Social Media Glossary









Social media has it’s own special language. If you’re unfamiliar, this should help you navigate.

App: An application performs a specific function on your computer or handheld device. Apps run the gamut from Web browsers and games to specialized programs like digital recorders, online chat features or music players.

Application programming interface (API): A documented interface that allows one software application to interact with another application.

Badge: An image, usually squared and displayed on a blog, which signifies the blogger’s participation in an event, contest or social movement. It sometimes links over to the site, the badge is promoting. A free URL-shortening service that provides statistics for the links users share online. is usually used to condense long URLs to make them easier to share on social networks.

Blog post/entry: Content published on a blog. Entries may include pictures or embedded videos and link URLs for online sources used.

Blogroll: An assembly of blog URLs—blogs that the blogger reads regularly—displayed at the sidebar of the blog.

Blogs: A website on which individual(s) provide entries of any type of content from video and podcasts to traditional text and photos in order to inform or create discussions; presented in reverse chronological order.

Boardreader: An aggregator of message boards and forum discussions.

CTA or Call-to-action: Copy that urges the viewer to take an action such as click, join, subscribe or enter a content.

Comments: Replies or opinions in reference to the topic at hand; usually left on blog posts.

Compete: Provides Web analytics (i.e., unique monthly visitors to the site) and enables users to compare and contrast up to 5 different sites at a time.

CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility): A concept whereby businesses and organizations perform a social good or take responsibility for the impact of their activities.

Dashboard: The administrative area of blog software that allows the blogger to post new entries, edit old ones, approve or disapprove comments, change blog themes, upload pictures, check traffic and more.

“Do-good” Networks: Online communities aimed at making the world a better place.

Ecosystem: A community and its environment functioning as a whole.The blogosphere can be viewed as an ecosystem.

Feed: A Web feed (or RSS feed) is a format that provides users with frequently updated content. By using a news reader to subscribe to a feed, you can read the latest posts or watch the newest video on your computer.

Geotagging: The process of adding location-based metadata to media such as photos, video or online maps.

Groundswell: “A social trend in which people use technologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions like corporations” (Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, Groundswell)

Hashtags: Similar to regular tags, these are keywords associated with and assigned to an item of content with a hash mark (#) attached to the front of the word. Hashtags make it easier to follow a topic of interest discussed on Twitter.

HootSuite: A Web-based Twitter client.With HootSuite, you can manage multiple Twitter profiles, preschedule tweets and view metrics.

Hyper-local Community: A group of people from a specific location, whose members interact in online communities and use social media tools.

Influencer: A person specialized in a specific subject matter and highly recognized in an online community with the ability to sway others’ thoughts; key influencers are seen as references and contacted for assistance on specific subject matters.

Mashup: A content mashup contains multiple types of media drawn from preexisting sources to create a new work. Digital mashups allow individuals or businesses to create new pieces of content by combining multiple online content sources.

Message Board/Forum: An online discussion site, on which people looking to discuss particular issues or needing support can post threads (messages) in order to gain more information or to start a conversation.

Metadata: Refers to information—including titles, descriptions, tags and captions—that describes a media item such as a video, photo or blog post. Some kinds of metadata can be captured automatically from the device without needing a human to enter the data.

Quantcast: Used to measure the amount of traffic a URL receives, as well as data about the readership (demographics, psychographics, etc.).

RSS feed: Really Simple Syndication—a system that generates frequently updated information from a site (i.e., blog posts, online articles).

Reader: Aggregates information from RSS feed into one site.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM): A form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).According to the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, SEM methods include search engine optimization (SEO), paid placement, contextual advertising and paid inclusion (Wikipedia, Search Engine Marketing).

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via “natural” (”organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. (Wikipedia, Search Engine Optimization).

Sentiment: A level of assessment that determines the tone of an article, blog post, company, etc.; usually positive, negative or neutral.

Social Bookmarking: A method for people to search, organize, store and share items of interest (i.e., blog posts, online articles, pictures, etc.) using the item’s URL.

Social Good: Using social media to benefit a cause or movement.

Social Media: A term used to describe tools and platforms people use to produce, publish and share online content and to interact with one another. Social media tools include blogs, podcasts, videos, microblogs, wikis, etc.

Social Networking Sites: Large sites that host multiple communities comprised of people with similar profiles and interests.These sites offer a place where people can engage with one another online and share content. Examples of such communities include:

Tweet: A post/entry made on Twitter.

Twitter Search: A search engine that filters out real-time tweets.

Tag: A keyword or term associated with and assigned to an item of content (i.e., blog post, video, photo, etc.); usually added to that item to enhance search engine optimization and make the content easier to organize and find.

Webinar: An online seminar.

Widget: A mini application that performs a specific function and connects to the Internet.

Wiki: Webpage(s) used to collect content about a topic. Anyone with access to the page(s) can edit or modify the information.

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