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Glossary of Social Media Terminology: A Beginner’s Guide

Social media terminology is something every social media manager must know if they want to be proficient in their field. More than just social media buzzwords, these professional terms are useful for collaborating on projects. If you are interacting with clients, it is important to be able to explain complicated terms. Plus, you sound and look more professional when you make use of these terms freely. 

If you are considering a career as a social media marketer or manager, this guide will give you an understanding of important social media terminology. Due to the prevalence of social networks, even if you are not considering a career in the industry, this guide will still be of use to you.

What Is Social Media?

Social media is a collective term for social networks, including websites or applications, that enable users to create shareable content and participate in networking. Examples of social media platforms are Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram.

Social media is so pervasive today that in the US, over 70 percent of people have social media accounts. Since there is such strong engagement from active users, social media channels have become a common advertising tool. Apart from being a source of entertainment for individual users, social media is now a powerful resource for businesses to grow their following and push content to users.

Who Uses Social Media Terminology?

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Social media managers, marketers, content managers, and digital marketers use social media terminology. However, anyone working in the entertainment, tech, fashion, and music industries will use these social media terms as well. Some of the more common and basic terms are also frequently used by anyone who has a social media profile. 

List of Social Media Terms: Things Every Social Media Manager Should Know

  1. Analytics
  2. Algorithm
  3. Avatar
  4. Bio
  5. Blog
  6. Bookmarking
  7. Chat
  8. Clickbait
  9. Clickthrough Rate
  10. Comment
  11. Community Manager
  12. Conversion Rate
  13. Direct Message
  14. Emoji
  15. Engagement Rate
  16. Follower
  17. Like
  18. Meme

Glossary of Social Media Terminology: 5 Common Social Media Terms

A group of six professional young adults all holding and looking at different devices.

Running a social media campaign is a great way for a person to increase brand engagement. 

When considering this terminology, there are some terms that you will hear more often than others. Below are the five most common terms from the social media glossary you should know if you work as a social media manager or marketer.


A bio refers to an explanation or description of a profile, whether it is for a person or a company. A bio is usually short and provides a direct overview of the account. You can find account bios on various social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. 

Why Social Media Managers Need to Know About Bios

Bios are essential on social media because most times, it is the first thing people look at when they come across social accounts. As a social media manager, you can think of bios as a short description of your company. You can write a creative bio and leverage it to draw more awareness to the brand you represent.  


A blog is a regularly updated website run by one person or a small group. Blogs have various niches, such as lifestyle, tech, or personal development. Many businesses have blogs because providing relevant content is a great way of reaching potential audiences or customers. In addition, it is a great way to boost your business’s page through search engine optimization. 

Why Social Media Managers Need to Know About Blogs

Blogs are popular platforms for reaching many people worldwide. A variety of people frequent blogs to answer pressing questions or even just for fun. As a social media manager, understanding blogs and harnessing their potential in your marketing strategy will further help create brand awareness and boost sales. 


Chats include any kind of instant messaging communication done on the Internet. This can include one-on-one or group communication carried out via text-based applications and platforms such as Whatsapp, and Facebook Messenger.

Why Social Media Managers Need to Know About Chats 

It is crucial to understand how chats work and how to effectively use chats to communicate with clients. Today, many businesses utilize online chats as a way to provide accessible social customer service or increase their engagement rate. 


A comment is a response given in reaction to social media posts. It is another form of communication that allows users to freely express their ideas and thought processes. Comments are a great way for a brand or person to gauge audience response to a product or idea.

Why Social Media Managers Need to Know About Comments

The comment section on a social media network is a great place for brands to engage their target audience. As a brand manager, the comment section helps you establish a brand persona. You must know how to effectively harness the comment section to help you serve your customers better. 

Direct Message

Direct messages, also known as DMs, are private messages or conversations on social media platforms. As the name implies, it is a private message conversation between users. DMs fall under the term chat, but there are certain chats that do not qualify as DMs. Chat is a much broader term than a direct message. 

Why Social Media Manager Needs to Know About Direct Messages

Direct messages are vital if you plan to keep up with your customers and potential customers online. Direct messages allow you to effectively communicate privately and answer any customer queries. 

Social Media Terminology Cheat Sheet: 5 Advanced Social Media Terms

Now that you know some basic social media terms, it’s time to examine some more advanced terminology. While these terms are less common, they are still essential to know and understand. Those who work in social media marketing will find this section particularly useful as a refresher, as these are terms they might not use every day.


Social media analytics is the data that gives you valuable insights into how the online community engages with your content. This can include page views as well as the clickthrough rate, engagement rate, and more. Most social media platforms offer in-house analytics

Why Social Media Manager Should Know About Analytics 

As a social media manager, analytics are crucial to know how the content you put out is performing, what piece of content is getting the most engagement, and what to improve on. This will help you determine what to keep doing or stop doing as well as which platforms to use for marketing


Social media algorithms are patterns or mathematical calculations that social media platforms use to understand users’ habits. Social media channels use algorithms to customize and improve the user experience. Users are rarely aware that an algorithm is at work. Some social platforms that have and use algorithms are Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. 

Why Social Media Managers Should Know About Algorithms

Algorithms work by curating each user’s feed based on past actions and preferences. Understanding how the platform’s algorithm works will determine if your brand is visible to your target audience. Understanding how algorithms work is key to making sure that you properly develop your social media strategy and meet your digital marketing goal. 

Clickthrough Rate

Clickthrough rate, also known as CTR, is a metric used to represent the percentage of people that clicked your ad. It is used to gauge how your ads, free listings, and keywords are performing. The number of times your ad is clicked on is divided by the number of times your ad is shown to get your CTR. The average social media ad clickthrough rate was 1.3 percent at the end of 2020.

Why Social Media Managers Should Know About Clickthrough Rates

CTR is a social media metric that helps you gauge how the ads you put out on social media channels are performing. With the help of the clickthrough rate, you can easily understand if your ad is performing well and what could be improved. This form of engagement is important to calculate your return on investment when it comes to display ads. 


Clickbait is a term for intentionally catchy headlines written to draw attention either to a blog article, video, image, or social media post. Clickbait content is often sensationalized and used to immediately grab the attention of social media users.

Why Social Media Managers Should Know About Clickbait 

Creating catchy headlines to lure more visitors to your site or social media page is excellent, which is why using clickbait can be a useful strategy. This may help you get more engagement from users but it should be done carefully so your brand does not come across as misleading. 

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a popular metric used to determine the amount of interaction social media content or a page receives. Interactions include likes, shares, comments, and saves. This social media metric tracks how active and involved your audience is with your content. It does this by comparing the percentage of users who follow or view your content to those who interact with it.

Why Social Media Managers Should Know About Engagement Rates 

As a social media manager, knowing and understanding how your audience is interacting with the content of your brand is essential. Your engagement metrics are a key performance indicator that helps you determine how active users are with your content. 

How Can I Learn Social Media Terminology in 2022?

You can learn social media terminology from online courses, books, and even social media marketing bootcamps. Knowing both basic and advanced terms will help you impress future employers, clients, and colleagues. As content and features on social media networks are constantly evolving, it is important to stay current in the field.

Social Media Terminology FAQ

Is learning social media terminologies hard?

Learning social media terminology isn’t challenging. This is primarily because you likely already use these various social networks and have probably already come across essential terms. 

What are the different types of social media?

Different types of social media include social networks like Facebook, media sharing networks like Instagram, and discussion forums like Quora. Social media also encompasses content curation platforms, blogging networks, and consumer review networks. 

What jobs can I get if I study social media terminologies?

Jobs you can get if you study social media terminologies include working as a social media marketer or manager, digital marketer, content manager, and more. Many different industries hire experts in social media to increase brand awareness so there are a variety of positions available. 

How many social media terminologies are there?

There is no set number of social media terms, especially as this technology is constantly evolving. In this guide, we focused on the terms we consider to be the most common and the most important for social media managers.

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