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Social Media Terms You Should Know

Social media has become an important part of your business’ marketing strategy. With new social media channels popping up everywhere, things can start to get confusing. That’s why we’ve created this quick reference guide to help you understand the language used. Whether your business is already using social media or just getting started, here are the key terms you should know.

Algorithm

Social media networks use a set of technical elements, logic, and analytics to deliver content to their users. This is called an algorithm. A team of software engineers, data scientists, content strategists, and other experts work together to deliver specific content to your feeds. Each platform has its own unique algorithm, but typically content with the most engagement will be prioritized. As a business owner, it’s important to create content that is relevant to your customers in order to spark that engagement.

Analytics

Social media analytics is the practice of collecting data from the different social media sites you use and evaluating it to make better business decisions. This data can include how well your individual posts performed, who your posts are reaching, and more. There are many tools and programs out there that can help you evaluate your data. Common social media goals for business owners include increasing sales, keeping customers engaged, reaching new customers, and improving public opinion of your business.

Engagement

Social media engagement measures the number of shares, likes, and comments your posts get online. This metric doesn’t necessarily translate directly to sales, but it does help you get an idea of whether your audience is connecting with your business.

Follow/follower

Followers are the people who want to stay connected with you or your business online. They choose to “follow” you on social media so that they can view your content regularly. These types of users are generally more invested in you and your products or services, meaning they are more like to turn into a sale.

Hashtag

Hashtags are those links you see on social media that include the pound or number sign (#) followed by a word, phrase, or numbers and letters. These help online users to categorize, find and join conversations related to a specific topic. Using relevant hashtags in your posts can help your content reach your target audience. However, you want to be careful, don’t go hashtag overboard as this can come off “spammy.”

Influencer

Social media influencers are quickly becoming the next biggest trend in social marketing. Influencers are individuals that have established credibility in a specific industry and have a large following or audience. Using their authenticity and reach, they are able to persuade others to try different products or services. More and more business owners are partnering with social influencers to give their products a try and review them on their personal profiles to help boost sales and awareness.

Reach

Reach refers to the number of users that have come across your social content either organically or through paid advertising. The more individual users that have seen your content, the higher your reach is.

Social Listening

Social listening is an important part of your social media strategy. It is the process of monitoring social channels to see what other online users are saying about you and your brand or business. This feedback, both positive and negative, can help you make better business decisions. Commenting and interacting with users that mention you or topics related to you can help show users you are an authentic company that cares about its customers.

Trending

If something is “trending” on social media that means it has become a hot topic and a large number of users are posting content related to it. It can be beneficial to keep an eye on trending topics that relate to your area of business so that you can join in the conversation.

User-generated Content

User-generated content is content such as images, video, text, etc. that promotes a brand created by an unpaid user, rather than the brand itself. Sharing and promoting user-generated content helps potential customers see real people using your product or service. Online users are naturally skeptical of marketing tactics, so seeing authentic users post helps build trust.

Vanity Metrics

Vanity metrics are nice to have, but they don’t necessarily relate to sales. These metrics include things like post likes and the number of views. They aren’t actionable metrics that help you make business decisions like link clicks or downloads.

Your online presence plays an important part in defining your business’ brand. Your social presence should reflect your business website and work together to create a consistent brand. Need to brush up on your web design terms? We’ve got a guide for that too!