10 Key Terms to Understand Social Media

Kitzia - Lucca Alla Moda
by Kitzia Picon, Social Media & Content Marketing on Mar 16, 2018 / Perspective

These might seem like everyday terms to some people but to others, they are still relatively known. Especially if they’ve never used social media or only have a Facebook. This is a good place to start if you know nothing about social media and its ins and outs. Another good way to learn is to immerse yourself in different social media accounts. If it still all goes over your head, we can help. We make it seem easy but it takes a bit to get it all right and consistently in the loop since things are always changing and updating.

So here are 10 key terms in order to understand social media:


  • An algorithm is a set of formulas developed for a computer to perform a certain function. In social media, the most important algorithms are those that determine which content we see as a user. Instagram is famous for changing their algorithm to one that shows pictures that you might find more appealing or have yet seen. It is no longer in chronological order except for a few times. This can decrease the number of people who see your picture. One foolproof way to increase your ranking in an algorithm is to pay for it with paid social media. Facebook is now a pay-to-play platform for businesses.


  • AKA Direct Message. These are private conversations that occur on twitter and Instagram mainly. On twitter, both parties must be following one another to send a direct message.


  • This refers to the acts of talking to, messaging or otherwise interacting with other people on social networks. At its simplest, social media engagement is any interaction you have with other users. But it also doesn’t necessarily have to be engagement with yourself and another user. The engagement can be on a post that you don’t necessarily converse with others on. Other users engage with the post by liking, commenting, or sharing the post.


  • GIF is an acronym for Graphics Interchange Format. Only certain sites allow for GIF use and others might take a little work (loopholes) to post or flat out deny them. This is a gif:

puppies running gif


  • The hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#” sign. #Hashtags are a simple way to mark the topic (or topics). This makes things easier to search for later. It is also for joining a conversation and for reach.


  • This is used to describe someone’s username on twitter. It can also be used for Instagram, “What’s your Insta handle?”


  • A mention is also a Twitter term. It’s used to bring someone into the conversation or to reference someone. This is done by including someone’s handle.

Newsfeed or News Feed

  • On Facebook, the Newsfeed is the homepage of a users’ account where they can see all the latest updates from their friends. Meanwhile, on twitter, this is known as a timeline. On Instagram, it’s a feed.


  • AKA RT. A Tweet that is re-shared to the followers of another user’s Twitter account. This is easily done with the retweet button.social media - retweet


  • A verified account has gone through the necessary steps in order to confirm that the person who is running the account is indeed who they say they are. This is for celebrities, brands, companies, and other big figures. There are requirements to get verified and usually requires a high amount of followers, original content, and a few other things. It’s everyone’s dream to get verified.

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