Digital Marketing Terms, Explained: Social Media


  • Social media is a 24/7. 360-degree beast that requires creative chops and technical know-how. 
  • While it may seem easier than SEO or PPC, it’s actually just as particular and time-consuming. 
  • In part 4 of this series, we dive into common social media terms, including “engagement rate”, “shadowbanned”, and “community engagement.”

You may think your Instagram posts are pretty funny, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you have what it takes to build a brand’s social media presence up from nothing. Social media is a 24/7, 360-degree beast that requires not just creative chops, but quite a bit of technical know-how to master from a branding perspective. While social media may seem like an easier SEO task than say PPC or link building (“I know how to use Facebook, how hard can it be?”), it’s actually just as particular and just as time-consuming.

At Redefine Marketing Group, we’re fully committed to providing our clients with all the knowledge and tools they need to succeed. So in the spirit of transparency, we put together this guide to all the social media lingo you need to create a traffic-driving social media strategy for your business. 

Engagement rate

Engagement rate is a social media metric that tracks how much engagement a social media post gains from its audiences. Engagement rate typically factors in audience reaction, such as comments, likes, shares, etc. in respect to the number of followers the account has. For example, a company that has hundreds of thousands of followers, but only gets a few likes on each post has a low engagement rate. An account that has a hundred followers and gets 50 likes on each post is actually the more powerful account. In the first scenario, the followers have likely been bought or gained through black hat tactics. Engagement rate can be especially important when seeking out accounts to collaborate with. Don’t be fooled by an account that has bought or bot followers––by doing a quick analysis of an account’s engagement rate, you can tell if they’re legitimate or not.

It’s also critical to keep an eye on your own company’s engagement rate, because it will help you get a better understanding of which content is drawing audience attention and which is falling flat. Once you get a better idea of this, you can start putting ad dollars towards the more effective posts. 

Hashtag Strategy

So you already know about #Iwokeuplikethis and #fierce, but have you ever thought about how targeted hashtags can draw business to your website? When creating a social media strategy, it’s essential to have a hashtag strategy in place. Hashtags are so much more valuable than just adding a funny twist to the end of your post. They can help put you on the map with your customers, because it’s an easy way for them to search for content in your niche.

Just like with all things social media, there’s no one exact strategy for every social channel when it comes to hashtag tactics. For example, hashtags look spammy and don’t drive an audience on Facebook or LinkedIn, but are very powerful on Instagram when used correctly. Some brands even find success by implementing their own hashtags, such as Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke or Olive Garden’s #breadsticknation.

Shadowbanned

This one is a little tough, because there’s no exact science or formula to it. Social media channels do their best to ensure that brands are following best practices and aren’t spamming their audiences or putting out inappropriate content. While there’s some speculation that shadowbanning doesn’t exist, the idea is that a shadowban is when an account (typically an Instagram account) is unknowingly hidden from feeds and hashtags to restrict its visibility. 

When an account is shadowbanned, it will typically notice a sizable decrease in engagement. The theory is that too many hashtags are a surefire way to get yourself shadowbanned, but Instagram stands firm that shadowbanning is not actually a thing. Whether it is or isn’t, the lesson to learn here is to always post with best practices in mind. Don’t try to cheat the system when it comes to social media. Instead, work towards great content. We promise it will be more beneficial and rewarding in the long run. 

Link in Bio

This one is also primarily relevant to Instagram. To keep the social platform from getting too sales-y, Instagram does not allow clickable links in posts. The only place you can put a clickable link is in your profile bio. If you are posting something with the intention of leading viewers to a specific site, simply write “link in bio” in the post, and add the link to your bio. This is a popular enough instruction, your visitors will know how to access the link. 

Community Engagement 

A lot of businesses make the mistake of thinking that all they need to do to be successful on social media is to post regularly. While a consistent posting strategy is an important element of your social efforts, it’s only about a third of the battle. Even more importantly to building brand loyalty online is community engagement. This entails responding to your customers questions, comments, and complaints. 

Through community engagement, you are able to create a voice for your brand. The more funny, interesting, and/or educational it is, the more likely you are to develop a community. Customers stick with brands that they feel like they can talk to, so open the doors of communication to your customers through community engagement. 

Ask the Experts

While you now have a better understanding of all this jargon, there’s a good chance the actual act of implementing it is beyond your time constraints. Social media, particularly community engagement, can easily become a full-time job. If you try to manage it all yourself, you’ll 100% be spreading yourself too thin. 

At Redefine Marketing Group, we are well-versed in using social media to boost traffic to your website. Need help getting started? We’re happy to post, share, and engage on your behalf! 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jason is a Cal Poly Pomona Alum, an extreme fan of marketing, and social media advocate. As a Marketing Coordinator at Redefine Marketing Group, he is responsible for the development and execution of strategy for both off-page SEO and social media marketing.
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