• Camilla Gould

Social Media Glossary

From Algorithms to Verified bages, we've collated all the lingo you need to know for Social Media success!

Algorithm: In the context of social media, algorithms are rule based calculations which ultimately dictate what it is that we see on social media. On your Facebook feed, you will not see each and every post shared by your friends and pages that you follow, instead, Facebook’s algorithm will highlight posts to you that it deems most worthy of seeing. This is also the case with Instagram and Twitter, and can have a profound effect on your brand’s reach. The best way to fall more favourably within the algorithm is to pay for reach using in built advertising platforms.

Analytics: In a nutshell, Analytics are a breakdown of exactly what’s happened on your page over a given time period. Data is gathered on a range of metrics, including post engagements, reach and followers, which can be extracted and analysed. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all feature in-built analytics programmes, which, when analysed, can give insights into patterns in behaviour which can be invaluable when assessing the successes and failures of your content.

Average Response Time: This refers to how long it takes for a company page to reply to a customer’s messages. You can find your average response time on your company’s Facebook page, and this is accessible to your fans, meaning you’ll want it to be as low as possible.

Bio: AKA ‘Biography’. A social media bio is the small blurb featured on your profiles which explains to your new or existing followers what you do and who you are. Take time to craft these to be a true reflection of your brand, using language that represents your brand’s Tone Of Voice and a clear description of your services. In some cases, this is the first thing that potential followers will see when landing on your profile, so you’ll want to make a good first impression!

Block: Twitter’s blocking feature is in place to help people in restricting specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their Tweets, and following them. This can be particularly useful for brands in blocking spam accounts featuring undesirable content, or in worst case scenarios, serial and illegitimate complaints.

Caption: This is the copy or brief description that appears alongside your photo or image.

Chat-bot: Chat-bots appear in live messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, and use artificial intelligence to field queries, complaints and questions through simulated conversation. This can be particularly useful for brands with exceptionally high customer service rates, or for data collection.

Check-In: A check-in (limited to Facebook) allows a user to announce that they are physically at a geographical location or event. This is a great way of showcasing to your followers that you are out and about.

Comments: Instagram and Facebook allow users to respond to or comment on your posts. In turn, brands can acknowledge these with likes and reactions, as well as responding directly to them.

Content Curation: This is the process of sifting through social media platforms and the internet in search for relevant and high quality content which can then be curated, organised and presented to your audience in the most effective way.

Content Marketing: Unlike Content Curation, Content Marketing entails creating content. This can be in for form of videos, imagery, info graphics, blogs and guides amongst others, with an aim to attract and retain customers and followers by providing useful, educational or entertaining materials for them to consume.

Cover Photo: The horizontal image that sits across the top of your Facebook page is known as a Cover Photo. This can be seen by anyone visiting your page, and should be seen as an opportunity to make a great first impression with high quality, stylised or themed imagery that closely reflects your brand’s personality and style.

Crisis Management: These are measures in place in the event that a brand undergoes a crisis (security hacks, negative feedback, viral (for the wrong reasons) posts or even news stories that might exponentially increase the number of people in your mentions or your inbox. Due to the wide range of ‘crises’, the solutions are equally diverse, but the aim is always the same: to manage and minimise the situation.

Direct Message: Also known as a DM, Direct Messages are a message sent directly and privately to or from your followers on Twitter and Instagram.

Disappearing Content: Snapchat ‘Snaps’ and Instagram Stories are examples of disappearing content. These posts are only available for a set amount of time before disappearing.

Engagement: Engagement refers to all interactions with others on social media. This includes likes, comments, links clicks, shares and retweets amongst others, and is core to every social media strategy, often used as one of the key measures of success for a brand.

Engagement Rate: This is a valuable metric in determining the success of your content, and is the percentage of people who saw your post and actively engaged with it.

Facebook Fans: People who like your Facebook Page.

Facebook Live: A feature on Facebook allowing you to stream live video to your followers - fantastic for events and tastings to give your followers an intimate insight into your business.

Facebook Reach:

  • Total Reach: This is the number of unique users who have seen content from your page over the last 7 days.

  • Post Reach: The number of unique users who have seen the particular post in their News Feed.

Facebook Reactions: Facebook reactions allow users to choose from a range of reactions (including ‘wow’; ‘haha’; ‘love’; ‘sad’ and ‘angry’) instead of a single like. These are considered engagements.

Feed: Where you see a steady stream of updates from people and brand that you follow, also known as a news feed.

Filter: Filters are an effect that allows users to enhance photos that they are uploading, including black and white, sepia and other stylised options to give your photo a themed look. These are available on Facebook but are mostly popular on Instagram.

Follower: A Twitter, Instagram or Facebook user who has subscribed to your account so that they can see your updates in their feed.

Following: The total number of accounts that follows your brand page.

Geotagging: Also known as Geolocation, Geotagging is the practice of tagging a photo, video or post with a searchable location.

Geotargeting: This feature allows you to target people within specific geographical locations when sharing a post, meaning that only people within this area will be able to see your update.

GIF: An acronym for Graphics Interchange Format, a GIF is a short video clip. These are supported on Twitter and are available as an add on when you tweet.

Handle: You handle is the account name on your Twitter, Facebook and Instagram profiles which begins with @. This name is then searchable and taggable in posts.

Hashtag: A word of phrase preceded by the # sign, first coined on Twitter, these are now features across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and are searchable, allowing accounts to jump into trending conversations or create a bespoke one to highlight a business’ updates.

Header Image: The banner image that sits at the very top of your Twitter profile.

Impressions: The number of times that your post, ad or sponsored post has been displayed on users’ accounts.

Influencer: A social media user who has a large, engaged audience over which this person has ‘influence’ over. Influencers are often open to collaborations in the form of paid or unpaid partnerships whereby the Influencer reviews or promotes your wines, sharing an image of the product and endorsing it. There are now strict rules in place which mean that an Influencer must always make it clear to their followers if they are being paid to promote a product.

Instagram Stories: Instagram Stories are images or videos that are displayed on a feed for a maximum of 24hrs. These are displayed in portrait format and can be embellished with GIFs, Emojis, Stickers and copy.

Like: Liking on social media can be done on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, and involves clicking a ‘Like’ symbol to express enthusiasm for a post. Likes are tracked as engagement alongside comments and shares.

Live Stories: Like a regular Instagram Story, Live Stories appear for a maximum of 24hrs on a feed before disappearing, however these are videos that are streamed live as they are shot.

Live Tweet: Participating in a Twitter conversation from, or tweet regularly throughout an event as it happens.

Mention: When a user tags your handle into a tweet, this is a mention. This act will trigger a notification alerting you to the fact that you have been included in a conversation. Conversely, this can be a great way of mentioning brands and producers with whom you work to ensure that they see your tweet.

Notification: An update or message alerting you to new social media activity. This occurs when your posts are engaged with, you receive a Direct Message or are tagged into a conversation.

Organic Reach: The number of unique users who have viewed your content without the help of paid promotion.

Paid Reach: The number of unique users who have viewed your content with the aid of targeted paid promotions, including boosts.

Paid Social Media: This is when a brand account uses social media for ad placement. Native ads can be used on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, or alternatively you can boost an existing post to ensure that it reaches more people. Most ad platforms will allow you to specifically target groups of people based on location, interests and gender, to refine your reach to ensure it fits with your target audience.

Pinned Tweet: A feature on Twitter whereby you are able to ‘pin’ a post to the top of your feed. This post will remain at the top of your feed until you un-pin it or replace it with something else. This can be useful for brands promoting a particular event or launch, and ensures that the post in question doesn’t get lost down the feed as you continue to post.

Quote Tweet: When retweeting a tweet, Twitter allows you the option of doing so with your own caption or response included.

Reach: The maximum amount of people that your post could potentially reach, based on the number of followers an account has, shares and impressions amongst other metrics.

Regram: Sharing or re-porting another Instagram user’s image.

Response Rate: An assessment of how much you are interacting with your social audience, based on how quickly and efficiently you respond to comments and Direct Messages.

Retweet: This is the term used to describe the action of sharing another users’ Tweet onto your own Twitter feed. Your followers will be able to see all of your retweets and they will appear in your feed in chronological order.

Scheduling: Whilst most individuals post their content as and when, most brands use some sort of scheduling tool. Scheduling literally means setting up your posts ahead of time and setting it to publish at a specific time and date. Whilst there are many tools available, Facebook has its own in-build scheduling platform, whilst Twitter is linked with Tweetdeck, which has scheduling features. Instagram does not yet have any official scheduling tool, however there are some platforms which can streamline the process. Scheduling can be a very efficient way of posting, saving you team time and avoiding any missed posts.

Short Link: Link shortening tools allow you to shorten a standard URL into a more condensed version, oftentimes allowing a user to edit the shortened link to include a brand name or other bespoke message.

Social Customer Service: Just as with all other forms of customer service, Social Customer Service is the practice of filtering, resolving and elevating customer related issues that come to a brand through their social media channels.This can be in the form of Direct Messages, comments or mentions.

Social Media Management: The concurrent management of various social media platforms using specific goals and measurements. Full social media management must involve the creation and implementation of strategy, content and reporting, as well as community management.

Thread: A Twitter thread occurs when a user responds to a tweet and this process is repeated, creating a conversation stemming from one tweet.

Trend: A Twitter Trend is a hashtag or key word that is receiving a lot of activity at any given moment. Twitter collates a list of top trending hashtags to the right of your Twitter feed. These can be refined to include trends in your region, country, or even topics that are related to your own twitter activity.

Trending: When a topic or hashtag is trending, this refers to the amount of conversation and activity occurring using the key words or hashtags across twitter.

Troll: The term twitter troll has been coined in response to a large number of social media users using their platforms to shame, taunt, cause offence to or pick fights with other users for no discernible reason.

User Generated Content: This is content in the form of photos or video that features your product but has been published by another user. Many brands encourage their customers to share photos of their products using a bespoke hashtag in order to collate a range of User Generated Content that can be re-purposed across the brand’s own channels. This is a solution for brands with minimal budget for photo shoots.

Verified: A verified user (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) can be identified by the blue tick next to their handle. These platforms are at their own discretion as to who they verify, however these are usually public figures, large, global companies and journalists. Verification is a great way to increase authenticity.

Views: This can be in reference to videos posted on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, or Instagram Stories. This refers to the number of users who have viewed said video or story.

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