Social Media Terms

It started as an indie project to connect students at Harvard. But in a few short years, it blossomed into the most well-known platform of our time: Facebook.

Since Facebook, the social media landscape has grown into many different blends. Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, and more. If you plan to do social media marketing, it can seem like a daunting task to keep track of all these platforms.

Knowing the terminology for social media is paramount when developing your strategy. Understanding all the key social media terms provides baseline knowledge to make full use of these platforms.

So in this social media guide, we’ll start with the basics. Join us as we discuss the most important terms to keep in mind.

The Most Important of All Social Media Terms: Algorithm

You’ve probably seen the word algorithm thrown around a lot these days. People praise it for good recommendations and blame it for misinformation. But what is an algorithm, and why is it so crucial to the function of social media?

Put simply, an algorithm is computer code that takes information and makes calculated decisions with it. In social media, an algorithm evaluates content (posts, comments, etc.). It then figures out what users would like most, and serves it to them.

This results in social media being a dynamic environment. Algorithms take data on users–what content they already like–and then serves them more relevant content. As time goes by, your social media experience grows ever more personalized.

Algorithms have changed the way we do marketing forever. It means users get ads that concern them, giving you more bang for your buck.

Social Media Analytics

Analytics and algorithms go hand in hand. While an algorithm determines who gets what content, analytics gathers data on how users engage with content.

Think of analytics like a quality assurance inspector. The analytics collect all sorts of metrics from social media. They tell you how many people viewed a post, how long they viewed it, and much more.

Analytics are the key to understanding consumer behavior. Without them, you have no idea how well your content is performing. With them, you can strengthen your existing strategy.

Targeted Advertising

Advertising is far more effective than it has ever been in the past. For the first time in history, you can serve ads directly to your target audience no matter what platform they use.

This is thanks to algorithms and analytics. Using those two features, social media marketing allows you to hone in on your target audience. It observes the activity of users and determines which ones would be interested in your product.

This is far more efficient than past methods of advertising. There’s a far higher chance that someone who receives your ads will actually act on them.

Native Advertising

Nowadays, people can tell when they’re seeing an ad. As such, their immediate reaction is to avoid it. To solve this, social media platforms often use native advertising.

These are ads that appear to be normal posts while actually being ads. They may mimic many of the things you’d expect to see in posts from friends. They give the impression that the user is already following the ad’s owner, so they’re more likely to read it.

This is a great way to prevent customers from scrolling by. It forces them to take the time to read the ad. Even once they realize it’s an ad, there’s a lower chance they’ll click away since they may find it useful.

Pay-per-Click Advertising

In the past, you might pay for a number of impressions. This means a website would serve your ad a certain number of times. It’s a very ineffective method that costs you more in the end.

Now, you can pay for every time that someone clicks on your ad. If they see it but don’t click, you don’t lose any money. You’re only paying for ads that resulted in a customer reaching your website.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

As we said, analytics make up a lot of different metrics, and click-through rate is one. When people view a post they have two decisions: click, or scroll to the next post.

CTR helps you to understand how many people are interested enough to learn more. It’s a clear-cut number of just how engaging your content is, and whether people care enough to act on it.

A low CTR means it’s probably time to change your CTA or content format. With enough tweaking, you can find a high CTR that gets more eyeballs and therefore more sales.

Conversion Rate

CTR is helpful to determine if your strategy is taking people to your website. But more important than that is your success with customer conversions.

Customer conversion is when you take a lead (someone who receives and views your targeted ad) and make them into a customer. High customer conversion means your ads are landing, and those people are buying. Low conversion means something is going wrong along the way.

Engagement Rate

A successful advertising campaign doesn’t just concern itself with the click-through rate. You want to build a successful brand, which means getting people to talk about it. Positive engagement can build a strong company image in your customers’ minds.

Engagement rate tends to have to do with the following:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Hashtags

High engagement means customers are liking, commenting, and sharing. Low engagement means you should probably reevaluate your strategy since it isn’t landing for some reason.

Maximize Your Digital Engagement

Understanding the core social media terms will be essential as you build your online presence. Social media terminology continues to grow and adapt, so it pays to be on top of new jargon. A thriving business is one that makes use of ever-evolving online marketing technology.

Before you start promoting your business, seek out the experts. From social media marketing to search engine optimization, WSI is here to help. They’ll provide the expertise you need to find and convert your target audience.