Learn the lingo
Social media has a language of its own and each platform has
its own variations on general social media terms. Here are the basics.
- Platform: A social media network
connecting people, groups, companies, brands and organizations.
- Content: Anything that is posted on
a social media platform.
- Handle: Generally used when
referencing Twitter or Instagram, this is a person, group, company or brand's
- Follower(s): Generally used when
referencing Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, these are the people, groups, companies
and brands seeing your posts and engaging with you on a social media platform.
- Fans: Used when referring to the
people, groups, companies or brands that see your posts and engage with your
- Like(s): Used when referencing
Facebook, any time an individual, group, company or brand engages with another
person, group, company or brand's Facebook content by clicking the "like"
- Engagement: Used universally across
all social media platforms to describe the individuals, groups, companies and
brands interacting with your organization's social media page.
- Tweet: The message, consisting of
140 characters or less, sent by a Twitter user.
- Favoriting: Similar to the "like"
button on Facebook, clicking the star on Twitter symbolizes you liking a post
- Retweet (RT): When someone forwards
your tweet, or retweets your tweet, they put "RT" in front of the message to
credit the source.
- Direct Message (DM): A private
message from one Twitter user to another. Note: In order to privately message someone on Twitter they need to be
following you and you need to be following them.
- Twitterverse: Describes the Twitter
community at large—i.e., the Twitter universe.
- Mention (@): Almost all social media
platforms support the @mention function. To mention another user on your social
media platform by simply placing the @ symbol in front of their name or handle.
- Hashtag: Widely used across most
social media platforms, the hashtag (the hash or pound sign, #) is a way of
identifying specific topics. To use, place the # symbol, directly followed by
the word, words or characters you are assigning to that subject. Do not add
spaces or punctuation marks and limit yourself to three or fewer hashtags per