Social Media Glossary
The world of social media is full of words and phrases that can get quite confusing – especially when different platforms define things differently! In the interest of keeping things simple, we’ve pulled together definitions of some essential social media lingo below.
Algorithm – An algorithm is a set of mathematical instructions to be followed by a set of data. In the social media context, these are the rules that platforms set to determine what users audiences get served and in what order. Each social platform has its own algorithms, but they all share the common goal of capturing and maintaining users’ attention.
Post Reach – Reach is the total number of people who see your content. This refers to the unique number of people seeing your post in their feed. This metric will always be lower than impressions.
Note: Twitter doesn’t currently report on reach as a metric.
Page Reach – Page reach is the number of people who saw any of your page’s posts/content during a given period of time. You may have posted just twice in a given month but your page reach may be higher as people interacted with your older content. This is a good indicator of how your page is doing, especially if people tend to scroll back and look at old content/videos you’ve posted.
Post Impressions – The total number of times your posts were in someone’s feed regardless of whether they clicked or not. This metric isn’t unique – i.e. the same person could have your content served in their content multiple times, and each time would be an impression. Impressions will always be equal to, or more likely, higher than reach.
Page Impressions – Similarly, this is the number of times any of your page’s content was seen during a given period of time – not just content posted in that timeframe.
Followers – This refers to the number of followers (not to be confused with page likes) of your page. On Instagram and Twitter, this is quite simple – it’s the number of people who follow your page and will get your content served in their feeds. On Facebook things are slightly more tricky. Facebook has recently started shifting from page likes to page followers; we’d recommend the latter as it is a better definition of your page community. On Facebook, the number of followers indicates the number of people who may see your Page’s updates and posts in their News Feed. When people liked your classic Page, they also automatically “followed” you, which allowed them to see your posts in News Feed. People who liked the Page could also choose to unfollow the Page and not see its posts in their News Feed.
Page Views – The number of times your whole page was viewed – not just individual posts.
Engagements – Any meaningful action taken on your post. For this, you’ll need to add up reactions (or likes), comments (or replies), shares, saves (on Instagram), and link clicks. Some platforms include post clicks anywhere on a post under engagements as well, We recommend not including post clicks however as these are clicks anywhere on a post and these aren’t meaningful social interactions.
Meaningful Social Interactions – These are interactions that people believe enhance their lives, the lives of their interaction partners, or their relationships, with emotional, informational, or tangible impact. Social media platforms’ algorithms focus heavily on these when they up weight posts as they believe this keeps users’ attention on their platforms.
Engagement Rate – Calculate this: (total engagements ÷ total reach) x 100. This metric is expressed as a percentage and allows for easy comparison of engagement.
Engaged Users – The (unique) number of people who engaged with your Page or post.
Link clicks – The number of people who have clicked on a link in your post. Not to be confused with post clicks.
Note: Twitter sometimes classes link clicks as image clicks so it’s important to set up tracking links (via Bit.ly etc) to accurately assess performance.
UGC – UGC stands for user-generated content, and it refers to any content created by regular people, not brands or influencers who are paid to create it. You can source this by asking people for it through competitions or by social listening and searching for people mentioning your brand’s name, hashtags or keywords. UGC often comes off as more authentic than paid-for content, and it is also a great way to reward your community by sharing content they’ve made (with credit, of course).
3 Second Video Views – This is a Facebook-exclusive stat showing how many people have watched at least 3 seconds of your video. In contrast, YouTube considers anything past 30 seconds to be a video view.
1 Minute Video Views – How many people are watching past the 1st minute of your video. This is an important metric to track on Facebook as ads can only be placed after the 1st minute so you’ll want to know how many people are watching past this point.
Earnings – The ad revenue from your videos, in USD ($). It is worth noting that Facebook & YouTube both take 45% of this figure.