The ABC's of Social Media

abc's of social media

Often, when we are researching how to improve our business through social media, we are left with a bunch of jargon that sounds like a foreign language. Social media has evolved since the days of AOL (AIM anyone?), and now we are in a new world of all things digital!

To save you some time (no more Googling!), I’ve compiled a list of popular social media terms to put in your back pocket.

Analytics: Analytics refers to data that allows you to monitor the performance of your social media content. This data includes page views, time spent on a page, clickthrough rate, and engagement rate.

Bio: On social media, a bio is a short piece of text that explains who the user is or what type of content you can expect to see. Here’s our bio on Instagram:

instagram bio

Clickthrough Rate: Clickthrough rate, often called CTR, is a commonly used social media metric. It represents the number of times a visitor clicks on a piece of content divided by the total number of impressions that content receives.

Direct Message (or DM): Direct messages, also known as DMs, are private conversations on social media. Both parties involved must follow each other to send messages. IM, stands for Instant Message. Both are interchangeable depending on which social media platform you are using.

Engagement Rate: Engagement rate is a popular social media metric that measures the level of interaction a piece of content receives. This includes likes, shares, and comments.

#FYP (For You Page): #FYP is a hashtag used by social media users to prioritize their content on other users’ feeds. This algorithmically sends users content from people they follow or related to hashtags they might be interested in.

GIF: GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. In social media, GIFs are small-scale animations and film clips. Giphy is a great website to find your favorite gifs from hit tv shows, movies, and more.


Handle: Handle refers to someone’s @username on Twitter or Instagram. SAGE’s handle on Instagram is @SAGE_QTI

Hashtag: A hashtag is a tag used on various social networks to annotate a message. It consists of a word or phrase preceded by a “#” symbol, such as #SAGEhacks. Social networks utilize hashtags to categorize information and make it easily searchable for users.

Impressions: Impressions are a way for marketers and advertisers to track each instance an ad is “fetched” and counted.

Insights: Social media insights refer to the valuable information derived from social media channels, providing businesses with a deeper understanding of their audience. This includes information such as demographic data, customer feedback, and competitive intelligence.

Jargon: Jargon refers to specialized words or expressions used by specific professions or groups that may be challenging for others to understand. Starting off in the promotional products industry, there was so much (very necessary) jargon I needed to learn!

Klout: Klout is a measure of social influence. It allows users to connect to their social accounts and gives them a Klout score. The score ranges from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a more significant influence in the social world.

Like: A like is an action that Facebook or Instagram users can take to show approval. Instead of writing a comment or sharing a post, users can click a like button. You can also like this article at the bottom of the page! Neat, right?

Mention: A mention is when a user includes someone else’s @username in their post or story to attribute content or initiate a discussion.

News Feed: A news feed is a stream of updates. For example, on Facebook, the news feed serves as the homepage for users, displaying the latest updates from their friends. On Twitter, the news feed is also called the timeline.

Online advertising: This includes various forms of advertising, such as email marketing, search engine marketing (SEM), social media marketing, display advertising (including web banner advertising), and mobile advertising.

PPC: PPC stands for pay-per-click. It is an online advertising model where advertisers display ads on websites or search engines and pay when a visitor clicks through. Bid-based PPC involves an auction system where advertisers compete by setting their maximum bid for each click.

Quantcast: Quantcast provides website traffic and demographic information for websites. Online advertisers often use this tool to target specific demographics.

Reply: On social, a reply is an action that allows a user to respond to a post or tweet by composing a separate message that begins with the other user’s @username. This is different from a mention because posts/tweets starting with @username only appear in the timelines of users who follow both parties.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume and quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines.

Tag: Tagging is a social media feature commonly used on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. It allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in a picture or mentioned in an update.

User-Generated Content (UGC): User-generated content refers to content created by consumers, such as blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. Marketers often leverage their audience in online settings to collect this type of content for campaigns or initiatives.

Viral: Viral describes the content, such as a YouTube video, blog article, or photo, that achieves significant awareness. This is where the phrase “going viral,” came from. Typically, viral content has many impressions, shares, views, likes, or comments.

Webinar: A webinar is an online seminar or presentation hosted by an individual or company. At SAGE, we host industry-related webinars that will help you learn more about SAGE products and services and power up your promotional products business.

YouTube: YouTube is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view, and share video clips. Check out SAGE’s YouTube page here to discover helpful videos, #SAGEhacks, and more!

Zealots: Zealots are what every brand aspires to have. They are passionate individuals in your community who are enthusiastic about your brand. They are the source of positive word-of-mouth.

Bonus- Shareables: Shareables are social media images tailored to each platform’s specific size. Just save and share on the platform of your choice! Luckily, SAGE has you covered for industry-specific social media shareables. You can locate your next social media post here!

Source: Hubspot

Interested in more advice on social media? Check out our other blogs on Making Social Media Images: 101, Promotional Products + Social Media: The Perfect Giveaway Match, and Adaptability for Social Media in 2023. 

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(Content Marketing Coordinator)

Ashley is the Content Marketing Coordinator at SAGE. She has a true passion for writing and blogging. In her free time, you can find her dancing ballet, cooking up one of her favorite recipes, or spending time with her husband Joe and puppy, named Pickles.

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