Glossary I – P

Social Media Glossary – The A-to-Z of Social Media Marketing

Social media and social media marketing are fast changing fields, and the terms used can be strange to the uninitiated. Never fear, though – I’m here to help with this guide to some of the terms you may encounter as you work to improve your marketing techniques!

PLEASE – Leave a comment at the bottom of this page with any other terms you’d like to see included here, and I’ll get them added!

 A – HI J K L M N O P / Q – Z + Symbols +Abbreviations




Impressions is an advertising term that refers to the number of times an ad was seen by its target audience.


A social media user who can reach a relevant audience (whether large or small) and create awareness about a trend, topic, company, or product. They have established credibility with their audiences and marketers work to build relationships with them in order to reach those audiences.


Purchased by Facebook for $1 Billion in 2012, Instagram allows users to share pictures and videos, apply filters to them and also share them on other social networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and Tumblr.

The app is targeted toward mobile social sharing, and has gained more than 700 million monthly active users as of this writing.

Instagram Home Page

The feed where a user will see an accumulation of the content posted by users they are following.

Instagram Stories

Launched in August 2016, Instagram Stories are composed of photos and videos shared to your Instagram feed that disappear after 24 hours.

Instant Messaging

Instant messaging (IM) is a form of real-time, direct text-based communication between two or more people. More advanced instant messaging software clients also allow enhanced modes of communication, such as live voice or video calling.



JPEG or JPG is a file compression method for images. JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, which is the name of the organization that created and distributed the JPEG method.




In Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid search marketing, a keyword is any phrase or term used to match what users search for in the content of a page.

For example, the keyword “social media marketing” might be used to create content or place ads for an audience looking for social media marketing information in search engines.

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

The metrics used to measure success on a particular platform.


Landing Page

The page that a person sees – or “lands on” –  after clicking an ad or a link. It can be a homepage, a page on your website, or a specially designed page for a particular purpose or audience.

In paid acquisition, a landing page is typically designed to convert visitors, which usually means to motivate them into buying a product or service.


A lead could be a person or a company who has shown interest in a product or service. It could be someone who has filled out an online form, subscribed to a newsletter, or shared their contact information in exchange for a coupon.

Lead Magnet

A lead magnet, also known as a content upgrade, is bonus content given to people typically in exchange for their email address. This could be in the form of a free e-book , access to a special video, etc.


A Like is an action that can be made by a Facebook or Instagram user. Instead of writing a comment or sharing a post, a user can click the Like button as a quick way to show approval.

Along with shares, comments, and favorites, likes can be tracked as proof of engagement. Facebook’s algorithm adjusts individual content feeds based on like patterns.


A hyperlink (or link) connects an element in a page (i.e. text, button, or image) to another part of the page or to another web page.

When the link is within the same website, this is called an internal link. When the link directs the user to a page on a different website, this is called an external link.

Link Building

In Search Engine Optimization (SEO), link building is the practice of getting external pages (web pages from other websites) to link to a page on your website. This is one of the many SEO strategies to increase rankings in organic search results.

Link Preview

An automatic feature that displays how links will appear once pasted into a post on Facebook and other social networks.


Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site. Individuals can make connections with others and create profiles. Company pages can also be created.

LinkedIn endorsement

A LinkedIn member’s recognition of another person’s skill, such as Content Marketing or Web Programming, for example. Endorsements boost your credibility on LinkedIn by indicating that you actually have the skills you say you have. You can only endorse the skills of your first-degree connections.

LinkedIn Recommendation

A written compliment from one of your connections that you can display on your LinkedIn profile.


A curated set of Twitter accounts that that you can group together in their own timeline. Lists are a convenient way to organize other Twitter users, whether you follow them or not.  You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others.

Live Stories

Live Stories are a curated stream of user submitted Snaps (via Snapchat) from various locations and events. Users who have their location services on at the same event location will be given the option to contribute Snaps to the Live Story. The end result is a Story told from a community perspective with lots of different points view.

Live Streaming

Live broadcasting through social media. This is expected to grow in upcoming years, especially between social media platforms and television broadcasters. Facebook, it is expected, will announce partnerships with major broadcasters to screen exclusive content.

Live Tweet

To post comments and participate in Twitter conversations while an event or situation is happening.

Local Search

When search engines allow allows users to search for businesses and websites within a specific local area.

Long-Tail Keyword

In search engines, a long-tail keyword is a very targeted search phrase that typically contains three or more words.  Since long-tail keywords are more specific, they are usually associated with a lower number of searches. However, people who are searching for long-tail keywords are typically more qualified and more likely to convert.


Marketing Automation

Marketing automation refers to the process of automating marketing tasks, such as emails, social media posts, and other website actions.  Welcome emails, reminders, or birthday greetings are some examples of marketing automation.

Marketing Channel

The method by which you can reach your audience in order to deliver messaging to them.

Market Segmentation

Dividing a market into groups of people who have needs and qualities in common.


A meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept that’s widely shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form.


The act of tagging another user’s handle or account name in a social media message. Mentions typically trigger a notification for that user and are a key part of what makes social media “social”.


The app that allows Facebook users to message one another instantly through a smartphone.

Messenger Bots/Chatbots

Chatbots are computer programs that mimic conversation with people using artificial intelligence. A way of building more personal relationships with customers, brands will increasingly use chatbots to complete simple transactions.


Metadata refers to information — including titles, descriptions, tags and captions — that describes a media item such as a video, photo or blog post.

Micro Blogging

Short social media posts that are under 140 characters. This term is generally reserved to describe Twitter but the concept can be considered universal.


Mute is a feature available on Twitter that allows you to remove select people from your feed without them knowing. They still see that you follow them, and they can still favorite, retweet, and reply to you—you just don’t see any of their activity in your timeline. Muting a user is not the same as blocking them.


Any social media user that you follow, who also follows you back.


Native Advertising

Native advertising refers to a type of online advertising in which the ad copy and format adheres to the format of a regular post on the network it’s being published on. The purpose is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation.

Negative Feedback

A metric that measures the amount of people on Facebook that hide your post, choose to no longer receive your posts or unlike your page through a Facebook post.


Short for network etiquette, the code of conduct regarding acceptable online behavior.

News Feed

A newsfeed is a list of news posted on a particular platform. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users’ accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.


The practice of capitalizing on the popularity of a news story to amplify your sales and marketing success.


A message or update sharing new social media activity. For example, if somebody Likes one of your Facebook photos you will receive a notification to inform you.


Opt-In Form

An online form used for visitors to sign up for your email list or service.

Opt-In Rate

Opt-in rate refers to the ratio of people who sign up for your email list divided by the total number of visitors on your website. For example, iIf you have an opt-in rate of 5%, this means that five out of every 100 site visitors have been signing up for your email list.

Organic Reach

Describes the number of unique people who view your content without paid promotion.

Organic Traffic

Organic traffic refers to the visitors that land on your website through “organic” or unpaid results in a search engine. When a person finds one of your pages through a online search query, and clicks on this unpaid search result, that is considered organic traffic. is Hootsuite’s built-in URL shortener that converts a regular URL into a more condensed format.



Pageview refers to the number of times a web page is viewed.  For example, wWhen a visitor lands on your homepage, this is counted as one pageview. If a visitor moves to another page on your website and hits the back button, this is counted as another pageview. If the visitor refreshes the page, this is counted as the third pageview.

Paid Reach

Similar to organic reach, this refers to the number of individuals viewing your published paid content — including ads, sponsored stories, and other promotional material. For example, paid Facebook ads are labeled as Sponsored content, while Twitter’s are identified as Promoted Tweets.

Paid reach generally has a much larger network than organic reach so messages are potentially read by people outside of a specific contact list. You can also target specific messaging to groups based on commonalities like location and shared interests.

Paid Replay

Introduced to Snapchat in September 2015, paid replays allow users the option to pay 99 cents to replay three Snaps of their choosing. This feature marked Snapchat’s first in-app purchasing option.

Paid Social Media

Paid social media refers to the use of social media for ad placement. The most common types of paid social media are native advertisements such as Facebook Ads, Twitter Promoted Tweets, LinkedIn Sponsored Updates, and YouTube sponsored videos. Other forms of paid social media include traditional display ads on social networks and Twitter Promoted Accounts.

Pain Point

Problems that a user is facing that your product or service can help address.


A live video streaming mobile app developed by Joe Bernstein and Kayvon Beykpour in February 2014. It is owned by Twitter. App users also have the ability to engage with others videos, browse live or recent broadcasts, and follow users to receive notifications.


A permalink, or permanent link, is the URL used to refer to a particular webpage, article, or blog post; it’s meant to remain the same for long periods of time.

Permalinks are useful because they allow you to reference a specific Tweet, update, or blog post instead of the feed or timeline in which you found it.


An attempt to fraudulently acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card information (and often, indirectly, money) by authentic-looking electronic communication, usually email.


A free online image editor with premium features added for people who are willing to pay for them.

Pinned Tweet

A Tweet that has been pinned to the top a Twitter profile page. Pinning a Tweet is a great way to feature an important announcement or update.


Favorite links stored on Pinterest are called Pins. Each Pin is made up of a picture and a description given by the user. When clicked, Pins direct users to the image source page. Pins can be liked or repinned by other users. Users can also organize Pins by theme or event into visual collections called Pinboards.


Pinterest is a visual organizer for saving and sharing links to webpages and other media that you like — otherwise known as Pins.  While some people refer to Pinterest as a social media network, others maintain that it is really a search engine with bookmarking capabilities.


A collection of Pins on Pinterest. A Pinboard can be organized by any theme of your choosing, and it can either be private or public.


An audio file made available for streaming or download to your computer or portable media player. Originated from a marriage of the two words “broadcasting” and “iPod”.


A pop-up (also referred to as lightbox, pop-over, or interstitial) is an overlay box that appears in front of a web page. Usually, pop-ups invite people to join an email list.


A link, photo, video, or status that is shared to a social platform.


An acronym for “Pay Per Click.” Pay per click is an online advertising model in which advertisers display ads on various websites or search engines and pay when a visitor clicks through.


The state of a social media account such as Instagram or Twitter that protects content from the public. Users must request to follow private accounts to see the content.

Promoted Accounts

Announced in 2010, Promoted Accounts are a Twitter Ads feature that invites targeted users to follow a Twitter Handle. This function is used to quickly grow a Twitter handle’s following. Promoted accounts appear in the Home timeline, the Discover tab and profile pages. 


Posts that have been paid for to increase their reach and engagement.

Promoted Trends

Promoted Trends are a Twitter Ads feature that allows an advertiser to promote time-, context- and event-sensitive trends to the top of the Trends list on Twitter. They are clearly marked as “Promoted.”

Promoted Tweets

Promoted Tweets are native advertisements targeted to a specific audience available through Twitter Ads. They look almost identical to organic Tweets in users’ timelines but include a small “Promoted” marker.

Protected account

A private Twitter account. Only approved followers can view Tweets and photos from a protected account or access its complete profile. Tweets from protected accounts cannot be retweeted, even by approved followers.

More Definitions:  A – HQ – Z + Symbols + Abbreviations

What Would YOU Add To The Social Media Glossary

Obviously this list could easily be WAAAAAAY longer but I thought it would be easier to release it and then ask you what YOU think should be included. Let me know in the comments below the additional terms you would like added to this social media dictionary. This will be a constant work-in-progress so I would love to have you be a part of it!