Social Media TermsThe ABC’s of Social Media

Whether you are just starting to build your brand’s social media presence or have been outsourcing your company’s social media management for years now, you’ve likely come across many specialized social media terms. What is engagement and should I track it? Does it matter for me and my business? If these are some of the thoughts that you’ve had, you are not alone! Social media is practically its own language, which is why we broke it down and created a social media dictionary to help you navigate starting your company’s channels or navigate your agency’s monthly social media report.

Social Media Terms


An algorithm is a set of formulas that tell social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram how to display posts. For example, in the early days of Twitter, the algorithm was reverse chronological. If you scrolled through your feed, all of your followers’ posts would show up most recent to least recent. Today, the algorithm depends on engagement.

Click through Rate

Click through rate represents the number of times a visitor clicked on a post and through to the post’s landing page. To calculate click through rate, divide clicks the post received by its total number of impressions (more on what that is below!).


A comment is a written response that is an answer or reaction to a post.

Conversion Rate

Conversion rate is the percentage of people who click on a social post or ad and complete an intended action. For example, if you created a post and leads people to a landing page with a survey, the conversion rate would measure how many people filled out the survey. To calculate, divide the number of conversions by the impressions.

Direct Message

Also referred to as “DMs” — are private conversations that occur in social media inboxes.


Engagement measures the number of likes, comments and shares a post receives. This is why treating social media like a relationship with your followers is so important! The more you communicate with your followers, the more they communicate back, the higher the engagement rate!


A follower refers to a person who subscribed to your page to see your post updates.


You’ve probably seen a word or phrase after a #. That’s a hashtag! It is a way to tell a social network to categorize the post and to make it searchable.


An impression is the number of times your content is shown to your followers. It doesn’t matter if a follower actually saw the post or if they saw it three times. If it was shown once, it counts as one impression.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is a type of marketing that utilizes notable people or social media leaders to share your brands message. This is done so the message appears organic.


A Like is an action made by a Facebook or Instagram user. A user can click the Like button as a quick way to show approval.


PPC is an acronym for pay per click, or an online advertising model in which advertisers pay a fee each time one of their ads is clicked.


Reach is similar to impressions in that it tracks if your post was viewed. However, reach refers to actual views.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring is a process of monitoring and responding to mentions and comments that one’s post received. Brands often use a social listening tool to do so.

Is there a word that we are missing?
Reach out to us and let us know!

Or give us a call and we’ll explain how the above words relate to your social media strategy and what you need to be on the lookout for.

Wondering if you should you outsource your social media? Find out!