Social Media Terms You Should Know and Understand

Seeing your following numbers go up is exciting, isn’t it? Unfortunately, if your content isn’t being seen and interacted with, those numbers can give you a false confidence that your social media strategy is stronger than it actually is.

If you want to give your social game a real boost, here are three social media terms you should familiarize yourself with.


In marketing, social media reach refers to how many individual people actually see your posts. Reach isn’t about clicks or likes or private messages; it’s about exposure. Who sees your content? Keep in mind in order to reach more people, you have to first appear in more newsfeeds. This brings us to the next term: impressions.


social media terms

In the social media world, the term “impressions” refers to the content being delivered to your followers’ feeds. So if your post gets 100 impressions, that means it made it to 100 people’s newsfeeds. There is no guarantee that they liked your content or even saw it! The content was simply delivered to that many feeds.

It’s easy to confuse reach and impressions, so we want to clarify the difference between these two terms with an example. Say you put a flyer that says, “Need your lawn mowed? Call now!” on 50 people’s mailboxes. That would be 50 impressions, in social media terms. Now let’s say only 20 of those people actually checked their mail and read your flyer. This means your reach for that flyer only extended to 20 people.

See the difference? Delivering flyers to 50 mailboxes is great! But wouldn’t it have been even better if all 50 of those people had actually seen your flyer? Better yet, wouldn’t it have been awesome if they had actually called you for a quote or scheduled you to come mow? That’s called engagement, which is the third and most important term you should know.


Action is engagement. In the marketing world, likes, shares, saves, comments, etc. equate to social media “engagement.” While reach and impressions are both important components and need to be closely monitored, engagement ought to be a top priority. Engagement means that your content was not only delivered to x number of news feeds and seen by x number of people, but it was also clicked on/saved/shared by x number of people.

Healthy engagement is important because it indicates that your content is resonating with followers and that they are interacting with your brand on a regular basis. And customers that engage with your brand regularly are more likely to buy your product or book your services!

Understanding social media terminology is critical in order to create a marketing strategy that works. Tired of wasting precious time and energy on a social media strategy that is reaping little to no results?

Message us today to find out how we can help!