Social Media Terminology

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  • September 14, 2013

You may have noticed a whole new language has developed over the past 10 years? It’s a language full acronyms and words with meanings other than the meaning we relate to the word. Here are just a few examples you may relate to – OMG which is of course “Oh my god”, CIRCLES which is now more than a shape but is a group or cluster of contacts on Google+. As if the english language wasn’t difficult enough!

But learning how to use social media for business starts partly with understanding the terms because without this knowledge it can be extremely confusing and difficult to make progress. It is also helpful when reading standards and guidelines on social media and social marketing. So here are a few definitions from the Social Advertising Best Practice Guideline released by IAB-Australia.

BLOG - Blogs used to be defined as an online journal, a personal space where a person shares his thoughts on issues he cares about. But as many companies are expanding online, blogs can be a useful medium for posting commentaries on topics or issues in relation to the business. Companies can also post detailed accounts of events, promotions, and other marketing-related content that may be of interest to its target consumer.

BOOKMARK – Similar to how a bookmark works with a physical publication, this means marking a specific web destination as reference or for getting back to reading later. “Bookmark it!” is a common phrase you read online. It’s a way for encouraging followers to keep an important or amusing piece you’ve shared or posted. There are various bookmarking services online, and even web browsers you use have this feature.

CIRCLES - These are clusters or groups on your contact list on the Google+ platform. You can group your Google+ contacts in specific circles if you want to share customised content.

CONNECTION – The term used for your contact list on LinkedIn. Under this platform, contacts can also include colleagues or acquaintances you’ve only met briefly.

DIRECT MESSAGING (DM) – A private exchange of messages between two users on Twitter.

EBOOK – Also known as electronic book published in PDF form and distributed on the Internet. Businesses can write and publish ebooks about topics that their target audience may find interesting.

FAN or FOLLOWER – An individual who has chosen to follow your account andupdates on social media platforms like Twitter or Facebook.

FORUM - An online bulletin board system where users of the Internet carry out discussions on various topics.

HASHTAG – An annotated message, preceded by “#” — e.g. #hashtag or #thisisahashtag. It’s common to find this on Twitter or Facebook to establish trending topics.

HOOTSUITE - One of the many social media management system you can utilise to   streamline all of your social media accounts.

INSTANT MESSAGING (IM) – A private, real-time based communication between two or more individuals using an instant messaging application.

LIKE – A specific Facebook action that shows a user’s approval of a status post. On Twitter, this is called a FAVORITE.

LURKER – This refers to a member, fan or follower of your online community who rarely participates in the discussion.

NEWS FEED – The rundown of news items or latest updates from accounts you’ve followed on Twitter or Facebook. It’s usually found in the homepage.

RETWEET (RT) – An action specific to Twitter, presented with a retweet button. This is when a fan or follower finds your messages interesting enough to warrant a share on his news own feed. On Facebook, this is known as REPOST and can be done using the SHARE button.

SOCIAL MEDIA ANALYTICS – The analysis and measurement of data and information from a social network. Analysis is vital to a business that wants to learn how to improve its following and engagement.

SPONSORED BLOG POST – A paid post on a blog.

TAGGING - This feature found in most social media platforms allows for identifying particular users by tagging their names on a status post, an image or a video posted on the network.

TRENDING TOPIC – The hottest news being discussed on a social media at a given time.

VIRAL – Any content — a blog post, image or video —- that generates awareness and is shared rapidly on the internet.

I hope you find that summary useful and should you have any other suggestions please leave them in a comment below.

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