The Internet provides an incredible opportunity for companies and businesses to reach their target audiences in a wide variety of ways. Using social media and networks to connect with customers is one of the fastest growing areas of Internet marketing. Some of the language used in social media is new and can be confusing. Following is a list of some of the more common terms and their definitions.
Aggregator or Newsfeeder—software that gathers and organizes content from blogs or other social networking platforms through those sites’ RSS feeds, and displays the content in a central location.
- Blogs—also called “web logs”, these are sites that allow companies or individuals to create a journal of articles, audios, resources and a host of other beneficial information organized into reverse chronological order, with the latest post at the top of the site. This type of social media can have many interactive features, such as allowing comments from visitors, RSS feeds, and widgets.
- Blog Marketing—using a blog or web log to communicate business news, announcements, and company profiles.
- Blogosphere—refers to all the blogs and blog interactions on the Internet.
- Content—refers to the material on any website, including social media sites, and can be text, pictures, video, or audio material.
- Crowdsourcing—typically a business term referring to using a public platform to complete a task or generate answers that would otherwise be done in-house or outsourced to a third party.
- Feeds or RSS Feeds—programs used by social networking sites to provide their subscribers with a simple way to obtain any new material without visiting the actual site. These feeds are usually channeled into an aggregator, which organizes and displays them for the subscriber.
- Forums—usually in a bulletin board format, these sites allow members to interact by posting messages related to a specific topic.
- Groups—individuals or companies with some common interest or activity gathering together for online discussions, often utilizing email systems to disperse their messages or posts.
- Lurkers—refers to people who may visit a social media site, but do not contribute through comments or postings.
- Microblogging—social networking on a small scale, usually with restrictions on the size of the post, the most popular example being Twitter.
- Podcast—audio or video content that subscribers can receive automatically, like a feed.
- Profiles—information in the form of text, picture, and even audio or visual files provided by an individual or company when becoming a member of a social networking site.
- Sharing—refers to the ability of individuals or companies within social networks to distribute material to others.
- Social media—this is the term for the platforms and tools that individuals or companies use to display content and interact online. This includes blogs, podcasts, groups, forums, networking sites, wikis, etc.
- Social Media Marketing—using online social networking sites to promote a company’s service or products.
- Social Media Optimization—techniques to increase an individual’s or company’s public awareness and attract attention within social networks.
- Social networks—these are sites where individuals use the network platform to interact and connect with others through their profile, sharing content, messaging, feeds, and other social media tools.
- Subscribing—ability to sign up for feeds from one or more sites, which will channel new content from those sites to a central location.
- Threads—refers to messages or posts under a single forum topic, or to the comments and trackbacks of blogs.
- Trackback—ability to leave a link on a blog to a related blog post or comment on a different blog.
- Viral Marketing—refers to spreading awareness of a product or service from one consumer to another through the social media platforms.
- Widgets—short strands of code embedded in a site that perform specific functions, like news feeds or donation buttons.
- Wiki—web pages that can be edited by a group of people who have permission to do so from the page owner.
With a basic understanding of social media terms, companies will be able to utilize marketing techniques in the social media arena. Social media marketing offers a whole new avenue to connecting to a target audience, opening up a world of opportunity for any business.