Essential Social Media Definitions for Content Marketing in 2021

All the buzzwords you need in your social media marketing vocab

Social media is constantly evolving. And along with new tools and platforms come fun, new social media buzzwords. Some of these terms are so new that even the most seasoned social media marketers are bound to have some head-scratching moments.

And many are classics that have been around for awhile and are likely here to stay.

Either way, we’ve got you covered.

Whether you’re trying to differentiate dark posts from dark social, or attempting to decipher the many acronyms, here’s a hand.

We’ve curated a list of the most essential terms you need to understand this ever-changing landscape.

Call to Action


Spot the CTAs on our website

Also known as a CTA, a call to action is a direct request for the audience to take action after consuming content. In social media, the CTA may be to click a link, download a resource, or leave a comment. On TikTok, this often translates to “hit the buttons”, a reference to engaging via the like, comment, copy link, and share buttons, which triggers TikTok’s algorithm to reach more users and increases revenue earnings via the Creator Fund.

Content curation

Curating content is an essential task for today’s social media managers. It involves sourcing and adapting existing (and relevant) content to fill their editorial calendars and provide value for their audiences. It can also be a good way to build relationships with other brands, thought leaders and influencers. 

Content marketing

Content marketing involves the collection, curation, writing and creation of content that will resonate with specific target audiences; it nudges them to engage with the brand in question. A content marketing strategy focuses on telling brand stories, and that’s a particular passion of ours here at Forge & Spark. Ultimately, content marketing is all about meeting the consumer where they’re at, with content they can digest no matter what stage of the customer journey they’re in. 

Conversion

A conversion occurs when a social media user or visitor to your website takes a specific, desired action. A conversion may be signing up for a newsletter, registering for a webinar, downloading an ebook, requesting a quote or making a purchase. Your definition of conversion should ultimately match your goals.

Crowdsourcing

User-generated content and crowdsourcing efforts from Fit52

Crowdsourcing involves tapping into your online community for new ideas, suggestions, information or content. It can be an innovative way to solve difficult problems. Asking for ideas through interactive features like polls is a prime example of crowdsourcing. User-generated content (UGC), which our client Fit52 uses frequently to engage its community, is another. 

Curated content


Moz Top 10 newsletter

Sharing, re-posting or adapting content created by others is considered curated content. This could be a meme or a quote, an excerpt from an industry thought leader, or even a gif you think your audience would find relatable. Most brands curate content to supplement their own content marketing efforts. A great example of curated content is Moz Top 10, a monthly newsletter that curates the best resources in SEO and digital marketing from around the web.

Dark post


A sponsored ad on HostGator’s socials

A dark post is a social media ad shown only to targeted users. It’s called a “dark post” as it does not appear on your brand timeline or in the feeds of your followers. Contrary to traditional social media ads, dark posts offer better audience targeting, help with split testing and keep your page ad-free and less spammy. Here’s an example from HostGator’s Facebook which you won’t find on their page.

Although the term “dark post” can make this content seem hidden, it’s important to note that through the Page Transparency feature, any user can now look up all of your Facebook advertising.

Dark social

Dark social is social networking traffic to your website that is not identified by analytics tools. It is social sharing that cannot be tracked back to the point of origin.This suggests that instead of clicking through to your site from public platforms such as timelines and newsfeeds, the link has been passed on through private channels such as email or messaging apps. In analytics systems, dark social shows up as “direct traffic.” The most common sources of dark social media are email, instant messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger) and native social media apps (Facebook, Instagram). When properly leveraged by marketers, dark social can be a huge source of website traffic. The downside is that there is no referrer data.

Employee advocacy

Employee advocacy works well when it’s authentic. Typically when employees genuinely feel they’re part of their company’s culture, they’re able to express authentically positive sentiments about where they work. Done on social media, this can amplify a brand’s awareness and reach. This kind of advocacy can be formalized with a set of broad guidelines to ensure team members stay on-brand. 

Evergreen content

Evergreen content is content that stays current; it is not tied to any specific event or promotion such as news items, trendy topics or current events. Because it’s not timely, evergreen content stays relevant for a long time after publication, and therefore can be an excellent source of consistent organic website traffic. Here’s an example from one of our clients, Genus Capital: a blog post about an evergreen topic that serves to educate their target audience.  

#FYP (For You Page)

#FYP is a popular hashtag for TikTok users who are attempting to go viral. Using the hashtag places videos on other users’ “For You Page” feeds. This feed serves content to users that is most likely to engage them. By engaging with posts on the For You Page, users can influence TikTok’s algorithm to show them similar content.

Inbound marketing 

Inbound marketing by WebFX

Inbound marketing is a set of tools and processes used to leverage the behaviour of potential customers in order to generate website traffic. It focuses on providing the right content, to the right lead, at the right time. It is called “inbound” because the resources you build allow people to discover and learn about your business themselves, rather than you reaching out to them with a sales pitch. These new contacts can then be nurtured by your company in order to convert them into customers. Inbound marketing uses techniques and tools such as SEO, blogging, social media, lead generation and email marketing. 

Having influencers post links to your site, like Old Navy did here with Alex Rodriguez, can be an effective means of link building.

Link building is an effective strategy to drive traffic, boost search engine ranking and increase brand awareness by having other brands link to yours. On social, this can be done by collaborating with influencers and having them post links to your site (or social profile), or guest blogging on other sites with links back to yours.

Newsjacking

Newsjacking, also known as trendjacking, is the act of referencing a news item or trending subject to communicate with an audience within the context of that story. It is a way of aligning your brand with the news of the day in order to capture the audience’s attention. Creating content linked to a trending topic — or repromoting existing content within a newsworthy context — can help you to increase organic engagement with your brand, attracting customers who might not otherwise have seen your content. A common way to connect content to breaking news is through hashtags. Just be careful not to align your brand too closely with topics that may be contentious with your audience — the backlash can be swift and fierce. 

Organic reach

Organic reach is the number of unique users who view your content without paid advertising to lead them there. People organically discover social content through their own feeds, either from businesses whose pages they have liked or through content posted by friends or connections. It is also considered organic reach if someone visits your social profile based on a search or some other unpaid referral.

Shareable content


Trending topics on Twitter 

Shareable content is content that is likely to be reposted on social media because it is funny, informative, useful, entertaining or valuable to audiences in some other way. In order to build visibility for your content, it helps to make it shareable in a way that resonates with your audience’s values and speaks to their interests, leading them to share it with their friends and followers. Shareable content can increase brand awareness, enhance engagement and boost your company’s trustworthiness. Creating useful, inspirational and entertaining content is the best way to encourage sharing. The “trending” section on Twitter is a great jumping off point for creating shareable content.

Visual content creation

Visual content developed for Amy’s Kitchen’s recruitment campaign

A more specific version of “content creation”, this term emphasizes the importance of using imagery — whether static or animated — for story telling purposes. Online audiences overwhelmingly favour visual content, which is why we almost always create visual depictions of what we believe our clients’ personas need to see in order to immerse themselves into the brand narrative. This example, from our work with Amy’s Kitchen shows a landing page and accompanying ads intended recruitment campaigns using visuals developed to appeal to their target audiences. 

Check Out Our Portfolio

It’s chock full of examples of how we’ve helped our clients use social media to achieve their goals.

Looking for more guidance on the ins and out of social media marketing? Get in touch, we’d love to chat about how we can help.

Elim Kwok
Elim Kwok
Passionate about sharing knowledge with others and digital communications, Elim has for 15+ years supported brands like 7-Eleven, Cactus Club Cafe, and Vega.