The A-Z of Social Media Marketing

When it comes to social media marketing, we know our stuff. Our experts have been seeing results for years and are always honing their techniques to improve the ways social media works for the businesses we work with. If you are just getting started with social media marketing, you may be wondering what all of the terms and expressions mean. After all, what is the difference between native advertising and other types of marketing anyway? We’ve pulled together our A-Z of key social media marketing terms to help you know your meme from your DMs and more.

Why Use Social Media Marketing?

When it comes to advertising in 2021 and beyond, social media is key. Most brands these days have some form of social presence so those not moving with the times run the risk of being forgotten by a generation of smartphone users. Social media can offer fantastic brand visibility with social media marketing working in new and dynamic ways to share your message, and products, with the world. You may be wondering, ‘how can social media marketing help my business?’. With the pandemic causing a shift to online purchasing, over 87% of the UK using a smartphone and the average UK user using social media for around 110 minutes a day, social media should be a key part of your marketing strategy. 

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Key Social Media Marketing Terms

If you want to make social media marketing a key part of your digital marketing strategy, our a-z of social media marketing is here to help with the key terms and ideas you need to make your marketing a success. 


A: Ads Manager

Ads manager is a Facebook tool that works as your starting point for advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger or the Audience Network. By using Facebook Ads Manager, you’ll be able to create wowing ads, manage how and where they run and track how well your social media ads are running. It’s your one-stop shop for social media marketing and can offer actionable insights that will allow you to make the most of your social media marketing efforts.


B: Brand Awareness

Brand awareness is all about how aware your target audience is of your brand and what you do. Social media marketing can be a great way to increase your business’ brand awareness and create a personality for your brand that speaks to potential customers on a personal level. After all, they are carrying your marketing around in their pocket, the more they see, and like, of your brand, the higher their chance of converting into paying customers. Check out our guide to brand awareness to find out more.


C: Cross-Channel Social Strategy

When it comes to social media marketing, each platform is different. In order to see success, it is important to work with the social media platforms that fit your industry in the way that works best for them and not spread your marketing efforts across each and every one of them simply because they exist. Cross-social media strategy harnesses targeted strategy and creates an action-plan that works across the platforms, targeting potential customers in different ways that work cohesively together.


Bonus: Chatbot. Social media chatbots are the automated chat system that works to answer your audience’s questions and allow 24/7 access to shop products and information for your customers.


D: DM or direct message

Direct messages are a key part of social media and allow individuals and companies to talk in a private setting. This enables discussions about order or problems the customer may be having without cluttering up comments sections and having details broadcast on a public stage.


E: Engagement Rate

The engagement rate monitors how users are interacting with your content on a given social media platform. In contrast to vanity metrics such as followers, engagement rates reflect how much people are actually interacting with your brand and engaging in your social content by commenting, sharing and other ways of active actions.


F: Feed

A social media feed is a constantly updating list of content from a given social media platform. Many social media feeds are curated based on user activity such as social media ‘friends’ they regularly interact with. Social media feeds can include links, videos, images, status updates and more.


Bonus: Follower. Social media followers are a metric often used to show the popularity of a social media page on a given platform.


G: Geotargeting

Geotargeting is the process of targeting social media users by location. This can be an incredibly useful tool, particularly if you are a small business trying to attract customers in the local area.


H: Hashtag Strategy

Hashtags are words or phrases following the ‘#’ symbol on social media platforms that allow posts to be tagged with other related topics. This allows posts on similar topics to be grouped together for findability allowing people with similar interests to easily find the content and potentially increasing impressions. Hashtag strategies utilise this and organise campaigns to directly target a set of hashtags that are relevant to the brand. Finding popular hashtags that are relevant to your brand and monitoring how much engagement they receive are a key part of a successful social media hashtag strategy.


I: Impressions

Impressions are calculated by the number of times your content has appeared in front of someone. Social media impressions are different to social media reach which is the total number of people your content has appeared in front of. Facebook also offers two types of impressions, served impressions and viewed impressions, depending on whether the ad entered the viewable screen space or not.


J: Join the Conversation

Social media is all about just that, being social. An engaged brand enters into conversation with consumers, posting content that engages and sparks questions rather than simply a call to buy. Brands who join conversations offer a more personal brand experience and a way for consumers to engage with them. 



Social KPIs or key performance indicators are a way to analyse how your social media marketing is performing. Social media KPIs should be SMART goals that match your company’s overarching goals. These could include things such as reach, follower counts, likes, engagement rates or any other metrics that are specific to your company’s goals.


L: Leads

One of the main purposes of social media marketing is to create leads. Leads are potential customers who interact with your social media and perform tasks such as clicking through to websites and hold the potential to convert into paying customers.


M: Meme

If you haven’t encountered a meme yet, where have you been? Memes have the potential to go viral as many have and are often humorous with text overlaying an image such as the many Bernie Sanders memes that circulated after the inauguration or the salt bae meme. 


N: Native Advertising

Native advertising is making use of the advertising tools of a specific social media platform such as Facebook. Native ads take the form of whatever social media platform they are hosted on and could appear in-feed as content rather than an offer or sales pitch. Native ads are designed to blend in with the platform they are hosted on and could be posted in groups or popular channels.


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O: Owned Media

Owned media is the online tools that are owned and operated by your company. These include things such as your company’s website or social media profiles of which you have control. Owned media can be invaluable ways to promote your brand online and done well can expand your business’ reach far quicker than other methods.



Social media PPC or pay per click is paid advertising using social media. Social PPC can target users based on demographics, location and more and is an effective way to market your company on social media. Social PPC is not only brilliant for click-throughs, likes and related metrics but also brand awareness as ads can be displayed to a wide yet targeted audience.


Q: Quizzes

Quizzes or polls can be a fantastic way to boost engagement on social media and offer a fun element for social media page visitors as well as acting as a form of informal market research. You may have seen quizzes such as ‘which holiday fits your star sign’ or ‘can you correctly name each of these famous books’ but quizzes can be tailored to your industry and create a fun way for potential leads to interact with your brand without selling to them.


R: Relevance Score

Social media platforms such as Facebook aim to show people the ads that are most relevant to them. In order to do this, they provide a relevancy score on potential ads based on the feedback they receive from users. Relevance scores go from 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest and show ad creators how relevant their ads are to their chosen audience. The higher an ad relevance score, the lower the cost it will be to deliver it.


S: Shareable Content

One of the key aims of social media marketing is to create shareable content. Shareable content is content that users want to share with their own followers which in turn widens the reach of your produced content, wider reach means more people seeing your brand and the potential for more people to engage and become customers and loyal fans.

Bonus: Social Listening. The act of ‘listening’ to social discussions about your brand to discover how your brand is seen and discussed by potential customers online. This is a useful tool for working out what is working for your brand, how you are perceived and what potential customers are looking for from your brand.


T: Target Audience

The key to any successful social media marketing campaign is a properly targeted audience. Whilst traditional marketing such as billboard marketing marketed few messages to the many, newer online marketing aims to personalise marketing efforts to target people who will be interested in their message making them more likely to turn into leads.

Bonus: Trending. By creating trending content, you’ll get your company name out there in front of more people. By keeping an eye on current trends you’ll be able to keep track of what is popular and mirror them in your own social media campaigns.


U: User-Generated Content

User generated content is content created by people rather than brands which is shared on their own special media pages. User generated content is particularly popular on platforms such as Instagram where Instagrammers post content related to products or brands they have loved. This could be in relation to an event or experience and brands often repost things such as Instagram stories to further promote this content. The key element of user-generated content on social media is that it is organic, i.e. not paid for.


V: Vanity Metrics

When it comes to social media marketing one of the key terms you may encounter is vanity metrics. Vanity metrics and metrics that look impressive to others, such as the number of followers you have on a given platform, but offer no value to marketers looking to analyze the performance of their social media campaigns.


W: What is Your USP?

In the noise of online marketing, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd of businesses trying to promote their brand using social media. That’s why identifying and using your USP (unique selling point) is so important. What makes your brand different from the others using that social media platform? Identify your unique selling point and make sure it carries across in every piece of social media marketing you do.


X: EXtensions

Browser extensions can be an incredibly useful tool when it comes to social media marketing and organising your marketing efforts. From tools that check your spelling to avoid embarrassing mistakes in posts to organisational extensions that help you schedule your social media marketing campaigns at the time that works for you and your targets.


Y: Your Brand Image

You may have heard before that branding is key but this is particularly true for your social media marketing. Whether you are creating social media graphics or simply posting a tweet, make sure that every element of your social media presence is on-brand. A cohesive brand experience on social media and beyond ensures that your message is clear and every marketing effort works to promote your brand without causing confusion.


Z: Gen Z

Born between 1997 and 2012, Gen z is a driving force of social media having been born during its boom time. Depending on your business, Gen Z could be the largest section of engagement on social media so it’s important your marketing considers them. With unique online behaviour, Gen Z puts the focus on short-form sharable content with those aged 16-24 spending around 7 hours a day on average online and accounting for around 40% of global consumers over the past year.


When it comes to social media marketing, offering a unique and engaging experience is key. By creating memorable, shareable content that fits with your brand’s image, you will be well on your way to social media success. For more social media marketing tips, check out our top tips.


Whilst the social media terms detailed in our A-Z of social media marketing are a good starting point, if you need extra help making your social media marketing a success, get in touch with our team of social media experts now to find out how we can help turbo-charge your social media marketing efforts.