The Social Media Marketing Glossary

Whether you’re newly learning about social media marketing, or are a pro in the field, you’re bound to run into some jargon that you don’t quite understand, especially with constant updates and changes in the industry. We have compiled an exhaustive list of terms, phrases and jargon that revolve around social media marketing. This glossary is constantly being updated!

A – B – C – D – E – F – G – H – I – J – K – L – M
– N – O – P – Q – R – S – T – U – V – W – X – Y – Z



The technical definition is a set of rules to be followed in calculations or problem-solving formulas to derive a value. In social media, algorithms are used by platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to determine which pieces of content to show you in your news feed, based on your interests, activity and interactions. Social Media Newsfeed that uses algorithms include Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, Twitter still operates via a chronological feed.


Analytics are large sets of data based on your social media activity. Most social media platforms offer analytics or their respective platforms, sometimes called Insights. Typically Analytics hold data such as Impressions, Engagement and Reach. Analytics can be used to evaluate the content and social media campaigns, to help future social media marketing strategies.



A short biography that is displayed on your social media profile, describing who you are or what your social media account is about.



A few lines describing your post on Instagram.

Content Curation

The process of collecting content as part of a campaign or for a specific reason or purpose. For example, a clothing brand may curate content from customers wearing their latest seasons items.

Chronological Feed

The news feed of a social media platform is displayed in chronological order.  Historically both Facebook and Instagram used to have Chronological feeds however switched to Algorithmic led feeds, Twitter still uses a Chronological feed and Snapchat has recently adopted an Algorithmic feed.


Direct Message

Private message sent via social media platforms between two or more users. Certain platforms limit direct messages to users who follow you.



Engagement refers to the activity on the content you post on your social media accounts. For examples on Instagram Likes and Comments on a post constitute towards Engagement. Generally and interactions other users have with content you post on your social media is classed as Engagement.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is the statistic used to measure the engagement of a post on social media. Engagement rate is calculated by the number of interactions a post receives (Likes, Comments & Saves) divided by the number of followers on the account.



In social media, Feed refers to the stream of information curated by content posted by your followers. The feed is sometimes referred to as Timeline or News Feed.


Popularised by Instagram, a filter is a custom preset used on images and videos that applies a photographic effect to the content. Filters alter parameters such as brightness, saturation, contrast and more. Filters have since evolved from simple photography changes to adding augmented reality effects and real-time information.


A follower is a user on social media who chooses to receive your updates on your social media activity. Your updates will be presented to them via their feeds. The number of people who follow you is presented as “Followers” which can typically be seen via your profile page.


Users you choose to “Follow” are referred to Following. Users you choose to follow will appear in your News Feed with all of their updates and content.



A filter that is unique to a specific location. Originating on Snapchat, Geofilter could only be applied when users wherein a location, a city, country or point of interest. Users can also create their own Geofilters for their own event in specific locations for a limited time.



Traditionally “Handle” referred to your account name on Twitter, not to be confused by your display name. The handle is the name preceded by @. Some also use Handle refer to a users Instagram account name.


A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a # symbol, which serves as tags for content on social media. Hashtags are searchable, allowing users to find content that has been tagged with the hashtag that they searched. Popular hashtags include #ThrowbackThursday and #NoFilter



Impressions or impression is a metric used to measure the amount times your post has been seen on social media.


An influencer refers to an individual on social media that has significant popularity in terms of followers and engagement rates. Influencers have a loyal following and engaged audience on their respective platforms and are often used by marketers and brands as part of an Influencer Marketing campaign or Paid Partnership to promote a product or brand to their followers.

Instagram Scheduling

Instagram Scheduling is the process of pre-planning and scheduling content to an Instagram Account. Scheduling has many advantages including time-saving, being able to plan your feed in advance and managing multiple accounts. You can find out more about scheduling here.





An interaction a user has with a post on Instagram or Facebook, an indication they admire the content.



A Twitter terminology refers to when a user tweets you via your Twitter handle. “Mentions” is also a term used for Twitter users notifications, whereby they can see what other users have been tweeting them.



Organic Reach

Organic reach refers to the number of unique accounts that have seen your content on social media without the use of paid promotion tools.


Paid Reach

Paid reach refers to the number of unique accounts that have viewed your content with the addition of paid promotion.


Quote Tweet

An action on Twitter whereby a user will reply to a tweet, whilst embedding the original tweet underneath.



Reach is the number of unique users that viewed your content.


An action on Twitter whereby a user reposts a tweet onto their feed, using a function called retweet or quote tweet.


Snapchat Lenses

Lenses are Snapchat’s evolved version of filters that use augmented reality as part of their filters. First introduced in 2015 lense rapidly became popular, allowing uses to take augmented reality selfies.



This term can be used across all social platforms, a tag is when a user is tagged into a post by another user. Sometimes to identify them in the content, other times to show them the content.


Typically used on Twitter, a thread is when a user tweets a series of tweets in relation to one another by replying to themselves, thus forming a thread.


Trending is the term used for topics that are currently popular on social media due to many users posting content around this topic. Platforms such as Twitter will show you the top trends from your geographic location, giving you an indication of what everyone is currently tweeting about.


A Tweet is the name of a post on Twitter, traditionally made up of a short phrase up to 240 characters. Tweets can also contain images, videos and polls.


User-generated content

Also abbreviated to UGC, user-generated content is the process of curating content from your followers and repurposing it for your own social media with credit. Great examples of UGC can be found with brands on Instagram that repost content from followers using their products.



Users on social media have the ability to be “Verified” which authenticates them as an individual or brand, adding a bluetick to their profile, allowing other users to recognise that this is an official account


When a piece of content, whether it be an image, video or even a tweet gains immense popularity over the internet in a short space of time, this is deemed as “going viral”.