Social Media – Your Guide to All the Technical Terms

If you haven’t delved into using social media, you may be confused by some of the terminologies used in regards to what your Social Media Strategist may be using when they give you your monthly report. To help you understand more about social media, we here at Iconic Web HQ have put together a guide all about social media and the technical terms to help you grow your business’s online presence.


An old symbol that has been called numerous different things during its lifetime, the official name for it is an octothorpe… these days, it is now referred to by the kids as a “hashtag.” While currently, the good old-fashioned telephone has been phased out by the cell phone, many used to also call this symbol the pound sign.

A hashtag is generally put before a word or category to help categorize content on various social media channels. It can also be used to convey irony when used in either email or offline conversations.

For example, the tag #socialmediaengagement on Twitter can help you find content specific to that social media management tool located in that channel. If you use that same hashtag in your posts, it will mark your content so that other users on that platform can also discover your posts specific to that topic.


When using social media, you often hear the term “algorithm.” Regarding social media, the algorithm varies vastly depending on the given platform. The algorithm for Facebook and Instagram will be different from than Tiktoks algorithm. Algorithms are also constantly changing in social media, so your Social Media Strategists must continually keep updated on how those changes will affect your social media strategy.


Analytics for your profile is data gathered by either tracking tags (hashtags) or cookies. These analytics can include when users begin their visits, what pages they visit, and how long they stay. It can even tell you how they interact with your content and when they leave.


An API is an acronym for how two different platforms or applications will communicate with each other.

Brand Advocate

So your customer likes you – and I don’t mean just a little… they really like you. This person is someone who is constantly talking up your brand. This person is considered a “helper” for your brand that shares positive reviews, extols, virtues, and shares excitement about different things such as product launches and upcoming business events. A brand advocate can even sometimes use their feed and following to help post things about your brand, whether that be their interactions with you or their reviews on products.

Brand Authenticity

Your clients and customers want you to be authentic. They don’t want to see fluff, nor do they want a smokescreen. Your brand authenticity is exactly what it sounds like – it helps to preach how you care about your brand and your customers or clientele. This also includes how your brand’s voice sounds and how it interacts with its clients and customers.


Branding is self-explanatory – how your brand will present itself and how your clients or customers will perceive it. This will include your brand logo, colors, brand voice, tone, any abbreviations used for the company name, and style. These will also be detailed in your brand’s “style guide.”

Call-to-Action or CTA

Your call to action is the wording that makes your followers want to take action. Also known for its initialism CTA is a massive driving force to get your followers to go to your website, view your product, or want to do business with you.


Clickbait is not something we aim for here at Iconic Web HQ; clickbait uses sensationalized headlines to get your following to click on what many consider substandard content. Clickbait was trendy back in the 2010s, but we have since migrated away from those tactics. Hopefully, they will remain gone forever as they do not precisely follow brand authenticity, which we want to avoid at all costs for your business. Many social media channels are trying to purge the use of clickbait due to their low SEO grab; however, you will still see them around occasionally.

Click-through-Rate or CTR

The Click-through-rate or CTR is how you can tell how often your content or ad is clicked on. This gives you the unique number of clicks your ad or social media campaign has received and is then divided by the number of times that it was shown, or in social media terms, the impressions.

Community Management

Community management is the carefully curated art of building up both online and offline relationships with those that hold interest in common with your brand. It’s a fine art of letting your followers be heard while still being respectful while listing and sharing information. All skills can often be hard to unite and still achieve the goals of having a rich, vibrant community growth.


Content is both s simple and complicated term to describe… the simple definition is the photos, videos, text, social posts, graphics, ebooks, and more for your brand to tell your story and engage with your audience. It can also be used to offer needed information. While often educational – it doesn’t have to be. It can help to answer questions your customers may have while being purposeful. It can also be entertaining but isn’t required.

Content Creation

Content creation is how your content is created, whether you find it by stumbling across some fantastical meme that you want to reshare on your platform or content that you have designed specifically for your brand. What makes it “curated” is that you have provided the proper backlinks to where the original content has been sourced from (if you’re taking something such as a meme or sharing someone else’s reel, etc.). It’s your elementary form of citing your sources and not getting in trouble with your teacher for plagiarizing.

Content Marketing

A broader way of producing more strategic content is usually content with a plan. Most times, all content should have some strategy, but that may not always be the case.

Cost Per Click or CPC or Pay Per Click Campaign (PPC)

CPC or PPC campaigns are an excellent way to advertise your company online and only pay for every time someone clicks on your ad. The most popular way to run a CPC or PPC campaign is through Google Ads.

Dark Social

You may have heard of the “dark web,” but this isn’t quite the same. Dark Social is the means of private communication between you and users on your social media, usually through private messaging, texts, and emails. They are not something that is readily tracked; therefore, has gained the name “dark social.”


Just like your car, your social media also has a dashboard. Your social media dashboard contains easily and readily available information in one easy-to-access place. This can often include your feed, reporting on analytics, publishing, algorithm, etc.

DM’s or Direct Messaging

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t heard the phrase “sliding into the DM’s” these days. And quite frankly, many of us are kind of over the term. A DM is a direct private message between you and a user on a specific platform. These are great when you are trying to up your customer service as it’s a great way to answer questions for your customers, clarify any unclear information, and address grievances, all while being direct with that person. This prevents potentially having a hundred others chime in on the topic.


Engagement is pretty self-explanatory – how you involve your audience. This could be in conversation, content posting that drives them to do something, or even interaction. This can take place through comments, DMs, Q&As, email, live events, or it could even be a meet and greet.

Evergreen Content

When someone says something is evergreen, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Evergreen content is something that is going to be viewed as timeless and something that doesn’t get old.

Geo Tag

A geotag is a specific way of marketing to your set region. This allows you to share content with your particular audience and will target people in that area on your social media.


Your handle is the name chosen by you to represent yourself on social media. That can often be your name or your business name.

Header Image

The header image is showcased on the top banner of your social media profiles. It can also be referred to as a cover photo.

Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing is a way to attract potential customers by using the content you create. This can be blogs, posts, ebooks, webinars, videos, SEO-rich text, etc.


Most think of influencers as airheaded Instagram junkies that somehow make a crazy living by promoting different products. However, they can be pretty beneficial by getting those in your targeted marketing industry to deliver a unique message for your product or service and have a highly developed and impressive social media presence.

Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is similar to influencers, but you are now using them to help sell your product and/or services to your targeted marketing audience.


These are visual graphics that represent ideas through various images and texts. A true infographic isn’t just a cool background with a few images but includes images and texts that work cohesively to help present your brand’s products and ideas.


KPI is another form of performance indicator. This is used to measure whether or not a campaign has hit the mark for your marketing endeavor.

Organic Reach

Organic reach is traffic brought organically to your platforms that you did not pay for using a PPC or paid marketing campaign. These users have organically found your content through the newsfeed, previous pages they have liked, hashtags, etc.

Potential Reach

Potential reach is the highest amount possible that your content might be able to reach on a specific network.

Scheduling Posts

Posting every single day can be tedious; scheduling your post allows you to create posts in advance and share them on your feed through a timeline platform. Sit back, let your Social Media Strategist take the reign, and create a designated posting schedule that works best for your business.


These goals are created to have specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. These goals help your social media managers get things done realistically and measurably.

Social Media Calendar

A social media calendar is a great way to organize and track your social media goals. It’s an organized document – this can be an online tool, app, or spreadsheet used to help keep track of all the social media content you publish. It can also include a list of most used hashtags, file images, UTM links, uplinks, downlinks, backlinks, etc.

Social Media Campaign

Social media management is managing content and interactions across various social media platforms. It can also involve social media listening, monitoring, publishing, engaging, and reporting.

Social Media Management

Every business generally needs someone to help manage its social media pages. Being a social media manager doesn’t mean working on Facebook all day. To be a social media manager often means being responsible for a brand’s interactions with customers, content sharing, content creation, and social media campaigns. It’s a massive undertaking and a huge responsibility. Social media managers must be mindful not to burn out and must find a healthy work-life balance.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing uses various social media channels to help a business grow. It includes brand awareness, generating multiple leads, and positively interacting with a business’s customers.

Social Media Marketing Tools

Social media managers have a lot to do. Marketing tools can help them do their job better, faster, and happier. Sometimes these tools that are used are paid for, and some tools are free.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring updates you on new trends, hashtags, and key influencers and ambassadors.

Viral Marketing

Remember that awesome YouTube video you saw about the Purple Mattress commercial? Remember how catchy it was and how “on-trend-funny” it was? This is an excellent example of how viral marketing uses content that will spread far and wide over time. The Purple Mattress company went from a Kickstarter campaign to a business well worth over 300 million in under three years. Using their carefully curated tactics, they have grown immensely with the use of their catchy viral videos.

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