Social Media Terms for the Social Media Beginner

If you’re not completely up to speed with social media, it may be hard for you to read articles or listen to conversations about it, as social media has its own lingo that refers to different things. If you’re already confused with social media, this lingo can make it even more confusing.

In order to help you decipher exactly what it is that social media savants are talking about, use the following list as a reference guide.

Application Programming Interface (API): This refers to an interface that connects two different software applications.

Avatar: An avatar is an online username or image that a person uses to represent themselves on social networks or forums.

Bit.ly: This is a free service that shortens URLs and provides statistics on the link, such as how often it is clicked on or shared and at what times. This is extremely popular on Twitter, where tweets cannot exceed 140 characters in length.

Eventbrite: This is an online event management and ticket company. If your event is free, so is the use of Eventbrite, but if you charge a fee, Eventbrite will take a percentage per ticket.

Facebook: Created by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is a popular social networking site that connects people together. It is currently the largest social networking site in the world.

Flickr: This is another social networking site that connects users through picture sharing.

Foursquare: Foursquare is another social network that allows users to “check in” to certain locations to let their friends know where they can be found.

Friends: This does not mean your actual friends. Instead, it refers to the people you are connected with on Facebook. Everyone is called a friend, even if they’re a family member, coworker or acquaintance.

Follower: This refers to the people who receive your Twitter updates. They have elected to “follow” you.

Google+: A new social network created by Google that allows you to place people into groups and share certain information with only certain groups.

Hashtag: Hashtags (#) are used on Twitter to categorize a message. They precede a word or phrase, which then makes the tweet public to anyone searching for that hashtag.

Klout: Klout is a service used to measure a person or company’s social impact. Users connect their social accounts, and they will then receive a Klout score. The higher the score, the more impact you have on others in the social world.

Like: This is a term used on Facebook. Facebook contains symbols of a thumbs up sign, which means “Like”. If a person posts a picture, video or status update that you enjoy, you can “Like” it. You can also “Like” company pages, which is how you connect with them on Facebook.

Link Building: This is a metric used in search engine optimization. A website owner will generate traffic to their own website by placing links to their site on other sites.

Meme: Any thought, joke, concept or idea that is shared online is a meme, which typically comes in the form of an image with text above and below it. Cats are popular memes.

Pinterest: Pinterest is the new social media site that acts like a virtual corkboard. Users can “pin” items they like to their own boards to keep everything organized, and they can share their pins with other users.

Retweet: If you post a message on Twitter (known as a tweet), and someone wants to share it, they “retweet” it to their followers. The retweet contains the original message and the original tweeter’s name.

Search Engine Optimization: Referred to by most as SEO, search engine optimization is the tactic used to get more traffic to a website.

Search Engine Marketing: Also known as SEM, search engine marketing refers to raising a website’s visibility on the search engines.

Search Engine Results Pages: Otherwise known as SERPs, this refers to the search engine page that is generated when a specific keyword is entered into the search field.

Timeline: This is the new feature of Facebook profiles, which creates a timeline of events for the user’s life.

Trend: When a certain topic is being shared or discussed at a rapid pace, it is known as a trend.

Tweet: A tweet is the message that you send via Twitter. It cannot exceed 140 characters.

Twitter: The second most popular social network, users have a username and can post status updates that don’t exceed 140 characters.

URL: This is the address of a website.

Steven Peters loves to write and blog.  He often writes about social media and gives tips to today’s top entrepreneurs.

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