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Common Social Media Marketing Terms Decoded

If you’re involved in digital marketing, chances are you’ve heard terms like ‘SEO’, ‘engagement’ and ‘analytics’ thrown around, often with no explanations or convoluted descriptions. We’ve put together the complete guide of need-to-know social media marketing terms and what they mean for you and your brand. You’ll be bragging about your EDM strategies, your cost per click and conversion rates in no time with our quick guide of digital marketing definitions!

Common Social Media Marketing Terms

A/B testing

A/B split testing refers to testing multiple ads on your target market, where the social media platform (e.g. Facebook) records your best performing ads, and refines your creative as a result. To undergo split testing, you’ll need multiple creative executions of the same ad (variations in copy, different imagery, differing hashtags), and you can run as many of these variations as you like. The platform you’re advertising on records your audience responses such as reactions, comments, shares, or whether people hide or complain about the ad. Split testing is highly recommended, as it means the ads being shown to your target market are the ads which are most likely to succeed.


Social media analytics refer to the statistics gathered from your ad sets, which tell you more about your target market and their social media habits. Your digital analytics will tell you who is engaging with your content, how they’re engaging with it (e.g. are they sharing the content? clicking through to your website? are certain times more popular than others?), and from this data you can make more informed decisions regarding your advertising. Analytics are one of the most valuable resources in forming your marketing strategy, and is a major part of the rise of social media advertising over traditional medias (such as billboards or magazine ads).


‘Clickbait’ headlines or tags are a marketing strategy which aims to drive an audience to a site or external link, through creating intentionally vague & dramatic, sometimes misleading headlines. Examples include: “You’ll never guess what Kim wore!” or “Oprah’s live interview: We’re SHOCKED by what she does next!”.

While clickbait headlines can be effective in encouraging people to click through to the next page, headlines like this can also drive consumer distrust or frustration.

Content creation

Content creation simply refers to the creation of images, text, videos, audio files, or any other content to be shared on social media. A lot of advertising or marketing agencies may offer content creation services, which is done by writers, photographers, videographers, editors, animators and stylists, and is posted strategically to engage an audience with a brand.

Conversion rate

The definition of your ‘conversion rate’ will vary depending on your marketing strategies. For example, if you’re running an ad set to encourage people to sign up for your newsletter, your ‘conversion rate’ will refer to how many people fill out the sign-up form. However if your ad set is designed to redirect people to your website, your ‘conversion rate’ will be a record of how many people have visited your site as a result of your ad. Your conversion rates will usually take into account how many people your ad was shown to, and is used to develop your ‘cost per click’.

Cost per click

Your ‘cost per click’ is a summary of how much your ad’s are costing you for every ‘conversion’. Ideally, you would like your cost per click as low as possible, because this means you are getting a higher ROI. Part of what A/B split testing takes into account is your ‘cost per click’, so the ads which are ultimately run are the most cost effective ads for your page.

EDM’s (Email Direct Marketing)

Email direct marketing is advertising in the form of direct emails to your client base. A common use of EDM’s is to promote an upcoming sale or special offer, inform customers of new products and releases, or simply to create a positive brand image by sending out relevant content. EDM’s usually record how many people click-through on your email, which contribute to your marketing analytics.

Engagement & Reach

‘Engagement’ and ‘Reach’ are two of the most common terms in digital marketing, and are both measures of the success of your ads. Engagement refers to how people respond to your ad, so ‘healthy’ engagement means having a high amount of reactions/comments/reposts for the amount of people who’ve seen your ad, and is usually calculated as a percentage. Reach on the other hand refers to the amount of people who’ve seen your ad. Effective advertising usually means striking the right balance between having lots of people see your ads, but also having those people respond positively to it. Social media marketers will focus on generating engagement or reach depending on your campaign; if you’re launching a new product you might focus on achieving a high ad reach, whereas if you’re encouraging people to attend a local event, your ads may focus on driving engagement.


Your ‘impressions’ amongst your target audience are similar to your ad frequency. Impressions simply refers to how often your ads are shown to your target market, which is used to develop your engagement rates & cost per click.


An ‘influencer’ is refers to a social media account with a significant amount of followers or likes, usually due to the quality or unique value of their content. Generally, an influencer has a minimum of 10k followers, while a ‘mega-influencer’ usually has at least 100k followers. Some brands use influencers as a highly targeted way of advertising to their particular audiences. Influencer marketing can yield a high ROI (return on investment) and has a good track record of fostering consumer trust. We’ve written another piece about digital influencers, which you can find here.

SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO (Search engine optimization) is a popular digital marketing technique, and is usually completed by a digital marketer with specific experience or training in writing for SEO. By choosing specific words or phrases over others, and careful decisions about where these words appear on your site or page, your website may appear before others when consumers are searching for a particular product or service, via a search engine such as Google or Bing. Investing in SEO allows can increase the likelihood of consumers choosing your brand over competitors, however this service can sometimes be expensive, so make sure you review all your analytics if you take this path!

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