It’s easy to get lost in the sea of social jargon. We’ve compiled a quick list of the most common terms to help you make sense of it all.
A web-based tool or application that collects syndicated content.
Short for Application, this is a program or add-on, usually for Facebook or for a mobile device (i.e., an iPhone or Black-Berry). Its purpose is to deepen user interaction and provide greater depth of functionality and engagement. For example, Facebook has created apps for the iPhone and Android phone to enhance the mobile Facebook experience.
Many social media sites encourage readers and viewers to leave comments on content that others have posted, whether that content is a quick status message, a video, an article, or a picture. Some sites, like Facebook, use the number of comments to determine the placement of a post in a user’s News Feed. On YouTube, video “owners” have the ability toturn off comments for an individual video.
Crowdsourcing is the practice of asking a collection of individuals online for opinions, suggestions, or submissions. For example, if you can’t choose between two articles for the company newsletter, ask the people who Like you on Facebook or follow you on Twitter which one you should include. Or you could simply post both stories to Facebook and Twitter to discover which one resonates more with your audience based on the number of Likes, shares, comments, or retweets. Crowdsourcing can also be helpful if you’re planning an event and can’t decide on a date or location, or if you’re looking for suggestions for a vendor.
A positive recommendation or review about your business is an explicit endorsement. People can endorse your business on a review site or social media platform. These endorsements can also take the form of a testimonial or case study for your website. Explicit endorsements help boost your site higher on review sites, such as TripAdvisor, and they also carry social proof.
People who interact with a business, organization, or individual online by posting comments and sharing content are said to be engaged. (Also see “Lurker.”)
Engagement Marketing/Engagement Marketing Cycle
Engagement Marketing is the process of encouraging your clients and customers to tell your story for you through socially visible word-of-mouth referrals. These referrals are noticed by your customers and their friends, families, and networks, leading even more people to your business. The Engagement Marketing Cycle is comprised of three steps: Provide a WOW! experience, entice people to keep in touch with you, and engage people through content they’ll want to share with their networks.
Endorsement is implied when someone engages with your business by commenting, Liking, tagging, or checking in on social networks. Because we usually engage with businesses we like, this engagement carries with it a positive or implied endorsement.
A lurker is a social network user who simply listens and watches but doesn’t participate in conversations or activities on the site.
Network can refer to a social network, such as Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or the people you’re connected to on those sites.
A preferred destination is the main place to which you want to drive social traffic. This destination can be your blog, Facebook Page, or even your e-newsletter. Having a preferred destination helps you gain traction in one place (and helps you avoid getting overwhelmed) as it’s better to have 100 fans or followers on one platform versus 25 of them on each of the four networks.
RSS literally stands for Really Simple Syndication. An RSS Feed allows the content from regularly updated websites such as blogs or podcasts to be aggregated and posted to one website (often called a “reader”) or mobile device. Choosing to follow an RSS feed is often referred to as “subscribing” to the Feed.
To post or repost content on a social media site is to share it. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ each have a share option, which allows you to post someone else’s content on your Page. On Twitter, sharing is called retweeting.
You can add a share button or bar to your website, blog, or e-newsletter so that your content can be easily shared on social media sites. AddThis (http://addthis.com) offers popular, free share buttons and bars.
Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Foursquare allow the sharing of information and creation of communities through online networks of people.
Social Media Marketing
Building your social network connections using relevant and interesting content that is shared allows you to reach and engage more people and drive more business.
The social media sites (i.e., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) where people connect and interact with friends, colleagues, businesses, and organizations are called social networks.
Social proof is a “psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others reflect the correct behavior for a given situation.” If your friend Bob eats at a restaurant and posts positively about it on Facebook, you’re now predisposed to eat at the same restaurant. This is because you value Bob’s opinion and judgment, so if Bob did it and liked it, it must be good. Social proof comes in five types: Expert, Celebrity, User, Wisdom of the Crowds, and Wisdom of Your Friends. This last one is most relevant to Engagement Marketing and has been deemed by experts to be the “killer app” that’s still relatively untapped. (See Chapter 5 for a full discussion of social proof.)
Socially Visible Call-to-Action
Calls-to-action tell people what to do next: Like our Page, answer a poll question, or download something, for example. Socially visible calls-to-action are those actions that show up in your fans’ friends’ Feeds: shares, photo tags, and check-ins. See Social Visibility below.
Actions people take on social platforms that expose their friends to your business are considered socially visible. For example, sharing content is a socially visible action. When your fans share, this action appears in their friends’ Feeds—which means that people who may not have known about your business are exposed to your content.
When a piece of content on the Internet is shared organically, without prodding or encouragement from the business, organization, or person who created it, it is said to have “gone viral.” This means it has been shared on social networks, posted and reposted, tweeted and retweeted multiple times.