Organic Social Media 101
Terminology for Media Novices
There’s a big difference between casual social media users and those trying to run accounts for their brand. One of the most significant barriers to organic social media marketing is the vocab. If you’re new to this, you’ve likely seen some terminology that doesn’t sound like plain English. And that’s okay. We can assure you that you’re not the only one.
Most people will never need to make these terms part of their everyday vocabulary. But that’s not the case for someone who’s using organic social media as a growth tool. With a growing list of terms, it can feel overwhelming for newbies trying to find their footing in the social world.
We’re here to make social media terminology a little more approachable for beginners. Take a deep breath and jot down some notes as we get these basics out of the way.
ORGANIC SOCIAL MEDIA
Organic social media includes any activity without paid promotion. It uses free social media tools to publish photos, videos, links, and other types of content.
A platform is a social media network or app. For example, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn are all platforms.
The term initially referred to Twitter usernames but has since become the standard for other social media platforms. You can use a handle to mention a person or brand in a social media post. Type the “at” symbol (@) followed by their username or display name. The account’s owner will be notified of this mention.
Hashtags categorize information and connect posts to popular topics. Using the hashtag symbol within a post turns a word into a clickable, searchable term. When users click the hashtag, related posts are shown. They can also search hashtags to find public posts with related content. Users can follow hashtags to see these posts directly in their news feed on some platforms, like Instagram.
Popular topics on social media are often shown on a “trending page” or sidebar of the platform. These trends encourage discussion and engagement among users. Hashtags usually accompany trending topics.
Viral is a term used to describe organic social media content that spreads quickly, especially videos and photos. Viral content relies on word of mouth and sharing. Although there is no specific threshold for virality, many media professionals agree that “going viral” means receiving over a million views in a matter of a few days. Rapid popularity is the only current defining marker for viral content.
This metric is specific to Facebook. It measures the total number of people who have seen your organic social media post but do not follow your account. Non-followers can see your content after it is shared, liked, or commented on by a friend.
This content is created by consumers—videos, photos, graphics, quotes, etc.—and reposted or shared on the brand’s account. Brands often rely on user-generated content to build trust with their followers and increase engagement.
An influencer is a social media user with a large audience who can drive awareness about brands and products. In general, they have the power to affect purchasing decisions because of their popularity, knowledge, or trustworthiness.
Influencers are broken up into subcategories based on their follower count:
- Mega-influencers: More than 1 million followers
- Macro-influencers: Up to 1 million followers
- Micro-influencers: Up to 40,000 followers
- Nano-influencers: Fewer than 1,000 followers
THE FINAL TIP
Our best tip is to be realistic about your understanding of social media. We’ve only scratched the surface here, and there’s a vast list of terms we didn’t cover. Remember, social media is a complex study, and people seek out college degrees in it. Don’t feel discouraged if you’re unsure about more complex concepts and vocab, and don’t overwhelm yourself by becoming a social media expert. That’s why we’re here.
We want to introduce you to one last vocabulary term: Community Manager
A community manager is a person responsible for managing the social media accounts of a business. They focus on growing your following, maintaining your reputation, and creating engaging content. When you work with 20Twenty, you will be assigned a community manager from our social media team. They will help get your social brand on track and will guide you through the growth process.