Not Sure of the Lingo? 59 Social Media Words to Learn

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Social Media Vocabulary Cheat Sheet by Frances Caballo

No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. Robin Williams

You can’t learn to speak Spanish if you don’t commit to memory vocabulary lists. The task of  memorizing the meanings of “el pan” (bread) and “las galletas” (cookies) may be boring, but the wok it takes to learn the vocabulary will be worth it when you visit Spain, step into a bakery, and know how to order fresh bread or cookies.

Likewise, if you want to ask questions about social media during a webinar or further your knowledge of social media by reading blog posts, it helps to understand the vernacular of the speaker or blogger. In other words, learn the vocabulary so you can learn more about more intelligently and efficiently use social media.

As with any  new language — and learning social media is much like learning a new language —  you’ll never be understood if you don’t first master the lexicon.

 Social Media Words for Indie Authors

Social Media Vocabulary List by Frances Caballo


  • @Reply – When you reply to a tweet, your reply will appear on the recipient’s Notifications tab.
  • [email protected] – When a period is added before another user’s handle, the tweet will appear on both the sender’s (the person sending the tweet) and the recipient’s profiles, as well as followers of those accounts.
  • Blocking – You can block users whose tweets you find offensive, whose tweets are purely spam, or whose tweets are bothersome. When you block another user on Twitter, that user can no longer follow you and you can’t follow that user.
  • Direct Message, aka “DM” – A message that Twitter users can send each other that aren’t visible on your timelines. Too often, direct messages are used to spam another user (“See my website/blog.” “Download my short stories.”). Don’t automate direct messages, and don’t use them to promote your products or services. You’ll find direct messages on the Messages tab.
  • Favorite – This is a feature on Twitter that allows you to mark a tweet as one you like. Once a tweet is identified as a “Fave,” Twitter will automatically pin the message to your account for reference later. Faves are denoted by a heart.
  • Follow – To agree to receive tweets from another Twitter user.
  • Followers – Users who receive your tweets.
  • Handle – On Twitter, this is another word for username. It’s best to keep your handle to fewer than twelve characters.
  • Hashtag – When a word is preceded by the number sign (#), it is called a hashtag. Hashtags are hyperlinked, added to tweets, and helpful in conducting searches on Twitter. Hashtags are also used in the same manner on Facebook, Google+, and Instagram.
  • Mention/Retweet or RT – Repeating information in another user’s tweet and crediting the original author.
  • Mute – Similar to blocking; however, you will still continue to follow a user, but will no longer see his or her tweets.
  • Retweet – To share a tweet someone else wrote. Use the RT followed by the originator’s username to credit that person with generating the tweet.
  • Tagging – You can tag up to 10 followers. If you don’t want to be tagged, go to your security and privacy settings tab. To remove a tag, click the ellipsis beneath the tweet in question, and select Remove tag from photo.
  • Timeline – The feed of incoming tweets from people you follow.
  • Tweeps – This term is used to describe friends or followers with whom you are in frequent contact.
  • Tweet – A post that a Twitter user writes that adheres to the 140-character limit.
  • Twitter Chat – An active discussion occurring on Twitter at a specific time. As long as you know the hashtag and time of the Twitter chat, you can join it.
  • Twitterati – Similar to glitterati, the Twitterati are the stars of Twitter.
  • Twitterer/Tweeter – Someone who uses Twitter.
  • Twittosphere – This term refers to the collective group of people who tweet.
  • Twoosh – A tweet that is exactly 140 characters.
  • Unfollow – You have the option to no longer receive—unfollow—tweets a specific follower sends you.
  • Username – Also known as a handle on Twitter. The username will publicly identify you on Twitter.
  • Via – Most people use this term instead of RT (retweet.) Then again, some users don’t use either and just include the author of the original tweet or post.

Learn these 57 social media words


  • Facebook Live – You can stream live broadcasts with this feature, interact with readers, and even answer their questions in real time.
  • Facebook Lists – Categories of Facebook friends and pages that can be used to target messaging on Facebook profiles or keep track of pages you follow.
  • Facebook Tabs – Specially designed web pages often used with a call to action. Facebook tabs have their own URLs or web addresses.
  • Insights – A free application for Facebook fan pages that provides metrics, trends, user growth, and demographics.
  • Instant articles – You can use this feature to add your blog posts so they can have a further reach (similar to LinkedIn’s publishing platform). Facebook claims that Instant Articles receive 20% clicks that content in your news feed.
  • Messenger – This feature enables you to have private discussions with friends, colleagues, and readers. It’s similar to text messaging.
  • Timeline –The timeline is where users post their status updates. You can allow others to post on your timeline, or you can adjust your privacy settings so that other users aren’t allowed to add posts and images directly to your timeline.
  • Tagging – When you identify a reader in an image or comment, and the name turns blue (becomes hyperlinked), you’ll know that you have successfully tagged that individual. That person will receive notification that he or she has been tagged. Anyone can tag you on Facebook. If a user who tagged you isn’t a friend, the post or image may appear in your Timeline review and may appear in news feeds. You’ll find Timeline review in your settings. Go to Settings, then click Timeline and Tagging. Once here, you can review posts that friends tag you in before they appear on your Timeline.



  • Connection – Connections on LinkedIn are similar to Twitter users who mutually follow each other; when you accept a connection, you agree to accept their updates in your news feed, which is located on the Home page.
  • Group – Groups on LinkedIn provide opportunities to further your education— and to share your expertise—in writing and publishing, grammar, or whatever your specialty or niche might be.
  • LinkedIn First-Degree Connections – LinkedIn users with whom you’ve worked or shared information within one of LinkedIn’s groups, or colleagues whose email addresses you have.
  • LinkedIn Second-Degree Connections – LinkedIn users who are connected to your first-degree connections, but aren’t directly connected to you yet.
  • LinkedIn Third-Degree Connections – People who are connected to your second-degree connections. You will be unable to connect with this category of user on your own; you’ll need to ask another connection to introduce you to third-degree connections.
  • Publishing Platform – When you add blog posts to LinkedIn’s publishing platform, you add new life to your self-hosted blog. Links to blog posts you add on LinkedIn will appear on your profile page.


  • Browser Button – Navigate to to add the Browser Button to your browser so that you can add pins to your pinboards directly from your website or elsewhere on the Internet.
  • Pinboard – On Pinterest, a collection of related images on a virtual bulletin board.
  • Save – The act of adding an image to a pinboard. Formerly, the term used was Pin and Repin.

Instagram - new logo


  • Stream — A list of images posted by your followers. On Twitter and Facebook the “stream” is called the Home tab or news feed.
  • Follower – Similar to Twitter, you can elect to follow other users.
  • Hashtag – Hashtags here are identical to the hashtags used on Twitter. A popular hashtag on Instagram is for poets: #Instapoets. Another popular hashtag is #tbt (Throwback Thursday) when users post pictures of themselves from an earlier era. #tbt is similar to #FlashbackFriday. If you like to take images of food, #foodporn is a popular hashtag.


  • Application – Online software that enables users to complete specific tasks. In essence, all social media networks are applications, as are the scheduling tools that allow users to schedule their tweets and other updates for the day.
  • Channels – This is an interchangeable word for a network, as in social media network or social media channel.
  • Keywords – A component of search engine optimization (SEO). Simply put, keywords are the terms someone would type into a Google (or Firefox or Safari) search bar to find your book, services they want, or you.
  • Lists – On Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn, lists are used to group certain connections together.
  • News Feed – A news feed is an aggregation of social media posts your fans, connections, friends, and followers send throughout the day. Every social media network calls it something different. On Facebook and LinkedIn, it’s referred to as the Home page, and on Twitter it’s called the Timeline. Visit your news feeds daily to interact with your readers.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The process that boosts visibility of your website organically. In other words, the process doesn’t include paid advertising.
  • Social Media Dashboard – An application, such as Hootsuite, that enables users to read in one spot incoming updates, tweets, and posts from their social media networks. Dashboards can also be used to schedule tweets and other updates.


Authors: Not Sure What to Tweet? Try These 44 Tweets Today by Frances Caballo, AuthorAbout the AuthorFrances Caballo is an author and social media strategist and manager for writers. She’s a regular speaker at the San Francisco Writers Conference and a contributing writer at and blogger and Social Media Expert for BookWorks. She’s written several books including The Author’s Guide to Goodreads, and Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. Her focus is on helping authors surmount the barriers that keep them from flourishing online, building their platform, finding new readers, and selling more books. Her clients include authors of every genre and writer conferences. Not sure how you’re doing online? Ask Frances to prepare a social media audit for you.


Practical Tips for Marketing Your Books on the Social Web


Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day by Frances Caballo Liked the above cheat sheet? You’ll find more cheat sheets and my new four-step strategy to controlling your time on social media in my newest book: Social Media in 30 Minutes a Day. In eleven chapters, you’ll:

  • understand the new formula for saving time
  • learn how to become a more effective and efficient marketer
  • find cheat sheets for vocabulary and hashtags
  • learn about the apps that will best help you save time while using social media.

So start learning how to save time online.

“… 80% or more of the book would be a superior introduction to savvy social media usage for most professionals, even those beyond the writing, or even content-creation, fields.”  ~~ Julia A. Bestry



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