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Social media marketing: a glossary of terms

Social media marketing is an important tool in the 21st century marketer’s arsenal. If you’re looking to promote your own company from within then you’ll need to familiarise yourself with social media pretty quickly. For the younger generation social media interaction comes naturally, but for others simply keeping up with the latest terms and trends is a challenge in itself.

Facebook – If you’ve only come into contact with one social media site in the past, chances are it’s this one. Facebook is primarily a social tool through which people can interact with friends, message one another and share pictures, but it also offers ample scope for corporate marketers.

Favourites – ‘Favouriting’ something means giving it an online mark of approval. One might favourite a tweet on Twitter or a video on YouTube, promoting it to others and making the content more visible to fellow social media users.

Followers – Sites such as Instagram and Twitter ask users to ‘follow’ others, after which point their content will appear on followers’ feeds. A high follower count is desired by standard users and social media marketers alike.

Google+ – A late entry to the social media stable, Google+ is Google’s attempt to corner the social networking market. Although not as popular as Facebook or Twitter, Google+ is integrated with Gmail and other Google services, making it a crucial tool for social media marketers.

Instagram – Instagram is a photo sharing app recently acquired by Facebook for a cool $1 billion. Users can upload, edit and share pictures using Instagram, and corporate accounts are essential for any cutting-edge business.

LinkedIn – LinkedIn is more of a professional networking tool than a social app. Users can build online CVs and network with other professionals in their sector. Useful for recruiting and to share relevant content.

Likes – The Facebook equivalent of favourites, and also used on various blogging platforms to express one’s approval. As with all forms of social media interaction, likes are part of the currency of social media marketers.

Memes – The term ‘meme’ was coined by Richard Dawkins to describe a broad but short-lived cultural phenomenon. The online community’s obsession with funny pictures of cats, for example, falls into this category.

Plus-1s – The Google+ equivalent of likes and favourites.

Retweets – Twitter users can retweet the opinions of others to their followers. It’s a useful way to disseminate news from an easily verifiable source, and of course obtaining a large number of retweets is highly desirable for any social media marketer.

Tumblr – Tumblr is a microblogging platform allowing users to post content for the perusal of the rest of the online community. A useful resource to use alongside your other social media accounts.

Tweets – Tweets are brief 140-character posts, shared via Twitter. Twitter forces user to be succinct, so less is more when it comes to tweeting.

Twitpics – Users can also share images via Twitter. These are known as Twitpics.

Twitter – Social sharing site famed for its 140-character post limit and thousands of celebrity users. A vital tool for social media marketers, and a useful resource through which to hear news before it’s news…

Vine – Vine is a microvideo sharing platform through which companies and other users can share video content. Thanks to the success of Vine, Instagram now also offers microvideo sharing, too.

YouTube – One of the most popular social networks there is. YouTube hosts a vast quantity of video content and is ideal for the promotion of corporate video content.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.