Social Media Marketing Glossary

Feeling lost with all the social media terminology flying around these days? Don’t fret! We here at Blue Flamingo see you and have your virtual back. With that in mind, we created a handy guide for reference when you stumble upon a term that makes you go, “huh”? For everyone out there who mixes up their hash browns with hashtags and doesn’t know the difference between a tweet and retweet, this is your guide. We’ll help you decode the inner mysteries of social media (like, do I have to dance on  TikTok?) and why each platform can benefit your business. 

Our guide goes beyond a simple definition of “What” with a “How” for how it is used, and a “Why” for why you should use it in your marketing. Read, learn, and then get ready to flex your terminology know-how IRL! (That’s short for “in real life,” grasshoppers.) Let the learning begin! #knowledgeispower



Clubhouse is a new kind of audio social media app that allows users to have conversations and explore topics, meet other people, listen to stories, and more. Think of it as a live podcast. 

Clubhouse is a good app to network with other businesses and potential clients to share your thoughts and ideas on a particular topic. By joining rooms with topics that interest you and by adding value to the conversation, you have the opportunity to build a following (read: followers) and establish yourself as a thought leader. Or take it a step further, and reach out to like-minded individuals–or those with differing opinions–and schedule your own room. You define the topic, time, and who will be participating. Be careful though … it’s addicting!


This oldie but goodie is still alive and kicking a whopping 17 years after its creation. Younger folks consider it the grandfather of social media in more ways than one, especially because it tends to draw an older crowd of users. 

Facebook is good if you want a one-stop-does-it-all type of social media platform. You can have a personal and business account that connects with users in one place. You can add apps and connect easily to third-party sites, too. It’s a simple process to invite existing friends on your personal Facebook account to “like” and “follow” your business page. Then you can read “comments” from followers and users on your page. Plus, you can broadcast live events and add events and tickets related to your business. 


Instagram is a social media platform where you can share photos and videos with your friends. Think of it as an online photo album. Well, not like an old-fashioned photo album because we would never have taken that many photos of our food back then. But as they say, “do it for the ‘gram.” 

Instagram is good if you want a simple photo format to showcase your brand. There are over 1 billion reasons–ahem, users–on Instagram, which makes it a pretty powerful platform to use for your business. It’s useful for most industries, since you can show photos and videos of your product or work. 


LinkedIn is like your virtual resume. It was designed for networking, business connections, recruiting, and job searches. Plus, users can endorse each other’s skills on their profiles in a virtual high five through recommendations and reviews. Or, focus on the treasure-trove of articles there related to your industry that you can follow and share. 

LinkedIn is good if you want to take your business connections and networking to the next level. It’s a fantastic opportunity to network and get to know your community or local market. Plus, it’s helpful if you need to recruit new talent, post a job, or look for a job yourself. 


Ah, Pinterest. Quite possibly the most soothing and satisfying of all social media platforms, as it was designed to sift through pretty pretty pictures and “pin” them to your boards, which are like virtual scrapbooks. You can also share your own photographs and have them pinned by other users. 

Pinterest is more than pictures, because it is a powerful tool to showcase your product through photos that other users pin and share. Essentially, it is free advertising under the guise of creating mood boards, dream home boards, recipe boards, etc. And it can be an effective marketing tool with paid/sponsored posts to attract your target audience. By sharing pins and creating pinnable images from your website, you can make it easy for your fans to share the love with their Pinterest network and if you’re selling your wares – they can shop


Snapchat is a messaging app for mobiles that enables users to send photos and videos in their texts to each other while earning points in a system created by the app. But unlike other platforms, the messages disappear after a short time. 

Snapchat was the 7th most popular app in 2021, making a win if you want to benefit from its success and build brand awareness. Snapchat is a good advertising platform to create ads that reach a wide variety of users and has an “of the moment” feel. 


This is the big ole dance party of social networking services, where users go to sing or wiggle it out in short video clips that they share on TikTok’s platform. Created as a way for people to express themselves via the spoken word, song, dance, comedy bits, and other formats, it has exploded in popularity in the 5+ years since its inception. 

TikTok is good if you want to connect to potential clients through videos, especially if your target market is a younger demographic. See what your potential audience is viewing, and then jump on that bandwagon. Craft your content to link to trends. You can use the #LearnOnTikTok hashtag to showcase your skills for your business. Or jump on one of the TikTok challenges to get more exposure for your brand. (Or just scroll through the latest ones, like pets in getaway cars just for fun.) 


Twitter pioneered “microblogging” with its social media platform that allows users to “tweet” (aka write and share) short thoughts. In addition to sharing thoughts and feelings via tweets, Twitter is a useful way for users to network and connect with each other. Mini conversations are fast, furious, and fantastic. On the quieter side, Twitter can be used to do research, scope out trends, and share photos and videos while linking to other social media platforms.

Twitter is good if you want to reach a broad audience with minimal effort for content since it is limited to 280 characters (about 55 words). It’s easy to source trending hashtags and use them to promote your business or products. 


Videos, videos, and…more videos. The end. YouTube was created as an easy way for people to store and share videos with each other online. It’s now expanded to include games, a premium channel, learning, and sports. 

YouTube is good if your business meshes with posting longer-form video content. You can post tutorials, show products, and give classes with the click of a button.  Users can give reviews, likes or dislikes, and leave comments which can provide valuable feedback and insights. It’s also an effective place for advertising, to build a fan club for your business, and connect with the media and influencers.  Plus, it’s an easy way to embed videos on a website, too. 


While not technically a social media app, we wanted to highlight WhatsApp as a messaging tool that utilizes video, photographs, and voice recordings. Because it uses wifi to connect users, it is a convenient alternative to using cellular data to call and text. 

WhatsApp is a good app to safely and securely communicate with other businesses and clients since it is encrypted on both ends. It is a reliable and free way to connect with business associates, vendors, family, and friends around the world where cell connectivity is spotty. Also worth considering if your team and/or clients are a mix of Android and iPhone users.


A backlink is a link on social media or a website that sends users to another site (preferably yours!) It means someone else is referring others to your page, which is usually a welcome endorsement. In SEO (search engine optimization) terms, this is very important. 

When a website that Google deems influential (aka ranks high in on the search page)provides backlinks to your site (maybe they reference a blog you wrote or a great product you have to offer), it gives your site more “SEO juice” and the Google algorithm will think your site is more important by association, helping bump your website up in Google search rankings. TL;DR: backlinks are good!


A blog (originally “web log”) is a page on a website that adds new content regularly. It’s used to promote the brand and its products and services by directing traffic to the website through engaging content your audience finds relevant and read-worthy. Blogs are usually written by one individual or a few people in a very informal and conversational style. The goal is often to share interesting or informative topics that readers will find useful and want to share. 

The key to a successful blog is consistency, whether that means adding new content once a month, twice a month, weekly, or even a few times a week – and value.  Write content that inspires, educates, entertains or influences.


That’s you! A brand is what people recognize your company as. Nike is a brand that sells athletic wear and fitness motivation, for example. Building a brand people recognize takes work and is often the result of many different approaches such as a website, product, social media, and email newsletters.

Clickthrough Rate (CTR) 

The Clickthrough Rate is the ratio of people who actively click on a specific link you’ve provided in your content to the number of people who have viewed it.  In marketing, data is essential in helping to evaluate what works and identifying areas of opportunity.  CTRs are your friend!


Engagement is the broad term for describing how people interact with your business via social media platforms and their tools. It can refer to “likes” or “shares” that followers utilize from posts on your site. Most social media platforms offer metrics with these details for their account holders so that users can track engagement and tailor their posts to these specifics. 


Filters don’t only belong to your morning cup of coffee. In photos, a filter is a tool that allows you to edit a photo with different colors and effects before posting it. As a verb, you can filter content on social media, websites, shopping sites, etc. by typing in any words or phrases to both narrow down content as well as filter out what you don’t want to see.


X marks the spot! A geotag is when you assign a location to a picture or post on social media. Just like you can “tag” your friends in a photograph online, geotagging lets you tag a location so that others can see where you were.


While the pronunciation is still a debate (is it “jiff” like the peanut butter? “Guh-if” like gift with no “t”?), a gif stands for Graphics Interchange Format. Also known as a short animated image, GIFs are usually fun ways to add humor and illustration to your social media or blogs. This image sequence is repeated on loop, making it like a mini-movie on repeat. 


This is your social media name for your business (or yourself). Keep it as simple and consistent as possible across all your platforms so potential clients can easily find you.


Blue Flamingo’s Instagram Handle is @blueflamingo_marketing

The url looks like:

Hashtag (#)

A hashtag is the little number sign on your keyboard that turns into a powerful link to trending social media topics. 

By linking a hashtag to your business name, product, or trending topic, users will be exposed to your brand when searching for that topic on social media. Adding the # to the beginning of a word or phrase automatically creates a link that will take you to every post on that platform with the same phrase.

Example: Are #blueflamingos real? #unsolvedmysteries

A hyperlink directs readers from one point to another on the internet, easily identifiable as blue, underlined words, like this. Hyperlinks are helpful for many reasons (such as the backlinks we talked about above), primarily ensuring the internet isn’t just one giant page of information. Can you imagine if all the content on the internet was just one long scroll?


In this case, impressions aren’t how good you look in your tux. In marketing, impressions is the name for the number of times your content is seen on social media, TV or on a billboard, regardless of whether or not it was clicked on or somebody called your business line. In other words: how many people had eyeballs on your content over a specific period of time? 


Akin to a social media socialite, an influencer is someone on social media who has a large following, and the power to influence people’s purchases. They are often sought after by companies to promote their products for a fee, and many influencers make a living this way. Depending on your business type, an influencer can be a good way to connect your audience with products or services they never knew they needed.


Insights is a broad term for the collection of data and analytics regarding your account. It can show you everything from how many people visit your site to when they are online. It allows you to see how your individual posts are performing and understand what is most popular with your audience. Insights are key to understanding your content performance and adjusting as needed. You’ll see this term used in Facebook, Pinterest, Google, and other platforms as the location to find how your content is performing. Insights = Indispensable! 


Most applicable to blogs and website pages, a keyword is a word or series of words that is used to help people find things. Think of it when you Google something for your next vacation: “best restaurants in Chicago.” Or maybe when you can’t sleep at night: “cat videos.” Those phrases in quotes are what we call keywords. 

To help people find you, keywords are inserted into the content you write on your website, and Google bots see these words. Google uses keywords, along with the size of your brand, the popularity of the keyword, and a bunch of other algorithm magic to help determine where your website or blog will rank in the results.  Bottom line: Keywords are really important.


A  “like” is the way you show you’re a fan of a particular post. It might look like a heart or a thumbs-up button on your social media app.

One of the best examples of using the “like” icon can be found on Facebook.  When users like your content,  your page will start showing up in their social media feed, which gives you more organic exposure(aka FREE). It also lets you know on other social media sites when viewers think your content is relevant. This will give you an idea of what to post in the future to get more views. 

Live streaming 

Live streaming is a way to transmit and receive videos in real-time on the internet. It’s the modern equivalent of a newscaster being “live on the scene”… except regular people can create the content. Live Streaming can also be utilized by TV shows, sporting events, and other live programs. You can watch this on a desktop browser, mobile app, and more, but it’s usually broadcast through a social media app or YouTube.


When you open a social media platform or news app, your “feed” is usually the first thing you see. It’s the area on a social media platform that displays the most recent content posted by users. It also includes updates, profile changes, and in some cases, like on Facebook, birthdays. 


Like old radio story installments, a podcast is a recorded audio segment. Podcasts come in a host of topics from a plethora of different brands and individuals. Want a podcast on basket weaving? There’s a podcast for that. Curious about how to get more people to open your email newsletter. Also a podcast. Most podcasts have an underlying theme and have regular installments relating to that theme. 

Podcasts are an excellent way to share information with commuters, work-from-homers, and others who like to get their information audibly instead of visually.


A retweet is when you repost or share someone else’s tweet. This helps you engage with clients by sharing interesting posts. It can also help give a boost for other affiliated businesses. Sharing is caring! 

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is the big kahuna of getting your brand out there. In a nutshell, SEO is how Google and other search engines rank your content. Focusing on your SEO is the difference between your website ending up on page 100 of Google Search Results or Page 1 or 2. (Related: Where’s the best place to bury a dead body? On Page 12 of Google Search Results! Ha!) Okay okay, moving on. SEO is a loaded topic but so incredibly important. It involves using keywords (see above) and other information on the admin side of your website or blog to increase visibility and drive traffic. 


Ah, the infamous selfie. In short, this is a photo taken of you by you. Use your camera phone (or actual camera if you’re old-school like that) to take a snap. Upload it to social media. The selfie is yet another tool for self-promotion for your brand. Tie in the shot with your product, service, or location for maximum impact. Depending on your brand it can also help build connection with your customers when they see a familiar face.


A “share” is what it sounds like: sharing content on social media.  Sharing allows you to move content to a larger audience and allow more people to engage. Sharing also encourages other members to share, too, which will reach a broader swath of people. The more shares, the more eyes on your post. 

You know when you have a link that’s longer than the queue at the DMV? URL shorteners on platforms like reduce them to smaller and more memorable sizes. When you only have 280 characters on a social media app like Twitter, shorter link size is really important. 


A story is taking sharing one step further, since it allows you to craft long-form and short-form media stories. This can be a video, photo montage, etc. that is a 10-15 second narrative that disappears after 24 hours. 

Stories are another way to give your audience unique insight into your brand, but in an easily digestible format. Like Snapchat, it creates a very “of the moment” or “behind the scenes” feel appealing to many. It’s great for content that doesn’t need to live on for posterity, such as short-term sales, funny memes or gifs, or time-specific events.


When you “tag” someone or something, you name them in a post or a photograph. It’s like the modern day version of writing the name of the people in your photo on the back of the picture or the page in your photo album. 

To tag a business or person, type in the “@” symbol before the person or business’s name or handle. Remember, a # is for a topic, and a @ symbol is for people. Tagging is an excellent way to give credit, promote, and otherwise engage with your clients and partners on social media. 


Online, a thread is an ongoing conversation on social media, a forum, an email, or a messaging app like Slack. A thread occurs when someone replies to that initial message and more comments are added. Think of it like when all your aunties and family reply to the same message about Christmas dinner, everyone uses the “reply all” and you have an email string 100 deep. 

When a topic is “trending” it means that it’s very popular and is getting a lot of views and shares.  

Staying informed about trending topics is important to stay current. Some of these topics may be relevant to your business or your clients, so keep an eye on ones that you can use to connect with your own marketing and gain exposure. 


This is a term unique to the social media platform Twitter. A “tweet” is a post made on Twitter that is 280 characters or less. A tweet is a form of short and sweet communication for your brand. Fewer words means more people are likely to read it, and often share it. A tweet can include hashtags and be accompanied by photos, videos, and links.


Not to be confused with anything related to the pandemic, Viral or “going viral” is a term that means posted content has become extraordinarily popular very quickly. This is done by other users “sharing” this content. While there’s no magic number of shares to deem a post officially viral, it’s based on the moment and what is trending.

Blue Flamingo is a creative messaging, communications, and PR firm known for helping organizations stand out and get noticed.

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