Social media marketing language

You don’t have to look far to see or hear how social media has transformed meanings of words that have been around for hundreds of years.

A ‘troll’ is an online bully, who may or may not live under a bridge. Birds may tweet but most of us think of Twitter when we hear the word ‘tweet’. And no doubt you have ‘friends’ you may not even ‘like’ that often.

Social media constantly re-invents ways consumers interact with each other and a business or brand. At every change and turn there’s a fundamental shift that revolves around consumer-voice

It sounds a tad offensive to call someone as a ‘node’. But in social-media-marketing circles, this is a person. And so too is a lead, evangelist, actor, agent and influencer. But more on that later.

Social media marketing aims to spark online-talk within groups of like-minded people who share their interests, passions, and experiences with each other – and with the brand. That’s quite different to traditional marketing. So, let’s take a peek at some social media marketing terms.

Marketers focus on networks

Social media marketers focus on networks, rather than demographics because they are seen as a better way to truly understand and predict people’s behaviour. Networks are dynamic, human, and innately social. They are how people describe themselves.

Networks are the groups of people we exchange info/experiences/behaviours with – friends, family, co-workers, classmates, teammates. Within each network are shared-beliefs, unwritten- rules, and social-norms that guide behaviours of group members. These unwritten rules are the glue that keeps the people connected and we follow them to remain community members in good standing.

Is demographics dead? Our networks provide powerful pictures of who we truly are than typical demographics, as well as a more whole representation of a person than their interests and lifestyle. People are grouped together in a network due to their relationships and where they share info and experiences, not because of their demographic.

Our interests, choices, and actions tend to follow the way of our networks and spread in a predictable and contagious fashion. So Brands use social media to spark conversations within groups of like-minded consumers, who share interests, passions, and experiences via a network.

Nodes are the social entities (people, organisation, club, department) within the network.

Ties are the various types of social relationships between the nodes. This relationship is the very reason the network exists. The stronger the relationships in a network, the more powerful that network is for spreading info. And the direction the info flows between the ties (one direction, or in both directions) is important too as it helps identify opinion leaders.

A dyad is a group of two people/actors in a social group. The word stems from the Greek word days, ‘the number two,’ or “a group of two,” from duo, “two.” Info can travel between two actors in just one direction, or in both directions. This directionality of ties can be important for identifying opinion leaders within a social network.

Kinds of network connections: Pools, Hubs, Webs

Pools: People loosely networked with each other (and the brand sponsoring the network), due to a shared link to an activity or goal. Say, a hiking enthusiast Facebook Group or business forums are pooled affiliation, as members associate with being a hiker or a small business owner, but are weakly or not directly connected to each other. Loosely connected

Hubs have a strong connection to a central figure and weak connections among the networked members.For example, people following a fashion blogger or a sports figure. Members are unlikely to be very connected to each other, but they may feel very connected to the celebrity at the hub. Strong connection to a central figure

Webs: Personal-connections are central to webs communities. Examples Facebook groups formed around a specific interest or organisation, or a high school class alumni network. In this case, the personal connections come first and the connection to the group comes second.

People are called many things …  

Actors: people

Agents: a techie term for individuals

Node: see above

Evangelist: a person who believes in your product/service so fervently that they aggressively promote it to others through social media advocacy. – AKA happy customer

Lead A person who shows interest in a product/service, so that makes them a potential-customer.

Leads: The number of potential sales contacts earned through social media in a given time

Social media has transformed how a company gets leads and guides prospects towards a purchase.. Leads include: Shared links of valuable content, contests on social media, social media Ads, hangouts/webinars/live videos, geo-targeted search, click through to a landing page.

Influencer: see below

To be a successful influencer, it’s the audience that decides.

Marketing revolves around influencing consumer behaviour so people will buy products or engage with a service. An influencer delivers word-of-mouth marketing on an extraordinary scale; there’s been a huge spike in Influencer marketing in the last few years.

Everyday people, of any age and social status, in any area of expertise (or none) can work with any brand and build an audience of followers to share content about a specific passion or topic. Influencers don’t have to be experts but they do specialise in specific topics or domains.

Influencers understand the content/messaging that will resonate within a network because they’re members of it. Since they have relationships with other network members, their messaging is likely to be more persuasive. They are often highly-involved, early-adopters, centrally-located, and engage in many network conversations That’s why they can be a key resource to help spread marketing messages and engage in social media conversation. Many influencers are bloggers too.

Influencers don’t have to be experts but they do specialise in specific topics or domains, so marketers focus on identifying the right influencer for a network.

Reach and engagement is the difference between micro and macro influencers.

Macro influencers have audiences with 50,000 to 300,000 followers on a particular social media channel. Their content is usually high-quality and is comprised of a focussed passion or topic.

Micro-influencers everyday people with a decent following of over 3,000 and less than 100,000. They tend to have a tighter niche, higher engagement, more loyal followers and be better value than large scale ones. They may be seen by their followers as relatable, genuine and trustworthy – pretty useful when it comes to marketing.

Big Seed. This is a concept that information is akin to a big bag of many seeds, which you spread to as many people as broadly across the population as possible rather than relying on a few special influencers to distribute the content.

If you’re after tools to find relevant influencers and their prices, this article link was shared by Deb Utter earlier. The article says some of the best tools to find influencers have a free trial, so you can try-before-you-buy and get the one which is the right fit for your business.

Article: 10 of the Best Tools to Find Relevant Influencers on Social Media

Social media metrics

Social media is also used to listen to consumers and monitor their behaviou because companies want to track the effectiveness of their efforts in posting/sharing content across platforms and websites. 

Acquisition metrics is the measure of progress in building a relationship with the customer.

Amplification: Shares for each post. Twitter retweets, Facebook shares, Google+ shares, LinkedIn shares, Instagram regrams

Applause: Approval actions, virtual “applause,” from a social media audience, including +1s, likes, thumbs-ups, favourites, etc.

Bounce rate: Visitors who only visited a single page of your site, bouncing back to the place they came from instead of clicking further into the site

Click-throughs: The number of clicks on a link within a post on a given social network. The click-through rate is found by dividing the number of clicks on a post by number of impressions for the post. CPC is the Cost-per-click for paid search or social advertising.

Conversation: The virtual conversations going on per social media post. On Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Instagram, this will be comments. On Twitter, it’s replies

Conversions:  The ultimate action the company or website creator would like users to take on their site. Eg: email subscriptions, downloads, registrations, installations. Social media conversion rate is the the percentage of total conversions that can be attributed to social media, found by dividing social media conversions by total conversions

CPA (cost per acquisition or cost per action): Dollar amount of how much a brand pays in order to attain a lead. Cost per conversion: Dollar amount of how much a brand pays in order to attain a conversion New visitor conversions: Number of conversions that occurred per time period by visitors new to a brand’s website Return visitor conversions: Number of conversions that occurred per time period by visitors returning to a brand’s website

Direct visitors – those who visit your site by directly typing your url into their browser, Search visitors – Those who visit your site based on a search query and Referral visitors –Those who find your site through another blog or site.

 Engagement: the interactions/interest in a brand. How many people are interacting with, sharing and re-sharing the content on social networks. Engagement can be calculated as a percentage of audience engagement per fan/follower on one network.

Hashtags: A word/phrase preceded by the pound (#) sign. Hashtags are used to provide a mechanism for making connections on social media platforms, mainly Twitter and Instagram. Users can search for a specific hashtag and bring up all related public posts that use that tag. Thus, hashtags can help you (a) find other people talking about a specific topic and (b) help other people find you through your posts that use the hashtag.

K-factor: Commonly used to for formulas or calculations in Engineering, technology and maths, in marketing terms the K-factor refers to the growth rate of websites, apps, or a customer base

Links: Number of pages linking to a specific page of content on your website

Micro-conversions: Any measurable activity that a brand’s users frequently engage in before a conversion

Net Promoter Score: To calculate this one, customers answer the question, How likely is it that you would recommend [your company] to a friend or colleague?  using a scale of 0-to-10 points.

Post rate: Number of Tweets, Facebook posts, LinkedIn updates, Google+ updates, Instagram posts, within a certain timeframe.

Pageviews: Number of pages viewed or clicked on a site during the given time

Social visits Traffic to your website that is referred by a social media source

Rank per keyword: Average position your content earns in a search engine for a specific key word or phrase

Testimonial: positive statements from a customer who may be a brand evangelist or a highly satisfied client. Like a review.

Traffic: Number of visits/visitors that social media drives to your sites in a timeframe. Traffic ratio: Percentage of traffic from each of three main segments,

RPC (revenue per click): the average amount of revenue generated per click in paid advertising

ROI or return on investment: Revenue generated by social media efforts divided by all known social media expenses

Traffic: Number of visits/visitors that social media drives to your sites in a timeframe. Traffic ratio: Percentage of traffic from each of three main segments,

Virality: The rate at which a piece of content spreads across the social web. A good way to measure this one is total shares per piece of content

For more info see

And what about “ivisms”?

–ism is a suffix added to the end of a word to indicate that the word represents a specific practice, system, or set of ideas.

Slacktivism is a digital form of low-cost protest that’s a very effective enabler of rising social/political movements and building capacity for physical protest. The virtual-action may have little effect other than to make the signaler feel satisfied they’ve made a contribution/impact. Slacktivists’ power lies in their numbers, despite them being less active than committed minorities. But enhanced ability to rally protest is paired with a weakened ability to actually make an impact, as slacktivism can fail to reach the level of protest required in order to bring about change.

Clicktivism: Cicktivism is used to describe activists using social media to organise protests. And quantify participation within an org to support a cause. It allows orgs to quantify their success by keeping track of how many “clicked” on their petition or other call to action. Different from slacktivism in that it merely replaces older ways of communicating a protest’s existence (telephone, word of mouth, leaflets etc.) & does actually involve a real life, physical protest. The idea behind clicktivism: Social media allows for a quick and easy way (org asks less and less of viewers) to show support for an organization or cause, so a main focus is inflating participation rates.