Glossary of Terms
Social: people interacting to exchange information, solicit advice, entertain, console, motivate and/or inspire action.
Media: electronic channels such as social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter), television, and texting.
Social media: an electronic form of communication for users to share images and text within their selected communities, which are governed by the rules of platform providers.
Social media coordinates: your strategic goals and their relationship to one another.
Social media channels: the platforms provided by companies like Facebook and Twitter.
Social media content: the material posted on social media sites or platforms.
Social media connections: the links between various social media platforms, websites, non-digital channels, people and departments. For example, a print ad that makes reference to a company’s Twitter account would be considered a connection.
Social media corrections: tweaks and changes made to a firm’s social media strategy and tactics.
Social media strategy: coordinated, big-picture choices that form a coherent path forward, and result in an orchestrated set of tactics.
Social media tactics: the specific actions that implement the strategy.
“Test-post” content strategy: an approach that helps regulate what content to post and when to post it. For example, a person might ask these questions before posting content: “Does it need to be said?” “Does it need to be said by me?” and “Does it need to be said now?”
Assess and respond strategy: an approach in which you assess posts and respond in an appropriate manner. The responses could range from directly replying to the post to ignoring it.
Tease and seize strategy: an approach in which you tease different audiences with several different kinds of posts, monitor the results and then seize the opportunities implied by the feedback.
Goldilocks’ zone: positioning the message at just the right level of detail or abstraction -- not too much; not too little. The zone is the “sweet spot” that guides but does not dictate actions.
Dynamics perspective: approaching social media by examining how users make use of a platform, rather than an inherent characteristic of a platform. Factors such as time sensitivity (How important is the timing of the post?), word selection (How important are the words chosen in the post?) and image choice (How important are images in the post?), represent the underlying usage patterns that typically emerge from a platform’s attributes.
Experiential perspective: approaching social media by critically examining your own social media practices.
Functional perspective: approaching social media in terms of the unique functions it performs, taking into account what your tools are intended to do and how they are actually used.
ML +- thinking: Most like (ML) plus or minus is a formula for understanding social media platforms. This approach has the strategist answer the following questions:
What familiar tool or activity is the social media most like?
What is a feature that is added to the familiar tool or activity?
What is a feature that is subtracted from the familiar tool or activity?
Analytical anchors: objective statements about important patterns regarding the competitive environment. These are the key insights the social media strategist extracted from the facts collected about the organization, competitors and the social media environment.
F-A-J-V: an acronym that represents a fact-based approach to assessing the social media competitive environment. The approach includes the following four stages:
Facts – Collect relevant Facts
Anchors – Isolate the essential analytical Anchors implied by the facts
Judgments – Make Judgments based on the analytical anchors
Validation – Validate your judgments
SWOT: an approach to strategic planning that involves identifying a firm’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
Coordinates: points of connection. In the social media cosmos, they represent goals that are strongly linked, interconnected and mutually reinforcing.
Insight pods: related or connected insights gleaned from the competitive analysis.
Unequal dialogue: refers to the tenor of the discussion between organizational leaders and social media managers. The social media managers should vigorously argue for their point-of-view but in the final analysis, organizational goals always trump the social media goals.
Actively managed platforms: the channels in which you invest significant time and energy by, for example, actively pushing out content.
Niche platforms: social media channels that are less publicized and less well known that might hold more innovative and edgy appeal.
Passively managed platforms: the channels in which you invest minimal time and energy. Managing these platforms might involve, at a minimum, securing the platform names that some audience members might access or stumble across as well as regularly monitoring them.
Platform job description: the role that a specific social media channel is to perform in the organization, or in other words, the aspiration that the channel is seeking to fulfill in a specific circumstance.
Co-created content: content created with your followers’ or customers’ input.
Curated content: content that is drawn from other sources that the social media strategist re-purposes.
Form categories: the options for transmitting content on social media sites. The options include a picture, text, video or graphic.
Type categories: the options for the kind of content that gets posted on social media sites. Examples include content featuring news and information, events, calls to action and inspiration.
User-generated content: content that fans develop. This may include a clever or funny use of a product that catches the eye of social media managers.
Abundance strategy: is representative of a “many & rich is more” approach; there are many user relationships to maintain and those relationships are strong in nature.
Bullseye node: the target node that you designate for your network. For example, it could be the “Buy” button or “Apply Here” button on your website. Or, it could be “Tap to view products” or “Shop now” on a social media platform.
Centralized network: a network of connections with minimal hubs, hinge points and short path links. It maximizes a “command and control” orientation.
Connections Matrix: a strategic thinking tool that underscores key decision points for the social media strategist: the horizontal axis measures the raw number of links in the network, from few to many; the vertical axis measures the intensity of connections that emerge from those links, from weak to strong.
Decentralized network: a network of connections that has many hubs and hinge points as well as a potentially large number of path links.
Depth strategy: is representative of a “quality trumps quantity” approach; there are few user relationships to maintain but those relationships are strong in nature.
Distributed network: a network of connections where many or all of the nodes are connected to each other.
Hinges: nodes that connect otherwise separate groups in the network. Hinges are the linchpins of the network. If this node goes down, then two groups will not be able to connect.
Hubs: nodes that play a role in more than one network.
Nodes: points of reference in a network. The most obvious nodes in the social media world include social media sites, websites, and the email system. Some less obvious nodes include traditional media (e.g., print, kiosks, menus, advertisements) and partner advertisements.
Link: a direct path between two nodes. The more links in the chain, the greater the path length and likelihood of distortion.
Path length: the number of links that separate any nodes in the system. The more links in the chain, the greater the path length and likelihood of distortion.
Reach strategy: is representative of a “quantity trumps quality” approach; there are many user connections but the relationships are weak in nature.
Simplicity strategy: is representative of a “less & lean is more” approach; there are few user connections to maintain and those relationships are weak in nature.
A/B test: the process of monitoring two versions of the same post - using, for example, different images, words, calls to action, and even the timing of the posts - to determine which has the most traffic.
Corrections matrix: a tool that helps social media managers actively manage the correction process. It identifies: 1) the level of severity of an error – whether it is strategic or tactical – and 2) if the error is one of omission or commission. The results point to errors ranging from minor oversights to major blunders.
Friendly spy network: an informal group of people who watch over your posts and your competitors’ posts. Their role is to quickly alert you to possible miscues and missed opportunities.
Major blunder: a strategic error of commission. The error is severe, which has the potential to harm a firm’s image and long-term viability.
Minor oversight: a tactical error of omission. This type of error can be quickly rectified.
Missed opportunity: a strategic error of omission. Nothing “wrong” may have occurred, per se, but the organization may have missed out on some innovative idea.
Modest gaffe: a tactical error of commission. The incident may be moderately annoying to users, but it can be easily corrected.
Thinking routine: a regular way or approach we take to reason through problems, challenges or situations.
Coordinate test: a check to determine if your strategic goals are aligned with your channel choices, content selections, connection decisions and correction plan.
Synergy test: a check to determine if your channel choices, content selections, connection decisions and correction plan are aligned with one another.
Translation test: a check to determine if your strategy has been effectively transformed into action plans and tactics.
Assessment tool: an instrument or a means of monitoring daily, weekly and/or quarterly statistics about performance. This may help with setting benchmarks, orienting management processes, and identifying continuous improvement opportunities.
Benchmarks: gauges against which performance is measured.
Continuous improvement: an ongoing effort to enhance processes, performance, and/or service.
Audience composition: metrics that provide insights about the composition of your audiences and their preferences.
Community sentiment: patterns of responses to your content such as attitude, opinion, feelings, and emotion based on social conversations and comment threads.
Drivers: measurements of what social media platforms push traffic to your website.
Engagement: measures of audience actions.
Hashtag: a symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase that marks posts as relating to a topic. It can also serve as keyword measures of interest across platforms.
Impressions: a measurement of exposure to your content, or views of your posts.
Influence analysis: finding people within or outside of your network who have high potential for swaying your target audience with the goal of connecting with those influential individual or entities.
Influencers: people who sway others.
Likes: a measure of engagement that indicates positive sentiment.
Metric: numbers that measure something we believe is important.
Observation: when followers look online and click on posts and links.
Participation: when followers are moved to action, such as following your Twitter account, liking a post and/or commenting on a post.
Platform-specific measures: analytics tools offered at the platform level of a social media, such as Facebook Insights, Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, Instagram Insights, and YouTube Analytics.
Propagation: amplification of content when followers re-tweet, repost, repeat comments, share articles or use your hashtags.
Reach: the number of unique visitors exposed to a message or who received impressions.
Shares: a measure of engagement that can be used to identify the most relevant content for your audience.
Top Boards: Pinterest metric that shows from what boards people are seeing your pins.
Total views: a measurement of exposure to your content.
Traffic patterns: metrics that help determine if people are paying attention to your content and driving traffic to your website.
Word cloud: A tool for visually analyzing blocks of text. The more frequently a word or phrase occurs in a text, the larger the word or phrase is displayed in the word cloud.
Assessment report: a document that presents an in-depth look at the effectiveness of an organization’s social media strategy. A social media assessment report typically reveals changes that have occurred since the last report, focusing on the main platforms that the organization is utilizing. It could reveal factors such as growth (or loss) in followership, reach and different types of engagement and an explanation of potential factors influencing the numbers.
Comparison point: a basis or standard against which you can measure something.
ROI: translates into return on investment. In the broadest sense, this financial measurement compares the benefits gained to the costs incurred.
Success stories: examples of content that produced the intended effect and accomplished your social media goals.
Organic growth: using internal resources to naturally boost social media performance, such as reaching out to already established friends.
Social Media Aspirational Triangle: highlights three qualities that can position a social media strategist for success and sustained excellence: a strategic mindset, professional sensibilities, and enthusiastic zeal.
Synergy: describes how the strategic elements strengthen and enrich one another.