10 Social Media Terms and Meanings to Know

10 Social Media Terms and Meanings to Know | Green Loop Marketing Indianapolis

Have you ever been in a marketing meeting where you didn’t understand what was being discussed? Or maybe you’ve received a social media report and everything seemed like a foreign language? Have no fear, we’re here to help!

Social media marketing has many buzzwords and terms that even seasoned social media managers can have a hard time keeping up with. Some social media terminology can even vary from platform to platform. But as long as you have a good foundation of the basics you’ll be empowered to understand your social media’s performance.

Here are 10 social media terms that you should understand (or may even see on your reports from Green Loop!).


An audience is a collective of people you can reach on social media. Growing your social media audience can increase your brand awareness. When it comes to social media content, it’s important to communicate directly with your target audience and future followers.

Content Calendar

A content calendar should be in a social media manager’s arsenal and, like it sounds, is essentially a calendar of content. Content calendars allow help teams be strategic and organized with social media content planning.

Need help getting started with a content calendar? Check out our FREE workbook to help you plan and align content to your business goals!

Post Reach

Have you ever wondered how many people saw your post? You’re looking for post reach. Post reach is the total number of unique people who have seen your post. Be sure to make a mental note of the differences between reach and impressions (more on impressions later).


Engagements are important because they show people are interacting with your content. This metric directly shows audience involvement. Engagements include likes and reactions, replies and comments, shares, saves, and link clicks.

Engagement Rate

Do you want to track whether or not your content resonates with your audience? Calculate and take note of the engagement rate. Engagement rate is a formula measuring the engagements earned relative to reach (or impressions on some platforms) of a particular post. One of the most basic formulas for calculating engagement is the total number of engagements (likes, comments, etc.) divided by your number of followers at the time of posting, then multiplied by one hundred. But engagement rate formulas can vary! HootSuite offers a round-up of six different ways you can calculate engagement depending on the metric you’re seeking.

Organic Impressions

Organic impressions are the total number of times content was displayed, whether it was clicked on or not. This means the post was sent to someone’s feed, but, as fast as some people scroll, it’s hard to say if that person actually saw and digested the post. Impressions differ from reach because they do not take into account unique individuals. This means that if an individual sees a post or ad in their feed three times, that’s three different impressions and one individual reached.

Paid Impressions

Paid impressions are the number of times a paid/boosted post is displayed to a user. When you purchase an ad it is important to note both paid and organic impressions.

Viral Impressions

You can probably name a viral video from the last year. But how does that translate to your social media content? Viral impressions are the number of times your social media content was seen through a user’s friend’s activities. This includes shares, comments, and engagements.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is a content marketer’s dream. This is content that ages well and is always relevant. There may be times that the content needs to be updated, but it can be repurposed over again. This content can appear in a content calendar several times.

Vanity Metric

Vanity metrics are those surface-level data points that are nice to see but don’t really show the return on investment of social media. These numbers are often the easiest to include in a social media report. Common vanity metrics include the number of followers, impressions, and mentions.

Are there any other words or phrases you need help understanding? We’re here to help! Leave us a comment below.

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