Social Media Glossary

To someone who doesn’t work in social media trying to understand the proper practices, as well as the trends and terms is difficult. When I was in school, we touched on social media in our last year, but even since then things have changed dramatically, and it is important for me to keep on top of current trends. With that in mind I would like to think that I have an above average knowledge (or at least I better), but for those of you who don’t work in SM, I thought I would share this social media glossary of terms. As long as you know the terms below you should – at the very least – be able to understand and contribute to a conversation about social media (and social media marketing).

Here are some basic terms (and tools) you should be familiar with:

Avatar – An image of a username that represents someone online in social media communities or forums.

Bitly – free online link shortening tool.

Blog – Blogs are usually maintained by an individual (or business) with regular entries of anything from information to commentary, descriptions of events, or even graphics and videos. (This is a blog post!)

Circles – Circles are clusters of a user’s friends on Google+ that allows you to group together the people you connect with on Google+.

Digg – A social media news website based on user comments/votes. Articles that receive the most votes appear on the homepage of the site and are therefore seen my more people.

Eventbrite – Eventbrite is an online ticket providing service – and is free if your event is free. If you sell tickets to your event, then Eventbrite collects a small fee per ticket sold.

Flickr – Flickr is a social network made up of sharing pictures online. Users store their photos online and then share them with other users on the website.

Follow Friday (#FF) – Follow Friday is a Twitter trend that happens every Friday. Twitter users include the hashtag “FF” in Tweets to other users to recommend that other Twitter users follow them.

Google+ – Google+ is Google’s social network. This network has social sharing set up in a different way, one more close to “real life” by allowing you to share posts with only certain circles (see above).

Hashtag – A hashtag is a tag posted on various social networks – originally only on Twitter. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#.” Example: #yourhashtag. They are used to help with SEO, as well as to show a certain message pertains to an individual topic/event.

HootSuite – HootSuite is a social media management system that helps brands streamline campaigns across social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ Pages. Teams can collaboratively monitor, engage, and measure the results of social campaigns from one secure, web-based dashboard.

Instagram – Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets users take pictures, apply filters, and share with their friends (as well as other social network sites).

Klout – Klout is an online tool that measures social influence. The service allows users to connect various social accounts such as Facebook, Flickr, YouTube, etc. and then provides every user with his or her Klout score. The score is out of 100–the higher the score, the more influence you have in the social world.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site used for professional networking.

Pinterest – Pinterest describes their service perfectly ‘A tool for collecting and organizing things you love.’ It is a way to bookmark things online that you want to have access to later.

Reddit – Reddit is similar to Digg. It is a news site that where users share and comment on stories.

Retweet (RT) – A retweet is when someone on Twitter decides to share your Tweet with his/her followers. An RT button allows them to quickly resend the message with credit to the original sharer.

SlideShare – SlideShare is a network for sharing presentations and documents. Users can favorite and embed presentations, and share them on other social networks.

Swarm – Swarm (formerly Foursquare) is a social network based on users sharing their location with other users. Foursquare uses virtual badges as their reward system – as well as naming the one person who checks in to each location the most the ‘mayor.’

Skype – Skype is a free program that allows users to text, and video chat. Additionally, users can buy minutes and receive phone calls through their account.

StumbleUpon – StumbleUpon is a free web-browser extension that acts as an intelligent browsing tool for discovering and sharing web sites. Users can choose interests for more relevant results.

Tag Cloud – A tag cloud is a visual depiction of user-generated tags, or simply the word content of a site, typically used to describe the content of websites.

All that being said there are – of course – hundreds of others, but in my opinion, those are the basics that you should know and understand. If I missed anything you think is important, or you have any questions, be sure to let me know – I would love to hear from you.


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