Understanding social media lingo can seem like learning an entirely new language, but luckily a lot of the terms work across multiple platforms. Many acronyms started from Twitter because you are only allowed so many characters. They have been adopted into all social media vernacular because most people use more than one social media platform. Here are some of the most common social media terms:

DM – A DM or Direct Message is sent privately in the messaging sections of social media platforms.

RT – When you share tweets on Twitter, it is called a retweet or RT.

Share – This is one of the ways you can engage with a post on social media. There are forms of sharing on pretty much every platform. On Instagram and Facebook it is very easy.

Stories – Stories started on Snapchat, but now Instagram and Facebook now also have Stories. You can take a photo or video and make a Story. It will be up for 24 hours and then disappear for your audience. On Instagram you can find old stories in your archive.

IGTV – IGTV are videos that can be longer than the standard minute and a half. They can be up to 60 minutes!

Reels – Reels are a newer feature to Instagram, similar to the short TikTok videos. Your reels can be 15 to 30 seconds long.

Algorithm – If you’ve done any research into social media marketing you have probably heard people talk about the algorithm. Each social media platform has its own algorithm for how things are shown in your feed. Social media marketing involves trying to work with the algorithm to get more eyes on your content!

Audience – Your audience is who sets eyes on your posts. This can include your followers but it also includes people who find your content from the hashtags or if the algorithm boosts your post to new people.

Bio – A bio is relatively self-explanatory because it has been used in different industries. Your social media bios should be short and clear. You want new people who find your profile to know exactly what they are getting with your page.

Clickbait – Clickbait often has a negative connotation but it is a necessary part of video marketing. You should create a title and thumbnail that will capture the attention of viewers. But it shouldn’t be fake, that is what people don’t like about most clickbait.

Clickthrough rate – The clickthrough rate is more often used on Facebook, but it is the amount of times someone clicked the link on a post.

Engagement rate – This is the amount of times a follower or audience member did something with your post. If they shared, commented, saved, or liked your post this becomes part of the engagement rate. This can be hard to compare across different platforms because each algorithm will track them differently.

Feed – Your feed is the homepage where you see posts from the people and businesses you follow.

Hashtag – A (#) hashtag connects your posts to others on that social media platform. This is one way your posts can gain visibility.

Viral – Viral posts are ones that spread like wildfire across the internet. They almost become household topics sometimes! Viral content is how you grow quickly on social media but it is hard to know what will become viral and what won’t.

There are endless words and acronyms in the social media world but this should help give you a head start!