Social Networking Glossary: Social Media Words You Should Know
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Here are 82 social media words and terms you should know if you are active (or plan to become active) on social networks. Please share any social media terms we might have missed via the comments below this post.

Social Media Glossary

Aggregator — A tool or app that gathers content from various sources and then displays them to an end user. It can aggregate blog posts, status updates (tweets, pins, etc.), or other content.

Amazon.com — This retail website is also a social network that encourages readers to give feedback on books they read as well as connect with their favorite book authors via their Amazon author page.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Author Connect: John Kremer on Amazon Connect

Animated GIFs, see GIFs.

API, see Application Program Interface.

App, see Application.

Application — Any software that enables some specific action or actions to be performed, especially on mobile phones or social networks (such as an mobile phone app or a Facebook app).

Application Program Interface — A set of commands, functions, hooks, and protocols which programmers can use when building software for a specific operating system. Also applies to the software for social networks and other major websites that allows outside sites to interface with the social network’s or website’s programs.

Avatar — The main image featured in the member profile of any social network.


Bit.ly — A URL shortening service that creates short URLs for sharing on social networks and other places where space is at a premium.

Board — In Pinterest, this is a way for users to organize the content they have shared, much like a bulletin board in the real world.


Check-In — Some social networks and mobile apps allow a person to identify where they are (i.e., check in). Facebook and Foursquare are just two of the networks that allow people to connect to their actual physical location. GPS chips make checking in very easy.

CirclesGoogle+ allows users to put people they follow or connect with into groups so they can share some content with a predefined group of people (rather than with all their friends or followers).

Comment — A public user response to a status update, blog post, or other piece of content.

CommunityGoogle+ allows users to create a group of like-minded people who join together to more easily connect and communicate. Communities can be set as private or public. See also Group.

Connection — In LinkedIn, the people who you have made a personal interchange with. Similar to a Facebook friend or Twitter follower.


Dashboard — The interface that allows users to monitor their social network activity as well as take actions like sharing content.

Direct Message — A private conversation between two users on Twitter.

DM, see Direct Message.


Engagement — Describes whether or not users get involved with a brand’s content on social networks. Engagement can be measured by user actions such as shares, comments, likes, retweets, etc.


Facebook — The world’s largest social network, with 1.2+ billion active users.

Click here to follow John Kremer’s page on Facebook: John Kremer on Facebook

Fan — A Facebook user who follows a brand or business page.

Fan Page, see Page.

Favorite — A Twitter user‘s simple approval of a piece of content (when the user doesn’t retweet or reply to the content).

Follower — A user who chooses to receive your tweets on their Twitter timeline or pins on their Pinterest timeline.

Foursquare — A location-based social network that allows people to discover new restaurants, bars, and other locations recommended by other users. People can check-in, share, and save places they like.

Friend — Anyone you personally connect with on Facebook and some other social networks. Note: Both parties must agree to become friends before a connection is made.


GIFs — Animated images created in a compressed file format originally developed by CompuServe to share simple icons and images with a palette of no more than 256 colors. Animated GIFs are especially hot on Tumblr blogs..

Global Positioning System — A satellite navigation system used to determine ground position and velocity for any device connected to the system. See also GPS chips.

GoodReads — A social network owned by Amazon that allows readers and writers to connect and also to share the books they love.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Goodreads: John Kremer on GoodReads

Google+ — A social network created by Google where users can post and share text, images, and videos as well as comment and plus one content from others that they like.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Google+: John Kremer on Google+

GPS Chips — Electronic chips that allow software and devices to connect with the Global Positioning System to locate where the device (and user) is.

Graphics — The social networking world thrives on sharing graphics of all kinds: photos, images, videos, GIFs, memes, quotegraphics, infographics, and more.

See also Using Graphics to Increase Your Book Sales

Graphics Interchange Format, see GIFs.

Group — Many social networks allows users to create a community of like-minded people who join together to more easily connect and communicate. See also Community.


Handle —The name a Twitter user selects to represent themselves. For individuals, it’s likely to be his or her name, but for business accounts, it often reflects their brand, company name, goals, or ideas. To direct messages to a specific Twitter user, send it to @theirhandle (such as @JohnKremer).

Hangout — Through this feature Google+ users can initiate live video conversations with other users, one on one, or via a group. These videos are then shared privately or publicly on YouTube.

Hashtag — an interactive feature that allows social network users to relate a status update to a broader topic.

Want to know more about hashtags? Check out 132 Social Media Hashtags for Book Authors.


Influencer — Anyone (blogger, social network user, etc.) who is active in social communities and often able to sway the opinions of others. Brands consider these influencers as their most valuable followers and fans.

Infographic — One of the best pieces of content to share any social network, especially Pinterest and Google+ where they feature the entire graphic. Infographics tend to include a detailed visual picture of some content.

See also: http://www.infographicaday.com

Instagram — A photo-sharing mobile social network where users can share photos and videos. Has over 150 million users.

Instagram Direct — Allows Instagram users to send photos and videos privately to another user.


Klout — A major tool for measuring social influence.

Click here to connect with John Kremer on Klout: John Kremer on Klout


Like — On Facebook and some other social networks, users can show their approval of a status update with a like. Also, to receive status updates from business pages on Facebook, the user must like the page.

LinkedIn — The best social network for people who want to connect to do business. Features personal profiles, special interest groups, and more. LinkedIn has 67+ million monthly visitors.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Google+: John Kremer on LinkedIn

Lists — On Twitter, this is a user-curated group featuring specific Twitter users. It’s a handy way to keep track of and share a group of related Twitter users.

See also: Twitter Widgets: Share the Tweets of a List You Created


Member — Anyone who belongs to a social network. Also known as a user.

Meme — Any piece of content that is built upon a viral image, video, or text. Memes are shared by a lot of people and often go viral.

Message — A private communication method between two or more users on Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks.

Mobile app, see Application.


Newsfeed — The user‘s home page on many social networks. This home page features status updates from the user’s friends and followers.

Ning — Enables users to create special-interest social networks that allow users to join groups, post blog entries, join forums, share videos, share images, and more. For example, see The Book Marketing Network, a social network of 8,000+ book authors, ebook writers, and publishers, at http://www.thebookmarketingnetwork.com.


Page — A Facebook profile created for a business, profession, or brand. Facebook users can like pages but they cannot friend a page.

Click here for 31 Ways to Promote Your Facebook Page

Photo-Sharing — The process of sharing a photo or image via a blog post, a social network status update, or a mobile app.

Pinterest — The top social network for sharing photos and images via pins and boards. Pinterest has over 55 million active monthly visitors.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Pinterest: John Kremer on Pinterest

Pin — An image, GIF, or video shared as a status update on Pinterest.

Poke — A Facebook action that allows one user to interact with another user by poking them virtually. Not a very effective way to interact on any social network.

Profile — The page on any social network where a user‘s current content is displayed.

Promoted Content — A virtual advertisement where a business or individual pays to have content featured on a social network.


Making FriendsQuotegraphics — Another of the viral pieces of content shared on many social networks. A quotegraphic consists of a quotation presented as a graphic or overlayed upon a pretty image. See the quotegraphic designed especially for Pinterest here on the right:


Retweet — When a user on Twitter shares a tweet from another user, that action is said to be a retweet.

Rich Pin — Pins on Pinterest that feature extra content, such as pricing, recipe details, etc. These rich pins include Article Pins, Movie Pins, Place Pins, Product Pins, and Recipe Pins.


Sentiment — The attitude reflected by a user‘s comments or status updates. Social media monitoring tools help brands measure sentiment to gauge company perceptions and promotions.

Share — Any action in a social network where a user passes on content from another user, a blog, a website, or another source.

Sharing Videos, see Video Sharing.

Snapchat — A mobile app for taking photos or recording videos and then sharing them with friends. Each photo or video sent has a time limit of 1 to 10 seconds for viewing, after which it disappears (unless it is part of a Snapchat story). Has over 50 million users.

Snapchat Story — Snapchat users can put content into a story for 24-hour viewing. Such stories generally make up a string of narrative content.

Social Listening — Any tool or application that enables users to monitor what is being said about a brand, individual, or company on social networks.

Social Media — Any social network, app, or other tool that allows users to connect socially and share content with each other.

Social Network — A website or app that allows users to share content socially.

Status Update — Any content shared by members of a social network.

StumbleUpon — One of a number of social bookmarking websites that allow users to share blog posts, website pages, and other online content with others.

Click here to follow John Kremer on StumbleUpon: John Kremer on StumbleUpon


Timeline — Facebook’s profile layout that displays a user’s collection of status updates. Also Twitter‘s profile layout for featuring user content.

Trending Topic — The most popular topics currently being shared or discussed on a social network.

Tumblr — A blogging platform recently bought by Yahoo, Tumblr enables users to easily share content from the other 170+ million blogs on its platform.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Tumblr: John Kremer on Tumblr

Tweet — A status update posted on Twitter.

Twitter — The first major microblogging social network that allows users to post 140-character status updates, photos, and Vines. Twitter has over 550 million members with over 230 million monthly users.

Click here to follow John Kremer on Twitter: John Kremer on Twitter

See also: Twitter Widgets: Feature Your Tweets!


URL Shortener — A tool that converts a long URL into a shorter version that is easier to share on social networks and websites. Shorter URLs makes it much easier to remember website addresses as well.

User — A member of a social network. Also applies to people who use a website, software, or app.


Vidd.me — One of many social networks other than YouTube for sharing videos and, in this case, also GIFs.

See also: Vidd.me: A New Site for Sharing Videos (and GIFs)

Video-Sharing — Refers to any website, app, or platform that allows users to share videos with other users. Videos are among the most shared content on social networks and via email.

Vine — A mobile app owned by Twitter that allows users to share microshort videos that play in a continuous loop (much like a GIF).

Viral — Any content that is shared among many, many users. Most viral content is shared rapidly and organically via word of mouth.


Word of MouseWord of mouth shared via social networks, blogging, email, and other forms of electronic communication.

Word of Mouth — Refers to any content shared from person to person.


YouTube – A video-sharing platform owned by Google. YouTube has over a billion unique monthly visitors.

Click here to follow John Kremer on YouTube: John Kremer on YouTube


Note: This Social Networking Glossary was inspired by and expanded from a Social Media Glossary posted by Website Magazine at http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/02/19/social-media-glossary.aspx.

For the definition of other terms related to computers, software, electronics, mobile phones, the Internet, social media, and other technology, check out this website: http://www.techterms.com.


Do you want to know more on how to use Pinterest to drive traffic to any page on the Internet? To drive traffic that is viral, targeted, and ready to buy?

To learn how to use Pinterest more effectively to market your books, products, and services, check out this free webinar: http://realfastinfoproduct.com/johnkwebbie.

About John Kremer

John Kremer is author of 1001 Ways to Market Your Books, the Relationships Matter Marketing program, and many other books and reports on book marketing, Internet marketing, social media, and book publicity. — .


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