Social Media Glossary of Terms For Small Business Owners

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1 Social Media Glossary of Terms For Small Business Owners Introduction As a small business, reaching your audience efficiently and cost-effectively way is critical to your success. Social media platforms offer an effective way to reach your potential and existing customers in a personalized and engaging way. The following glossary provides helpful terms to guide your next move, maximize your company s social presence, and take your brand from simply having customers, to having fans. Glossary of Terms Algorithm In the social media world, algorithms often determine which content we see in our feeds. An algorithm uses rules and data based on behavior and displays the items a viewer most likely wants to see. Analytics/Insights The use of data to glean the important behavioral patterns of your audiences. Data is typically gathered by using tags to track user activity. Avatar In the social media space, an avatar is an image (typically a photo) or a username that is used to represent a person or company online. Some businesses choose to use the company logo and speak in the corporate tone, while others prefer to use a real employee as the voice of the organization.

2 Average Handle Time This refers to the average amount of time it takes a company to resolve a customer issue via social media. Many companies used to ignore negative comments and it cost their brand reputation. It s common practice not only to respond to customers, but also to resolve the issue within a measurable window of time, a goal you should set as part of your social media strategy. Bitly A free online service that allows you to shorten a long URL. Shorter URLs are easier to share and can even be used on print advertising material if you d like to drive your mail traffic online. Block When a social media user no longer wants to read posts from another user, he or she can block their posts. Blocking a user usually means they can no longer tag you in posts, add you to lists, or mention you in comments. Blog Short for web log, business blogs should be crisp and easily consumed. They are commonly used to provide updates to your audience regarding product releases, events, special deals and community outreach activities. A company blog is a great place to share videos and articles that your customers may find useful and entertaining. Brand Advocate or Brand Ambassador Many brands have customers who simply love them. They are passionate about the brand and are willing to write testimonials or blog posts, and share positive stories about you in their social media feeds and pages. Connecting with your advocates can be a very powerful marketing tool and a good way to influence new customers to try your products.

3 Chat Any sort of text-based messaging can be referred to as chat. It s common for a customer to leave a comment on your social media pages, but he or she may want to engage in a private discussion about a business matter. Chat is a common platform for such conversations. Check in The act of posting your geographic location to your social media accounts. Users can add a custom note to a check in, such as give an opinion on a meal eaten at a restaurant. Circles Groups of a user s friends on Google+. Circles can be convenient when you d like to lump together certain groups of friends, family or colleagues in order to share relevant content with the group. Comment A comment is small piece of feedback left after you post something in social media or on the web. Comments may be positive or negative, so many companies choose to monitor them closely and respond within a reasonable period, usually 1 business day or less. Connections People you are linked to in the social media site LinkedIn are called connections. Because LinkedIn is designed for business networking, you are not necessarily friends with your connections, but may have important ideas to share or mutually beneficial relationships to share. Content Any item from an advertisement to a video or article is content. Many brands have a content mix by which they generate their own original content as well as syndicated content from around the web via curation. Curated Content This can be a mix of your company s original content and relevant external content that is organized and presented in a consumable,

4 meaningful way. By pulling the information together into a newsletter or blog, you save your customers time and the hassle of searching on their own. Direct Message A private Twitter message that can only be sent by an individual who is already following you. Direct messages are another good avenue for resolving customer issues promptly and personally. Display Ad The advertisements seen on websites. They usually consist of photos, video, or flash. These types of ads are typically purchased through large-scale media buys and yield good retargeting results. Engagement This is a broad term that refers to social media interactions. It s not enough to get likes anymore, now customers expect you to participate in the conversation and be social. Facebook Fans The people who like your business page on Facebook. Follower A fellow Twitter user who has subscribed to your feed so they can see your tweets in their own feed. Getting your customers to follow you is a good way to increase the chances that they ll see your posts and tweets. Foursquare If you own a retail space, Foursquare can be a useful way to drive foot traffic. It is a location-based service that allows people to find places that are aligned with their preferences and interests. Friend Unlike a Twitter Follower, a friend is someone you have a two-way relationship with on a social network like Facebook. Both parties must agree to the relationship and the interaction is typically more engaged.

5 Geotargetting Most social media sites allow you to target your content to a specific geographic location. This allows you to better personalize your messaging and the experiences you offer. GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) pronounced jif refers to a file that supports animated and static images. The ultra-short, repetitive video clips we often see in our social media feeds are GIFs. Google+ - A social network hosted by the Search Engine that encourages social sharing among friends and family. Google+ tends to be more social and less business, as it can limit who you converse with. Handle Your username on several social media sites. On Twitter, your handle is used with symbol, Hangout A video chat service on Google+ that allows several users to have a conversation at once. Users can share video and documetns during calls, hangouts a great way to conduct conference calls. Hashtag A word or phrase used with a # symbol to bookmark a topic and make it easy to search for. For example, you may have a new product innovation and want customers to find a video about the launch on Twitter. You could create a hashtag such as #UnbelievableWidget. Hootsuite A social media manager that compiles all of your networks, allowing users to monitor, measure and use all accounts from a central location.

6 Impressions The number of times your advertisement or sponsored post is displayed on a social media site. Influencer Related to brand advocates, an influencer not only loves a brand, but has a huge following in social media. When leveraged strategically, an influencer can help you reach a large number of people with a positive message about your brand. Klout Refers to a numerical ranking of your company s influence in social media. The ranking (from 1 to 100) is based on the size of your network and how often your audience interacts with your content. Like How customers show interest in your content. By clicking like, algorithms adjust and learn, tracking the interests of your customers. LinkedIn Influencer These are high-profile business leaders and experts from a given field. Unlike most other social media influencers, LinkedIn Influencers must be invited to join the program. These individuals are a free source of curated content and business wisdom. Meme In social media, a meme is used to share a joke or concept online. It is usually a photo with plain block text above it, but there are no hard and fast design rules for memes. You have likely seen several memes featuring Grumpy Cat or Prince George. Net Promoter Score A metric used to report customer loyalty based on how likely he or she is to recommend your company to a friend or colleague. Scores range from +100 to -100 with people responding 9 or 10 called promoters, and 6 or lower called detractors.

7 Newsfeed Located on your homepage, it is a feed full of posts and updates from people you follow. Organic In social media, this refers to people who see your content without an advertisement or paid promotion. This is the modern version of word-ofmouth marketing because people usually find organic content via friends, relatives and colleagues. Paid This term refers to content that has been viewed as the result of an advertisement or paid promotion. Paid audiences tend to be larger and more targeted than organic audiences, so the content is more likely to resonate with viewers. Pin To place an image or other piece of content on a Pinterest board. Pinterest A relatively new social media site that businesses can leverage to curate and display content (typically images) for their customers. Many companies use Pinterest to pique customer interest in their own and related products tied to an experience such as a wedding or vacation. Podcast What s old is new, and several companies are again using podcasts to reach customers. Typically a podcast is a collection of audio or video files. Podcasts are released episodically, extending the audience reach. Promoted Content Items posted to social media that have been targeted to a specific audience through paid advertisements. These items appear in a newsfeed like a regular post, but usually contain a small identifier, such as the promoted badge on Twitter.

8 Retargeting A savvy marketing technique that tags web visitors who explored your product pages. Once the visitor leaves your site and goes elsewhere on the web, your ad will present itself to the hot sales lead. Retweet A tweet that is re-shared on Twitter. This can be done manually by typing RT, which is the only way to add your own commentary. To retweet an entire tweet as-is, users can click the retweet button. RSS (Rich Site Summary) is a format for syndicating content. Audiences subscribe to RSS feeds with news in topics of interest. Subscriptions are usually free and anonymous. RSS feeds aggregate news and save you from having to create new content all the time. Share This term has evolved over the years as the social media landscape matures. It can mean taking another user s content and posting it on your sites. To share can also mean simply uploading or posting your own original content and sharing it with your network. Social Media Marketing Usually executed based on business objectives and a solid strategy, social media marketing is the use of networking sites to promote your brand. SoLoMo A marketing trend that combines three advertising strategies to maximize your reach: So (social), Lo (local), and Mo (mobile). Thread a long conversation or list of messages around a topic. Threads are a valuable source for consumer listening projects and can help you get in touch with your target market.

9 Throwback Thursday A social media trend that encourages people to post old photos with the hashtag #tbt. Companies have joined the fun by posting photos of the old break room and such (picture bouffant hair and cat-eye glasses). Timeline On Twitter, your timeline is the same as your newsfeed and where the volume of content relevant to you will appear. On Facebook, your timeline is a chronological scroll of your posts and posts you ve been tagged in. Trending A topic that is popular for a given time on social media. Tweet A message posted on the social media site Twitter. Twitter A social platform that allows users to publish bite-sized messages (no longer than 140 characters), videos, photos, and links to content for others to view. Unfollow Unsubscribing from another user s Twitter feed. URL Stands for Uniform Resource Locator and is the location page or source for a link on the web. User-Generated Content When deployed by companies, UGC can be a powerful way to authentically use the voice of your customer. UCG is typically written content or photos and videos that allow customers to creatively express how they feel about a brand.

10 Vine Another relatively new social media site, Vine allows users to create and post six-second videos. YouTube A video-sharing website that allows users to upload and view videos. Users can also store videos and share them on several other platforms via a link. Edward Kundahl, Ph.D., M.B.A President BusinessCreator, Inc

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