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Social Media Marketing Terms for Beginners

Social Media Marketing Terms for Beginners
April 9, 2021 / Hollie Wornes  >

We all know the world of social media can be extremely overwhelming. To make matters worse, it decided to start speaking in its own digital language. A language full of words that have double meanings and acronyms across multiple platforms!

Understanding these social media marketing terms is one of the first steps towards growing your business. This beginner’s glossary will give you an overview of what the jargon really means so you can measure how your business is going and create better advertisements.


Social Media Marketing Glossary

Fans vs. Followers

When we speak of a fan it is normally in relation to Facebook. A fan is a person that has gone to your profile and liked your Facebook business page. These are also referred to as page likes. Whereas a follower, tends to be associated with Instagram or Twitter and is a user that has hit the follow button on your business profile.



We all know the old saying “first impressions matter,” but knowing this saying won’t help you in the world of social media marketing! Impressions is a common metric used in the online marketing industry and it refers to the amount of times your ad was on someone’s screen. For example, if on Facebook you paid to boost your advertisement, looking at the impressions will help you understand how effective that boost really was as you’ll know how many times it is appearing on people’s feeds.



Reach is the number of people that have seen your ad at least once. It is different to impressions as impressions may include multiple views of your ad by the same user. Reach is only the number of users.


Clicks vs. Link Clicks

Clicks are the number of clicks on your ad campaign whereas link clicks refer to the number of clicks on links to a destination outside of Facebook or Instagram etc. For example, a user is scrolling down their Instagram feed and see’s the ad about your new menu launch. The user hitting the link that then takes them to the website where they can view the new, is a link click.


CTR (Link Click-Through Rate)

The use of acronyms has begun… CTR also known as Click Through Rate is a percentage of the amount of times people saw your ad and performed a click. It is calculated by the number of clicks that your ad received divided by the number of times your ad was shown (impressions). CTR is a good indication of the success rate of your ads. Are they actually driving users to perform a click? Or are they just appearing on users feeds and being ignored?


CPC (Cost Per Click)

The acronyms continue… The CPC shows how much on average each click is costing you. The metric is calculated by the total amount you are spending on your ad campaign divided by the number of clicks. It is useful for understanding ad efficiency and performance.


CVR (Conversion Rate)

The complication only continues, as CVR isn’t even an acronym, it is abbreviation! CVR is the average conversion rate of how many people were persuaded by your advertisements to take a particular action.


CPA (Cost Per Action)

The CPA is an average of the amount you’ve been charged for a conversion from your ad. It is calculated by dividing the total cost of conversions by the number of conversions.


CPM (Cost Per Thousand Impressions) 

The CPM refers to the cost you are paying per thousand advertisement impression. Monitoring the CPM will help you asses the performance of your ad and allow you to take actions to optimise your spending’s.

You may be wondering where the ‘M’ comes from in the acronym, it stands for Cost Per Mille. Just to make things more confusing, we're now using foreign languages!


Engagement Rate vs. Engaged Users

Engagement rate refers to the amount of interaction you are getting on your social media ad campaigns. It measures the likes, comments and shares your content is receiving. Whereas, engaged users are the people who have clicked on this content. Engaged users is really useful to know in relation to reach. As reach is telling you the number of people who have seen the content and engaged users shows you the number who have then gone on to engage with the content (like, share, comment etc.)


Bounce Rate

Ever walked into a club, looked around and said to your friend “it’s time for us to bounce” without actually stepping onto the dance floor? This social media marketing term is well, kind of similar. A bounce is a single-page session on your site. For example, when a user visits the home page of your website but then exist without clicking on any other page such as - the breakfast or specials menu. This is a bounce, exiting without exploring. Similar to you at the club.
So, the bounce rate then becomes the total of single-page sessions divided by all the sessions. This helps us understand how effectively each landing page engages users.


KPI (Key Performance Indicator)

 Now that you understand CTR, CPA and CPM it’s time for more acronyms! Key performance indicator (KPI) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively you are achieving a key business objective. KPI can be any type of analytic like CTR, engagement rate etc. KPI’s indicate whether you have attained your specific goal in the time frame.


Now You Know!

If you can comprehend these social media and marketing terms (or can at least have this glossary handy) you are on track to growing your business in the world of social media.


Other Marketing Glossaries

Looking for some further reading? Check out our other glossaries and you'll be proficient in marketing jargon in no time!

Digital Marketing Glossary

Facebook Ad Glossary 


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