A

Algorithm - An algorithm is a set of formulas developed for a computer to perform a certain function. This is important in the social sphere as the algorithms sites like Facebook and Google use are critical for developing content promotion strategies.

Application Programming Interface (API) - An API is a documented interface that allows one software application to interact with another application. An example of this is the Twitter API.

Avatar - An avatar is an image or username that represents a person online, most often within forums and social networks.

B

Bitly - Bitly is a free URL shortening service that provides statistics for the links users share online. Bitly is popularly used to condense long URLs to make them easier to share on social networks such as Twitter.

Bio - A bio on social media refers to a short bit of explainer text that explains who the user is. To see some examples, check out this roundup of some of the most amusing bios on Twitter.

Blog - Blog is a word that was created from two words: “web log.” Blogs are usually maintained by an individual or a business with regular entries of content on a specific topic, descriptions of events, or other resources such as graphics or video. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Bookmarking - Bookmarking online follows the same idea of placing a bookmark in a physical publication -- you're simply marking something you found important, enjoyed, or want to continue reading later. The only difference online is that it's happening through websites using one of the various bookmarking services available, such as Pocket, or right within your browser.

C

Chat - Chat can refer to any kind of communication over the internet but traditionally refers to one-to-one communication through a text-based chat application, commonly referred to as instant messaging (IM) applications.

Circles - Circles are clusters of a user's friends, colleagues, family, or connections on Google+. You get to choose who goes in what Circle, and when you want to share content with only these individuals, you include that specific Circle in your post's sharing options.

Clickbait - Clickbait is a term to describe marketing or advertising material that employs a sensationalized headline to attract clicks. They rely heavily on the "curiosity gap" by creating just enough interest to provoke engagement. 

Clickthrough Rate - Clickthrough rate is a common social media metric used to represent the number of times a visitor clickthrough divided by the total number of impressions a piece of content receives. 

Comment - A comment is a response that is often provided as an answer or reaction to a blog post or message on a social network. 

Connections - The LinkedIn equivalent of a Facebook 'friend' is a 'connection.' Because LinkedIn is a social networking site, the people you are connecting with are not necessarily people you are friends with, but rather professional contacts that you've met, heard speak, done business with, or know through another connection. Connections are categorized by: 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree.

Conversion Rate - Conversion rate refers to a common metric tracked in social media that is the percentage of people who completed an intended action (i.e. filling out a form, following a social account, etc.).

Creative Commons - Creative Commons is a nonprofit corporation dedicated to making it easier for people to share and build upon the work of others, consistent with the rules of copyright. It provides free licenses and other legal tools to mark creative work with the freedom the creator wants it to carry, so others can share, remix, use commercially, or any combination thereof.

D

Direct Message - Direct messages -- also referred to as "DMs" -- are private conversations that occur on Twitter. Both parties must be following one another to send a message.

E

Ebook - An ebook is an electronic version of a book. However, most ebooks are not actually available in print (unless you print them). These are typically published in PDF form. For marketers, ebooks commonly serve as lead generating content -- people must fill out a form to receive their ebook copy.

Endorsement - An endorsement on LinkedIn refers to an instance in which another LinkedIn user recognizes you for one of the skills you have listed on your profile. 

Engagement Rate - Engagement rate is a popular social media metric used to describe the amount of interaction -- likes, shares, comments -- a piece of content receives.

F

Facebook - Facebook is a social media platform founded by Mark Zuckerberg in 2004. The site connects people with friends, family, acquaintances, and businesses from all over the world and enables them to post, share, and engage with a variety of content such as photos and status updates. The platform currently boasts around 1.49 billion active users.

Facebook Ad - An advertisement on Facebook that helps you sell a product or service, promote a business, or otherwise market something. This is different from a Facebook post in that it is paid, as a traditional advertisement.

Facebook Post - A Facebook post or “status update” is a message, comment, picture or other media that is posted on the user’s Facebook page or “wall.” This is different from a Facebook Ad in that it is not paid. Anyone can create a Facebook post as long as they have a personal profile or business page.

Fans - Fans is the term used to describe people who like your Facebook Page.

Favorite - Represented by the small star icon on Twitter, favoriting a tweet signals to the creator that you liked their content or post. 

Forums - Also known as a message board, a forum is an online discussion site. It originated as the modern equivalent of a traditional bulletin board, and a technological evolution of the dial-up bulletin board system.

Follower - In a social media setting, a follower refers to a person who subscribes to your account in order to receive your updates. 

Friends - Friends is the term used on Facebook to represent the connections you make and the people you follow. These are individuals you consider to be friendly enough with you to see your Facebook profile and engage with you.

G

Geotag - A geotag is the directional coordinates that can be attached to a piece of content online. For example, Instagram users often use geotagging to highlight the location in which their photo was taken. 

GIF - GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. In social media, GIFs serve as small-scale animations and film clips. (Check out this round up of reaction GIFs used to illustrate our excitement when Facebook announced that they were supporting their functionality.)

Google+ - Google+ is Google's social network. It serves as a platform for users to connect with friends, family, and professionals while enabling them to share photos, send messages, and engage with content. Google uses the "+1" to serve as the equivalent to a Like on Facebook or Instagram. 

H

Handle - Handle is the term used to describe someone's @username on Twitter. For example, HubSpot's Twitter handle is @HubSpot. 

Header image - A header image refers to the large photo displayed at the top of your profile on Twitter. The header image is also commonly referred to as the banner image on LinkedIn or the cover image on Facebook. 

Hashtag - A hashtag is a tag used on a variety of social networks as a way to annotate a message. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#" (i.e. #InboundMarketing). Social networks use hashtags to categorize information and make it easily searchable for users. 

HTML - HyperText Markup Language (HTML) is a programming language for web pages. Think of HTML as the brick-and-mortar of pages on the web. It provides content and structure while CSS supplies style. HTML has changed over the years, and it is on the cusp of its next version: HTML5.

I

Impressions - An impression refers to a way in which marketers and advertisers keep track of every time ad is "fetched" and counted. 

Instagram - Instagram is a photo sharing application that lets users take photos, apply filters to their images, and share the photos instantly on the Instagram network and other social networks like Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and Foursquare. The app is targeted toward mobile social sharing, and has gained more than 300 million users. 

L

Like - A Like is an action that can be made by a Facebook or Instagram user. Instead of writing a comment or sharing a post, a user can click the Like button as a quick way to show approval.

LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a business-oriented social networking site with over 380 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Founded in December 2002 and launched in May 2003, it is mainly used for professional networking. 

Live streaming - Live streaming is the act of delivering content over the internet in real-time. This term was popularized in social media by apps such as Meerkat and Periscope. 

M

Meme - A meme on the internet is used to describe a thought, idea, joke, or concept that's widely shared online. It is typically an image with text above and below it, but can also come in video and link form. A popular example is the "I Can Has Cheezburger?" cat meme that turned into an entire site of memes.

Mention - A mention is a Twitter term used to describe an instance in which a user includes someone else's @username in their tweet to attribute a piece of content or start a discussion. 

N

Native Advertising - Native content refers to a type of online advertising in which the ad copy and format adheres to the format of a regular post on the network it's being published on. The purpose is to make ads feel less like ads, and more like part of the conversation. 

News Feed - A news feed is literally a feed full of news. On Facebook, the News Feed is the homepage of users' accounts where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. The news feed on Twitter is called Timeline.

P

Permalink - A permalink is an address or URL of a particular post within a blog or website that remains indefinitely unchanged.

Pinterest - Pinterest is a photo sharing social network that provides users with a platform for uploading, saving, and categorizing "pins" through collections called "boards." Boards are typically organized by theme, such as: Food & Drink, Women's Fashion, Gardening, etc. Users have the ability to "pin" and "repin" content that they like to their respective boards. 

R

Recommendation - A recommendation on LinkedIn is a term used to describe a written note from another LinkedIn member that aims to reinforce the user's professional credibility or expertise. 

Reply - A reply is a Twitter action that allows a user to respond to a tweet through a separate tweet that begins with the other user's @username. This differs from a mention, because tweets that start with an @username only appears in the timelines of users who follow both parties. 

Retweet - A retweet is when someone on Twitter sees your message and decides to re-share it with his or her followers. A retweet button allows them to quickly resend the message with attribution to the original sharer's name.

RSS Feed - RSS is a family of web feed formats used to publish frequently updated content such as blogs and videos in a standardized format. Content publishers can syndicate a feed, which allows users to subscribe to the content and read it when they please from a location other than the website (such as Feedly or other RSS readers).

S

Search Engine Optimization - Search engine optimization is the process of improving the volume or quality of unpaid traffic to a website from search engines.

Selfie - A selfie is a self-portrait that is typically taken using the reverse camera screen on a smartphone or by using a selfie stick (a pole that attaches to your camera). Selfies are commonly shared on social media networks like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook using the hashtag #selfie. 

T

Tag - Tagging is a social media functionality commonly used on Facebook and Instagram that allows users to create a link back to the profile of the person shown in the picture or targeted by the update. 

Trending Topic - Trending topics refer to the most talked about topics and hashtags on a social media network. These commonly appear on networks like Twitter and Facebook and serve as clickable links in which users can either click through to join the conversation or simply browse the related content. 

Twitter - Twitter is a real-time social network that allows users to share 140-character updates with their following. Users can favorite and retweet the posts of other users, as well as engage in conversations using @ mentions, replies, and hashtags for categorizing their content. 

U

URL - Commonly referred to as the web address or website link. This is the address located at the top of your browser window that starts with http:// or https://.

User-Generated Content - User-generated content is content -- blogs, videos, photos, quotes, etc. -- that is created by consumers. Marketers typically tap into their audience in an online setting to collect this type of content to support a campaign or initiative. 

V

Viral - Viral is a term used to describe an instance in which a piece of content -- YouTube video, blog article, photo, etc. -- achieves noteworthy awareness. Viral distribution relies heavily on word of mouth and the frequent sharing of one particular piece of content all over the internet.

Vlogging - Vlogging or a vlog is a piece of content that employs video to tell a story or report on information. Vlogs are common on video sharing networks like YouTube. 

W

Webinar - A webinar is an online seminar or presentation that is hosted by an individual or a company. Most often, the host requires attendees to fill out a form before granting them access to stream the audio and slides. In marketing, webinars are held to educate audiences about a particular topic while opening up the floor for a discussion to occur on social media using the webinar's unique hashtag.

** Adapted from HubSpot.

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