances, social media algorithms LOVE engagement and pay very close attention to how much engagement individual posts receive. If an algorithm sees that a post is getting a lot of engagement, it will recognize it as an important post of value and show it to more people on the social network, giving the business or public figure more exposure.


Ephemeral Content

Short-form video or a collection of images that are accessible for only 24 hours before they disappear.



This is an edit that can be made to an image or video to give it a certain look or feel.  A filter is usually based on colors and can be adjusted in intensity to match the desired color tone or contrast.  The term “filter” may sometimes be used to describe an AR or augmented reality feature (see AR)



When you “follow” someone, it means that you “opt-in” to allowing their content to show up in your newsfeed so that you can stay up to date on the happenings of the account you are interested in.



Someone who is interested in seeing the content you post on social media



A user’s account name you use to find someone on social media.  A person’s handle may be different across several social media platforms.  For example, if you wanted to find me on Instagram, you would search for my handle, Lora_Shipman



Any word that follows the # symbol.  Hashtags are used to collect content that surrounds a specific topic or interest.  For example, if you wanted to find all the content created on Instagram about social media marketing, you would type #SocialMediaMarketing in the Instagram search bar and it will show you every post that has used that hashtag.  



The total number of users that have seen your content (both unique and return users)



Someone who has a substantial following on social media who has the potential to make an impact on whether an audience makes purchases.


Live Stream

When a content creator transmits live video on a social media platform



This is the content stream you see from the accounts that you follow.


Profile Picture

A thumbnail image of you or something that represents you or your brand on your profile page.



An acronym that stands for “page views”.  This usually measures the number of times people have visited your profile.



The number of unique users who have seen your content



This is an advertising technique that targets those with ads who have interacted with your web page in the past through the use of a Facebook pixel.  


Example:  Imagine you were in the market for a new pair of jeans.  You visited a website looking at those jeans but elected not to buy them.  Ever since you looked at those jeans, it seems like they are following you everywhere you go on Facebook.  That is the Facebook pixel at work…making sure you don’t forget about those jeans.



An acronym for “Return On Investment.”


RSS Feed

This stands for “really simple syndication.”  It is a program or system allowing a content creator to share their content easily and effectively to multiple destinations.



A picture that you take of yourself using a mobile device.



An acronym for Search Engine Marketing – a marketing activity that uses both paid and organic methods to help websites rank high on search engines.



An acronym for Search Engine Optimization – the ability for your website to be found organically by users.  Many website owners use SEO to help them get to the first page of Google for a certain search term.



An acronym for Social Media Marketing – business marketing done through social media platforms.



Short-form video or a collection of images that are accessible for only 24 hours before they disappear also known a ephemeral videos or images.



Slang for a collection of social media platforms.



This is a term that is used when you want to recognize someone in a social media picture or mention them in written content by using their social media handle in either place.  When a person is “tagged” in a picture or a piece of written content, they are notified by the social media app. Locations can also be tagged in social media posts and images.



A sequence or run of communication within the comment section of a social media post.



The landing page for your account on a social media platform that collects all the content you have produced over time.



Stands for “Too long; Didn’t Read.”  Following the acronym of TLDR, is usually a concise summary at the bottom of a long-winded post.



Slang for negative people who surf social media networks.  Their primary goal is to disrupt, bash, slander, content creators.  Trolls will surface on every account sooner or later. Your best defense when it comes to trolls is to ignore them and block them.  Engaging with trolls just helps them accomplish what they set out to do.


Those are a lot of terms to digest and new ones are popping up all the time!  Is there a term I missed that you would like me to add? If so, post it in the comment section.



A Twitter post.

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