Social Media Terms: A to Z Glossary

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Common social media terms to know for certification prep, interviewing, and resume writing.

Social Media Terms

Social media is an interactive technology that allows the creation and sharing of information, ideas, interests, and other forms of expression via virtual networks and communities. Its use is characterized by a broad set of activities such as posting images, videos, and text updates, engaging with followers, and participating in conversations. Professionals in this field leverage various platforms to build brands, connect with audiences, and drive marketing campaigns.

Social media specialists are skilled communicators who manage, curate and analyze content across digital platforms to strengthen engagement and community interaction. They often collaborate with content creators, digital marketers, and data analysts to optimize social media strategies and achieve business objectives.

This beginner-friendly social media glossary can be a valuable resource if you are starting a career in social media management or seeking to enhance your existing skills in digital communication.

Social media terms

You’ll find common social media terms in the glossary below. 


An algorithm in social media is a set of rules that the platform uses to determine the order of posts that users see in their feed based on relevancy rather than publish time.


Analytics in social media refers to collecting and analyzing data generated by user interactions and engagements on various platforms to help inform strategies and decisions.

Learn more: Enhance your understanding of audience behavior and campaign performance with Analytics Courses.


A bio on social media is a short public summary about a user, typically found on their profile. It details personal interests, professional affiliations, or other pertinent details.


In social media, a carousel is a format that allows multiple photos or videos to be viewed in a single post, allowing users to swipe through them.


Clickbait refers to sensationalized headlines or captions designed to entice users to click on a link, often leading to Content of dubious value or relevance.

Content Calendar

A content calendar plans when and where to publish upcoming content. It is essential for organizing and managing a company’s editorial strategy across multiple platforms.

Direct Message (DM)

Direct message, or DM, is a private communication between social media users not visible to the public.


Engagement measures the interaction social media content receives from users, such as likes, comments, and shares.

Engagement Rate

Engagement rate is a metric used to gauge the level of interaction content receives relative to the audience size or the number of followers. It helps measure how effectively content is resonating with an audience.


A follower is a social media user who has subscribed to receive your posts or updates in their feed.


Geotagging involves adding geographical information to various media forms, such as photos and video, often used to enhance engagement by showing location-specific details.


A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#) used on social media platforms to identify messages on a specific topic.


An influencer is a social media user who has established credibility in a specific industry, has access to a large audience, and can persuade others through their authenticity and reach.

Read more: What Is a Social Media Influencer?

Live Streaming

Live streaming is broadcasting real-time, live video to an audience over the internet. Social media platforms like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitch are popular services that host live streaming.

Lookalike Audiences

A lookalike audience is a way to reach new people likely to be interested in your business because they're similar to your best existing customers. It is primarily used in social media advertising.


A meme is a humorous image, video, text, etc., copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by internet users.

News Feed

A news feed is a central feature of social media platforms where a continuously updated list of news stories and other Content from people a user follows is displayed.

Organic Reach

Organic reach is the number of people who see your social media content without paid promotion.

Paid Reach

Paid reach is the number of people who see your social media content as a result of paid promotions.


A social media platform is a website or application that hosts social networking services like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.


A profile is a personal page on a social media site representing a user and containing their posts and personal information, which can be public or private, depending on privacy settings.


In social media, to share means to repost or forward a message, photo, or video posted by another user.

Social Listening

Social listening involves monitoring social media channels for mentions of your brand, competitors, products, and more. It provides insights into the audience’s feelings and can help to direct content strategy and public relations efforts.

Read more: What is Social Listening?


To tag is to create a link to another social media profile or status update. Tags are often used in photos to identify the people in the image or to link to their profiles.


Trending refers to topics, hashtags, or Content currently popular on social media platforms.

User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-Generated Content is any form of Content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, posted by users on online platforms such as social media and wikis.


Viral refers to Content that has become very popular quickly, spreading across the internet through shares and reposts, much like a virus.

Ready to advance your career with social media skills?

Enhance your skills in digital communication and engagement with social media courses. Whether starting or looking to improve your social media management abilities, these courses offer valuable insights and strategies. Learn to craft compelling content and grow online communities. Explore social media courses today and start your journey toward becoming an expert. Transform your ability to connect with audiences and drive impactful campaigns.

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