Social Media Marketing Glossary of Terms

Avatar – These 2- or 3-D customized computer representations of people are also referred to as “icons” or “buddy icons” when used on Instant Messenger. Second Life is an online virtual community of avatars.

Blog – Web log; a social media venue on which companies or individuals can share news, thoughts, stories and product announcements. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.

Blog Marketing – An online marketing tactic by utilizing a web log on which to communicate industry news, product announcements and company profiles
Blogger relations – Media relations efforts extended to podcasters, bloggers, even microbloggers who can reach and influence targeted (and mass in some cases) audiences appropriate to your clients needs.

Blogging Policy – An explanation to those who will be blogging on a company’s behalf what is acceptable topically, language, linking and guidelines for engagement with comments.

Blogosphere – Term used to describe the totality of blogs on the Internet, and the conversations taking place within that sphere.

Blogroll – A list of blogs, usually placed in the sidebar of a blog, that reads as a list of recommendations by the blogger of other blogs.

Categories – Topical method by which content is organized on a blog.

Crowdsourcing – Posing a question or problem to a large group of people to try to get to the best answer quickly. This can be very powerful but also can backfire.

Feed – The RSS or Atom feeds used by news aggregators (aka feed readers). See RSS Feed.

Feed Reader – An aggregator of content, subscribed to by the user, so that specific content or search results arrives in their “reader”. Bloglines and Google Reader are examples. See Aggregator.

Folksonomy – The collective indexing by use of tags, labels or keywords by the consumers of the content. The tagging system of Flickr or Delicious are examples of this social indexing.

Friends – On social networking sites “friends” are contacts whose profile you link to in your profile. On some sites people have to accept the link, in others, not.

Gadgets – See Widget

Lurkers – People who read but don’t contribute or add comments to forums. The one percent rule-of-thumb suggests about one per cent of people contribute new content to an online community, another nine percent comment, and the rest lurk.

Microblogging – Blogging in tiny doses, usually in a “stream” with many others’ tiny updates. tools used include Twitter, Jaiku, Pownce and audio, video and photo tools like Flickr, Twittergram, Utterz, Seesmic

Pinging Software – In blogging, ping is an XML-RPC-based push mechanism by which a weblog notifies a server that its content has been updated. Example, pingomatic.com.
Podcasting – A digital media file, or series of files, residing at a unique web feed address and distributed over the internet for playback on portable media players or computers. The term is a combination of “broadcast and “pod”.

Profile – The information that you provide about yourself when signing up for a social networking site. As well as a picture and basic information, this may include your personal and business interests, a “blurb” about yourself, and tags to help people search for like-minded people.

Social Bookmarking – Social bookmarking sites are a popular way to store, classify, share and search links on the Internet. Think of it as having your “favorites” online so that you can access them from any computer and not just your browser on your personal PC.

Social Media – Primarily internet-based media centered around user-generated content and participation

Social Media Marketing – An online marketing method which utilizes social networking spaces and user-generated content platforms to promote a product or service

Social Media Optimization – Utilizing social media marketing tactics and implementing optimization to gain increased awareness within the social networks and to gain traffic from sites other than the search engines

Social Networking Sites – These Internet hubs help connect friends, business partners or other individuals together using a variety of tools. Popular examples include MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social News Sites – This process allows users to submit, vote on and make the “news” from stories that they mark of interest rather than an editor. Examples include Slashdot and Digg.

Tagging – A tag is a relevant keyword or term associated with or assigned to a piece of information (like a picture, article or video clip) that describes the item and enables keyword-based classification of information.

Technorati – An Internet search engine for searching blogs, competing with Google and Yahoo.

Threads – Strands of conversation. On an email list or web forum they will be defined by messages that use the same subject. On blogs they are less clearly defined, but emerge through comments and trackbacks.

Trackback – Some blogs provide a facility for other bloggers to leave a calling card automatically, instead of commenting. Blogger A may write on blog A about an item on blogger B’s site, and through the trackback facility leave a link on B’s site back to A. The collection of comments and trackbacks on a site facilitates conversations.

Troll – A hurtful but possibly valuable loser who, for whatever reason, is both obsessed by and constantly annoyed with, and deeply offended by everything you write on your blog.

Viral Marketing – Related to “word of mouth marketing”, viral marketing uses online media such as social networks to increase buzz and awareness about a specific product, company or idea

Widgets – Stand-alone applications you can embed in other applications, like a website or a desktop, or view on its own on a PDA. These may help you to do things like subscribe to a feed, do a specialist search, or even make a donation.

Wikipedia – Providing community-edited information, Wikipedia can be likened to an open-source online encyclopedia (and now has more entries than Encyclopedia Britannica).