Social Media Marketing Glossary

While most people are familiar with the term “social media”, many of the features, functions, and tools of the trade are lost in translation. Brands often know they want to be on Facebook, but they may not understand the value of an engaged Fan Base. I have compiled the following glossary of social media marketing terms to help educators, professionals, students, and brands gain a better understanding of the language of social media marketing.



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80/20 rule – The 80/20 rule says that twenty percent of a brand’s customers purchase 80 percent of its products. This ratio is not set in stone, but it often is surprisingly accurate.


Achievement badges – Achievement badges are symbols awarded to show game levels achieved and shared to the community.

Action game – An action game is a video game genre that emphasizes physical challenges, including hand–eye coordination and reaction-time.

Activation tool – An activation tool is an advertising tool that engages the viewer to participate, either mentally or physically.

Activity metrics – Activity metrics measure the actions the organization takes relative to social media. For instance, an organization might set goals in terms of the number and timing of blog posts, white papers, tweets, videos, comment responses, and status updates it may contribute in social venues.

Activity streams – Activity streams are the news feeds or “wall” (as it’s known in Facebook) social networks use to establish an ongoing point of connection between network nodes.

Ad equivalency value – Ad equivalency value refers to what the value of the mention would be if it had come through a paid advertising placement rather than a volunteered comment.

Ad networks – Ad networks are basically media brokers that partner with websites in order to access information about their visitor traffic and then sell space on the websites to their advertisers.

Advergame – An advergame is a game that delivers a branded message.

Advertising – Advertising is defined as the paid placement of promotional messages in channels capable of reaching a mass audience.

AdWords – AdWords are a feature where Google places ads on someone’s site.

Affiliate marketing – Affiliate marketing is a marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

Affinity – Affinity, sometimes called “liking,” means that people tend to follow and emulate those people whom they find attractive or otherwise desirable. If we like someone, we are more likely to say yes to their requests or to internalize their beliefs and actions as our own.

Affinity impulse – Affinity impulse refers to the idea that social networks enable participants to express an affinity, to acknowledge a liking and/or relationship with individuals and reference groups. When you use Facebook to stay in touch with high school friends and to make new friends, you are responding to the affinity impulse.

Aggregator – Aggregator refers to a web site or computer software that aggregates a specific type of information from multiple online sources.

Algorithm – An algorithm is a mathematical formula.

Alternate reality game (ARG) – An ARG is a cross-media genre of interactive fiction using multiple delivery and communications media, including television, radio, newspapers, Internet, email, SMS, telephone, voicemail, and postal service.

Altruistic impulse – Altruistic impulse refers to the idea that some people participate in social media as a way to do something good. They use social media to “pay it forward.”

Ambient intimacy – Ambient intimacy refers to our ability to stay in touch, using digital communications and social media, with people to whom we wouldn’t otherwise have access to due to time limitations and geographic dispersion.

Ambivalent networks – Ambivalent networkers use mobile devices to visit social networks and for texting, but they also feel like people need breaks from so much connectivity.

Anchor text – Anchor text provides a link to another website.

Anomie – An anomie is a condition of modern industrial life that alienates individuals from society and (potentially) results in suicide.

APIs – API stands for application programming interface. It’s a programming model that enables a piece of software to interact with other software.

Apps – Apps are social software that is usually downloadable or embeddable.

Ask your network – Ask your network tools are share and query tools within e-commerce sites that enable one to post product information and ask friends for advice prior to purchase.

Augmented reality (AR) – Augmented reality (AR) is a form of technology that enables the overlay of digital images and information over a real (physical) environment. The phrase was first coined in 1990 to describe a digital display aircraft electricians used that blended virtual graphics with the physical elements of the aircraft.

Authority – Authority persuades with the opinion or recommendation of an expert in the field. Whenever someone has expertise, whether that expertise comes from specialist knowledge and/or personal experience with the product or problem, we will tend to follow that person’s advice.

Authority-building content – Authority-building content is original content that positions the sponsoring entity as an authority on the subject in question.

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Back story – A back story is the pre-game context of a game’s plot.

Backchannel – A backchannel is another word for a direct message.

Backlink – A backlink occurs when other sites link back to the content.

Badges – Badges are cards that people can embed in emails and on websites to share their contact information and social affiliations.

Banner ads – Banner ads appear above, below, or on the side of a site.

Baseline – A baseline is a metric (often expressed visually) that allows a marketer to compare its performance on some dimension to other things such as how competitors are doing or how its own efforts fluctuate over time.

Behavioral segmentation – Behavioral segmentation divides consumers into groups based on how they act with regard to a brand or a product category.

Behavioral targeting – Behavioral targeting relies on the use of software and Web analytics, as well as cookies and IP addresses, to create a profile of individual behavior marketers then use to deliver relevant ads.

Benefit segmentation – Benefit segmentation groups individuals in the marketing universe according to the benefits they seek from the products available in the market. For example, in the auto industry people who buy hybrids and electric cars look for different benefits from a car than those who buy muscle cars or SUVs.

Black hats – Black hats manipulate the system by utilizing several tactics considered unethical in the realm of search engine optimization.

Blog Value Index (BVI) – The BVI is a simple equation that enables a company to assess whether the blog adds more value than it costs.

Blogs – Blogs are websites that host regularly updated online content that may include text, graphics, and video. Blogs may be maintained by individuals, journalists, traditional media providers, or organizations, so they feature a wide range of topics.

Bonding social capital – Bonding social capital is a kind of emotional support that involves making connections with other people in similar situations.  For example, people who struggle to lose weight or fight addictions often prevail because they are part of a group that helps them with these battles, such as Weight Watchers or Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bounded rationality – Bounded rationality captures the quandary we face as humans when we have choices to make but are limited by our own cognitive capacity.

Brand butlers – Brand butlers are brands that can help consumers manage their lives.

Brand engagement – Brand engagement is the relationship that exists between brand and customer.

Brand fans – Brand fans are people who are enthusiastic about a brand.

Brand profile – Brands can create a brand profile, in which the brand acts as a node in the network’s social graph. Doing so increases the opportunities for interactions with customers and prospects and also encourages people to talk about the brand with each other.

Branded article – A branded article is an article that is written to promote a specific company’s expertise in the field.

Bridging social capital – Bridging social capital is the value we get from others who provide access to places, people, or ideas we might not be able to get to on our own.

Briefing – Briefing is the process of the planner educating the creative team on “must-knows.”

Business model – A business model is the strategy and format a business follows to earn money and provide value to its stakeholders. For example, Google derives most of the revenue from its widely used search engine (where you “google” a term to locate relevant online links) from the fees it charges advertisers to put their messages on the results pages.

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Cadet narrative – The term cadet narrative means that the story is not tied to the brand’s meaning directly, but rather the story seeks to intrigue the audience and the brand benefits merely from its sponsorship or association with the story.

Call to action – Call to action refers to a direct request in a marketing message for a specific behavior.

Cascades – Cascades of information occur when a piece of information triggers a sequence of interactions (much like an avalanche).

Casual gamers – Casual gamers play casual games, rather than hardcore games.

Casual games – Casual games are distinguished by low barriers-to-entry. They require only a small amount of time per session, are easy to learn, and are readily available online.

Census – A census is a study of the whole population.

Center of excellence model – The center of excellence model pulls people with different kinds of expertise from across the organization to participate in social media.

Centralized structure – In the centralized structure, the social media department functions at a senior level that reports to the CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) or CEO and is responsible for all the social media activations.

Citizen advertising – Citizen advertising is another way to describe marketing messages that actual consumers create.

Clickthrough – A clickthrough is an ad that viewers can click to reach a target landing page.

Cloaking – Cloaking is the display of misleading content to search engines.

Cloud computing – Cloud computing is a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services online.

Codes – Codes are labels that classify and assign meanings to pieces of information.

Coercive power – Coercive power refers to the ability to punish others.

Cognitive biases – The term cognitive biases refers to the “shortcuts” our brains take when we process information.

Cognitive dissonance – Cognitive dissonance is a state of psychological discomfort caused when things we know or do contradict one another. For example, a person may believe it’s wrong or wasteful to gamble, yet be drawn to an online gambling site.

Coincident tracking – Coincident tracking begins during the activity or campaign. Coincident tracking can be effective in that it relies on residual data (like that we utilize for social media research) left at the point of interaction or point of sale.

Collective detective – The term collective detective acknowledges the need for a team approach to solve the mystery of an ARG.

Collectors – Collectors tend to be efficient and organized users of social content.

Combination structure – The combination structure involves both centralized best practices and decentralized execution.

Commercial message – A commercial message such as an advertisement makes it clear that the intent is to persuade the reader or viewer to change an attitude or behavior; the source has paid a fee to place the message in a medium.

Community – A community is a unified body of individuals, unified by interests, location, occupation, common history, or political and economic concerns.

Competitive parity method – The competitive parity method uses competitors’ spending as a benchmark. Like advertiser share of voice, competitive parity is based on the belief that spending the same or more on social media marketing will result in a comparable change in share of attention for the brand.

Concepting – Concepting is the stage when the creative team conceives ideas.

Conformity – Conformity is a change in beliefs or actions as a reaction to real or imagined group pressure.

Connections – Connections, whom we might call friends, followers, or fans, communicate and share content in a variety of ways including direct messages (akin to email within the social networking site), wall posts (posts to a profile, visible to others), and chat or instant messaging (IM) options.

Connectors – Connectors are people who know many people and communicate with them.

Consumer-fortified media – Consumer-fortified media refers to content that is embellished by critics.

Consumer-generated media (CGM) – CGM is a catch-all phrase for user content.

Contact comfort – Contact comfort refers to the psychological relief we feel when we are assured of the accessibility of companions in our network.

Contact immediacy – Contact immediacy refers to the speed at which we can communicate and deliver messages even from afar.

Content – Content is the unit of value in a social community, akin to the dollar in our economy. Content may include opinions, catchphrases, information, fashion photos, advice, art, or photos from that wild party last week.

Content analysis – Content analysis is an analysis approach used to identify the presence of concepts and themes within qualitative data sets.

Content value ladder – A content value ladder is a way to characterize content in terms of its originality and substance.

Contrary hook – The contrary hook refutes some accepted belief. Challenging the belief incites people to read the content if only to argue the point.

Conversationalists – Conversationalists maintain discussions with their friends via Twitter and Facebook updates and comments.

Conversion – Conversion occurs when the person browsing actually purchases so he or she is converted from a browser to a buyer.

Coverage error – Coverage error occurs when there is a failure to cover all components of a population being studied. It represents a gap between the sampling frame we use and the population we define.

Cookies – Cookies are small pieces of data that are dropped onto consumers’ hard drives.

Core game – Core games typically require extended lengths of time per gameplay session (90 minutes to several hours), are highly immersive, and demand advanced skills for ongoing play. They may be available online, or may have specific hardware and software requirements.

Core ties – Core ties are those people with whom we have very close relationships.  These people may or may not be in a position to provide solutions to some problems we face (or we may not want them to know about these in some cases).

Counterarguing – Counterarguing occurs when spectators become actors, and they are less likely to sit back and think of reasons why the advertising message on the screen doesn’t apply to them

Counterfeit conversations – Counterfeit conversations occur when an organization plants content that masquerades as original material an actual consumer posted.

Creative brief – A creative brief is a document that helps creatives channel their energy toward a sound solution for the brand in question.

Creative message strategy – A creative message strategy is the plan a company uses to advertise creatively.

Creators – Creators are categorized as such because—guess what?—they create content. They add value to the social Web and their social communities as they contribute content to be shared with others.

Critics – Critics are reactors to content, rather than creators of content. They interact socially primarily by posting comments, ratings, or reviews and editing wikis.

Crowdsourcing – Crowdsourcing means to harness the collective knowledge of a crowd to solve problems and complete tasks.

Cultural co-creation – Cultural co-creation occurs when co-created meanings (among both producers and consumers) fold back into the culture.

Culture – A culture includes shared knowledge, myths, norms, and language.

Curtain – A curtain is the invisible line separating the players from the puppet masters.

Cyberbullying – Cyberbullying is a growing problem; it ranges from texts that tease to group sites where a boy or girl is singled out for sexual harassment.

Cyberplace – A cyberplace is an online community where people connect online with kindred spirits, engage in supportive and sociable relationships with them, and imbue their activity online with meaning, belonging, and identity.

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Dark marketing – Dark marketing refers to a promotion that disguises the sponsoring brand.

Dark play ARG – In a dark play ARG, players play until the mystery is solved (or the sponsorship is inadvertently discovered and leaked to the community) and the brand sponsor is revealed.

DATA approach – The DATA approach is a four-step process to devise a measurement plan.

Deal aggregators – Deal aggregators are aggregate deals into personalized deal feeds.

Deal directories – Deal directories are collections of special offers, sometimes maintained and updated by user submissions.

Deal feed – A deal feed is a stream of offers made by participating businesses to followers/friends.

Deal sites – See deal aggregators.

Definition article – A definition article defines a concept. Although this is a straightforward approach, it provides a high level of utility for those interested in the concept being defined

Democracy – Democracy is a descriptive term that refers to rule by the people.

Demographic segmentation – When marketers employ demographic segmentation they utilize common characteristics such as age, gender, income, ethnic background, educational attainment, family life cycle, and occupation to understand how to group similar consumers together.

Derivative branded content Derivative branded content is newsfeed stories of brand interactions.

Desktop veterans – Desktop veterans are content to use desktop computers with high-speed Internet access.

Devices – Devices are things we use to access social media, such as iPads, smartphones, and computers.

Diffusion of innovations – Roger’s diffusion of innovations theory presents characteristics of innovative products that explain the rate at which people are likely to adopt these new options.

Digital brand name – A digital brand name is a handle that heightens the meaning associated with one’s name.

Digital collaborators – Digital collaborators have the most gadgets of any group and use them to work, play, create, and share by visiting social networks with their mobile devices.

Digital identity – Digital identity is the way we represent ourselves via text, images, sounds, and video to others who access the Web.

Digital mobility – Digital mobility describes whether the individual welcomes mobility as a way to further delve into digital communications or keeps Internet communication technologies at a distance.

Digital native– A digital native is someone who can’t recall a time when the Internet was just a static, one-way platform that transmitted text and a few sketchy images.

Digital primacy – Digital primacy reflects a change in the culture of wired individuals like you—digital natives—who turn first to digital channels for communication, information, and entertainment.

Directed communications – Directed communications are one-to-one interactions on a social network between two users.

Discovery – Discovery is the planners finding the “must-knows” to communicate to the creative team.

Display ads – Display ads may include text, graphics, video, and sound much like traditional print ads and commercials but they are presented on a website.

Distributed structure – In the distributed structure, no one person owns social media. Instead, all employees represent the brand and work social media into their roles.

Drifting surfers – Drifting surfers are infrequent online users who wouldn’t mind giving up the Internet and their mobile phone.

Dunbar’s number – Dunbar’s number refers to the amount of meaningful relationships that a person can maintain, both online and off, which researchers have estimated to be about 150.

Dynamic ads – Dynamic ads are variable; they change based on specified criteria. This technique is managed by networks such as Massive (owned by Microsoft) and Google AdWords, which offer insertion technology to place ads across multiple games.

Dynamic URLs – Dynamic URLs are generated from scripts and change over time, making it difficult for people to return to your content later.

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Earned media – Earned media are those messages that are distributed at no direct cost to the company and by methods beyond the control of the company.

Earned reach – Earned reach is the breadth and quality of contact with users.

Echo effect – The echo effect refers to the duplication in conversation volume that tends to occur in social media spaces.

Editorial calendar – An editorial calendar is a schedule for publishing social content.

Editorial message – An editorial message is objective and unbiased; the source expresses an opinion or provides information and does not intend to carry out the agenda of an organization. The most obvious example is the editorial page of a newspaper, where a writer presents an argument that may criticize a government, a company, or a politician.

Embed codes – Embed codes let people share content where they wish, even on their own distribution networks.

Entertainment communities – Communities, such as MySpace, whose value lies in the network of musicians and bands and their music offered on the site.

Experience design – The term experience design underscores the desire to create more than a passive ad—the goal is launch an experience that people will want to share.

Expert power – Expert power is the recognition of one’s knowledge, skills, and ability.

Experience brief – An experience brief is a brief that the planners create to guide a social media campaign.

External environment -The external environment consists of those elements outside the organization—the organization’s opportunities and threats—that may affect its choices and capabilities.

External social network – An external social network is open to people who are not affiliated with the site’s sponsor.

Eye-tracking studies – Eye-tracking studies help identify the characteristics of a search page that determine which links the user is likely to click on.

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Facebook Connect – Facebook Connect is a Facebook tool that allows users to log in to other partnering sites using their Facebook identities

Fan base – The fan base is an indicator of the brand’s success in establishing a known presence within a community.

Fandome – A fandome is an online fan community.

Fetching – Fetching occurs when the web crawlers select only the content that appears to be relevant based on matches with the dictionary.

Filler content – Filler content is simply information that people copy from other sources.

First-person shooter (FPS) – In an FPS, you “see” the game as your avatar sees it.

Flagship content – Flagship content is authority-building content. This term refers to seminal pieces of work that help to define a phenomenon or shape the way people think about something for a long time.

Flaming – Flaming is when a post contains all capital letters to express anger.

Flows – Flows are exchanges of resources, information, or influence among members of the network.

Forums – Forums are channels in the social community zone that emphasize individual contributions in the context of a community, communication and conversation, and collaboration.

Forward story – A forward story is a plan for how the story will continue, which can be used to foreshadow for future game play.

Frequency – Frequency is the average number of times someone is exposed.

Friendvertising – Friendvertising is a brand’s use of social networking to build earned media value.

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Game clutter – Game clutter means that there are way too many games out there that compete for players’ attention.

Game consoles – Game consoles are interactive, electronic devices used to display video games such as Sony’s PlayStation3, Microsoft’s Xbox 360, and Nintendo’s Wii

Gateway pages – Gateway pages are pages that real visitors are directed past.

Gallery – A gallery is a forum for users to share content on social sites.  Others can view the content and pass it on to their respective networks.

Genre – The genre of a game refers to the method of play. Popular genres include simulation, strategy, action, and role-playing.

Geographic segmentation – Geographic segmentation refers to segmenting markets by region, country, market size, market density, or climate.

Geo-location promotions – Geo-location promotions are sales promotions including coupons and special offers delivered via geo-location services such as Gowalla and Foursquare.

Gift applications – Gift applications enable members to present virtual gifts to their friends. Even though virtual gifts are not tangible and may have no monetary value, they do reflect an expression of friendship, love, gratitude, and/or thoughtfulness and can be displayed publicly on a profile to visibly reflect the importance of the relationship to others in the network.

Giveaway hook – A giveaway hook promises something for free.

Glossary article – A glossary article includes a series of definitions related to each other and creates a resource guide on the topic.

Gold farmers – Gold farmers put in 10- to 12-hour shifts to loot treasures and kill monsters. They must meet daily quotas on behalf of their employers, who then sell these assets to gamers worldwide.

Golden triangle – A golden triangle is a space on the screen where listings are virtually guaranteed to be viewed.

GPS technology – GPS technology is a satellite system that provides real-time location and time information.

Gray hats – Gray hats take some liberties with the system. For example, they will utilize a keyword density (the number of times the keyword is used in the body of a page) that is beyond that of the typical usage of keywords.

Group buy – Group buys are opportunities for people to join together to qualify for volume discounts; some communities have developed around the concept of group buy such as Groupon or LivingSocial.

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Handle – A handle is a username in social communities.

Handle-squatting – Handle-squatting refers to the use of a digital brand name by someone who really doesn’t have a claim to the brand name.

Hardcore gamers – Hardcore gamers value realism in the game’s contextual clues and challenge in the game’s activities.

Hashtags – Hashtags are abbreviations that disclose the nature of relationships reflected in the posts.

Heading tag – A heading tag is an HTML tag that is used to section and describe content. Heading tags should include keywords.

Herding effect – A herding effect occurs when people follow the behavior of others.

Heuristic – A heuristic is a mental shortcut consumers use to help them with decision making.

Homophily – Homophily refers to the degree to which a pair of individuals is similar in terms of education, social status, and beliefs.

Hook – Hooks are used to position the content for the target audience.

Horizontal revolution – A horizontal revolution is the fundamental change in the way we live, work, and play and is characterized in part by the prevalence of social media.

How-to article – A how-to article explains a process.

Humor hook – The humor hook is designed to show that the content will entertain. For example, the DietBlog posted a blog called, “Obese Skunk Cuts Out Bacon Sandwiches.”

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Ideation – See concepting.

Identity cards – Identity cards are the social version of a business card.

Identity portability – Identity portability is a system such that a single profile would provide access across social networking sites with a single login and shared information.

Identity reflectors – Identity reflectors are an option to have one’s profile reflected back to them from the perspective of others.

Immediacy impulse – Immediacy impulse refers to people who have a natural drive to feel a sense of psychological closeness to others.

Immediate altruistic responses (IAR) – IAR refers to social media users’ tendency to aid calls during crises such as the earthquake relief for Haiti or Japan.

Immersive fiction – Immersive fiction refers to ARGs in which players not only share tips, clues, and accomplishments with the player community, they also help to direct how the story underlying the game develops.

Impression – In advertising lingo, an impression refers to a view or an exposure to an advertising message.

Inactives – Inactives are online, but they aren’t social participants. Some people (about 17 percent of those online, according to Forrester) spend time on the Internet and still avoid social communities.

Incentivized content – Incentivized content is encouraged by the offer of an incentive, such as the chance to win a contest, receive free merchandise, or even earn cold hard cash.

Indexed data – The indexed data include tags and keywords derived from site content.

Influence network – An influence network consists of people who communicate information vigorously to one another and also participate in a two-way dialogue with the opinion leader.

Influence posts – Influence posts occur when an opinion leader publishes brand-relevant content such as a blog post in social media. For example, when Girls With Guts ( blog about a recent restaurant opening, the earned media is known as an influence post.

Information encumbered – The information encumbered group suffers from information overload. They prefer old media such as television to the Internet.

Information overload – Information overload occurs when there’s simply too much data for us to handle.

Information power – Information power is one’s control over the flow of and access to information.

Informed consent – Informed consent is a research policy that means participants are made aware of the research and its benefits and implications, and they are given the opportunity to withdraw or move forward.

In-game advertising – In-game advertising is promotion within a game that another company develops and sells.

In-game immersive advertising – In-game immersive advertising opportunities include interactive product placements, branded in-game experiences, and game integration between the game and the brand.

Interaction metrics – Interaction metrics focus on how the target market engages with the social media platform and activities. Interaction measures include the number of followers and fans, comments, likes, recommendations and reviews, and the amount of shared content.

Interactions – Interactions are behavior-based ties such as talking with each other, attending an event together, or working together.

Internal environment – The internal environment refers to the strengths and weaknesses of the organization—the controllable elements inside a firm that influence how well the firm operates.

Internal social network – An internal social network provides a method of communication and collaboration that is more dynamic and interactive than a larger social networking site.

Internalization – Internalization occurs when members of the target market accept the beliefs of an endorser as their own. In a game context, the characters in the game’s story and setting can act as brand endorsers.

Interruption-disruption model – The interruption-disruption model’s goal is to create programming that is interesting enough to attract people to watch it or listen to it. Then, when they have your attention, they interrupt the programming to bring you a commercial message.


Joiners – Joiners maintain a profile on a social networking site and visit social networking sites.


Key performance indicators (KPIs) – Key performance indicators (KPIs) are those metrics that are tied to organizational objectives.

Keyword generators – Keyword generators help expand and diversify your keyword lists for more traffic and conversion opportunities.

Keyword research – Keyword research is a critical step to design the content and the site’s page for successful search engine optimization.

Keyword stuffing – Keyword stuffing is the insertion of a superficially large number of keywords throughout a site’s content and tags.

Keywords – Keywords tell the bot what information to gather and specify the relevant topic.

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Landing page – A landing page is the first page that a person sees when he or she clicks through an ad to reach a brand’s target site.

LARA framework – The LARA framework involves listening to customer conversations, analyzing those conversations, relating this information to existing information within your enterprise, and acting on those customer conversations.

Latent ties – Latent ties are pre-existing connections that we’ve discarded.

Leaderboard – A leaderboard is a listing of the leaders in the game competition

Legitimate power – Legitimate power is organizational authority based on rights associated with a person’s appointed position.

Lifestream aggregators – Lifestream aggregators are online services that provide an easy way for users to share and organize their own multimedia content.

Lifestreams – Lifestreams are time-ordered streams of entries and posts.

Link exchanges – Link exchanges occur when sites agree to link with each other.

Link farms – Link farms are groups of websites that link to each other and pages with unrelated links solely for the purpose of creating more links to the targeted pages.

Link juice – Link juice occurs when an increase in the link quantity benefits the site’s search ranking.

Linkbaiting – Social media pros refer to the careful crafting of a title that markets the content as linkbaiting.

Links – Links are the building blocks of social publishing. The more links to your content, the higher the ranking you will probably receive during a search engine query.

Linkwheels – Linkwheels increase the number of links back to a site. They are built on a hub and spoke system that use web properties (i.e., links pages) as spokes to send one link to the home site and another link to the next property.

List article – A list article uses bullets for easy readability and consumption. It may draw on humor or education in detailing the list.

Long tail keywords – The term long tail keywords refers to multi-phrase search queries.

Lovemark – A lovemark is a brand that commanded passionate loyalty from its target market.

Lurkers – Lurkers consume the content of others, while they keep their own identities at a distance.

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Maintained social capital – Maintained social capital refers to the value we get from maintaining relationships with latent ties.

Market segmentation – Market segmentation is the process of dividing a market into distinct groups that have common needs and characteristics. Marketers use several variables as the basis to segment markets.

Marketing – Marketing is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.

Marketing plan – A marketing plan is a written, formalized plan that details the product, pricing, distribution, and promotional strategies that will enable the brand in question to accomplish specific marketing objectives.

Mass connectors – Mass connectors are opinion leaders who are responsible for the majority of impressions on social media.

Mavens – Mavens are people who are knowledgeable about many things.

Measurement map – A measurement map displays the types of branded messages produced and distributed (e.g., written vehicles like blog posts and white papers; ads in the form of display ads or rich media video; podcasts) and invitations for consumer engagement with the brand (e.g., games, consumer-generated advertising contests, promotions, and interactive brand experiences) as well as the online location for these materials.

Meaning transfer model – The meaning transfer model states that consumers associate meaning with the endorser and then transfer the meaning to the brand in question.

Media -The word media has multiple meanings, but for our purposes we’ll simply use it to refer to means of communication.

Media democratization – Media democratization means that the members of social communities, not traditional media publishers such as magazines or newspaper companies, control the creation, delivery, and popularity of content.

Media movers – Media movers create content such as photos and share them on social networks using their mobile devices. For them, digital is all about being social and connecting with others.

Media multiplexity – Media multiplexity means that flows of communication go in many directions at any point in time and often on multiple platforms.

Media plan – The media plan designates how the campaign’s creative content will be disseminated to the target audience using specific media vehicles such as radio or billboards.

Media sharing sites – Media sharing sites, like blogs, host content but also typically feature video, audio (music and podcasts), photos, and presentations and documents rather than text or a mix of media. Media sharing sites host content searchable by the masses, but within each vehicle are options for following content posted by specific people.

Medium – Communication travels using a medium (or channel) such as word-of-mouth, television, radio, newspaper, magazine, signage, Internet, direct mail, or telephone.

Meetups – Meetups occur when members of an online network arrange to meet in a physical location.

Meme – A meme is a snippet of cultural information that spreads person to person until eventually it enters the general consciousness.

Message boards – Message boards are channels in the social community zone that emphasize individual contributions in the context of a community, communication and conversation, and collaboration.

Message control – Message control means brands accept a risk that the brand’s message will be shared or manipulated in ways that the brand would rather not have happen.

Message internalization – Message internalization is the process by which a consumer adopts a brand belief as his or her own.

Message strategy – Message strategy refers to the creative approach a company would use throughout its advertising campaign.

Meta tag – A meta tag is a code embedded in a web page. Meta tags are visible to site visitors but only by viewing the source code for the page.

Microblogging sites – Microblogging sites work much like blogs except that there is a limit to the length of the content you can post.

Micromarket – A micromarket is a group of consumers once considered too small and inaccessible for marketers to pursue.

Microshare – A microshare could include a sentence, sentence fragment, embedded video, or link to content residing on another site.

Microsharing sites – See microblogging sites.

Milieu – Milieu describes the visual nature of the game such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, and retro.

MMORPG – MMORPGs—massive multiplayer online role- playing games—are a type of RPG that truly encompasses the social aspects of gaming. World of Warcraft is the largest of these with more than 11 million subscribers.

Mobile newbies – Mobile newbies are more focused on old media than new.

Mode – Mode refers to the way the game world is experienced. It includes aspects such as whether a player’s activities are highly structured, whether the game is single player or multiplayer, whether the game is played in close physical proximity to other players (or by virtual proximity), and whether the game is real-time or turn-based.

Momentum effect – The momentum effect makes the impact of a message grow as mass connectors spread influence impressions.

Monetization strategy – A monetization strategy is the strategy that a business follows to earn money.

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Narrative transportation theory – Narrative transportation theory explains how even imagined interactivity can build positive brand attitudes. This theory proposes that mental stimulation through narrative storytelling encourages players to become lost in the story.

Negative word-of-mouth – Negative word-of-mouth refers to negative comments, which are weighed more heavily by consumers than positive comments.

Netnography – Netnography is a rapidly growing research methodology that adapts ethnographic research techniques to study the communities that emerge through computer-mediated communications.

Network effect – A network effect is the principle that each additional user adds value for all users.

Network units – Network units are connected by their relationships (or ties) with each other. Relationships are based on various affiliations such as kinship, friendship and affective ties, shared experiences, and shared hobbies and interests.

Niche markets – Niche markets are refers to marketplaces that offer a relatively small number of items to buyers who tend to be loyal to these outlets (for example, big-and-tall men’s stores or bicycles built for two).

Niche products – Niche products appeal to small, specialized groups of people.

Nodes – Nodes are members of a social network.

Nonresponse bias – Nonresponse bias is the potential that those units that were not included in the final sample are significantly different from those that were.

Norms – Norms are rules that govern behavior.

Nudge – A nudge is a tool for reminding someone to socialize. On Facebook, the nudge takes the form of a “poke.”

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Object sociality – Object sociality is the extent to which an object can be shared in social media.

Objective – An objective is a specific statement about a planned social media activity in terms of what that activity intends to accomplish.

Objective-and-task method – The objective-and-task method considers the objectives set out for the campaign and determines the cost estimates for accomplishing each objective.

Off the network – Off the network people do not use the Internet and do not have mobile phones.

Off-site indicators – Off-site indicators are cues that bots look for from other web sites.

Online communities – Online communities are group of people who come together for a specific purpose, who are guided by community policies, and who are supported by Internet access that enables virtual communication.

Online echo – See echo effect.

Online gated communities – Online gated communities selectively allow access to only some people and may offer a high degree of social capital to the lucky few who pass the test.

Online search – Online search simply means using a search engine to find information using key words.

On-site indicators – On-site indicators are certain site characteristics that the search bots and the search engine index.

Open access sites – Open access sites enable anyone to participate without registration or identification. This can be valuable for participation on sensitive topics as well as for ease of use.

Open source model – In the open source model, developers post their programs on a public site and a community of volunteers is free to tinker with them, develop other applications using the code, then give their changes away for free.

OpenID – OpenID is an authentication protocol that works across participating sites. Unfortunately, OpenID works only on OpenID-enabled sites, limiting the portability for users.

OpenSocial Code – The term OpenSocial Code refers to a set of common APIs that enable developers to write software for applications that will run on multiple social websites.

Opinion leader – An opinion leader is a person who is frequently able to influence others’ attitudes or behaviors.

Opinion mining – Opinion mining means at a very basic level to analyze content to determine the attitude of the writer.

Opportunity cost – Opportunity cost is the cost of any activity measured in terms of the value of the next best alternative foregone (that is not chosen).

Opt in – Opting in is an agreement activity in which an individual gives his or her permission for the source to send relevant messages.

Organic – Organic search results are those that have not been paid for.

Organic content – Organic content is content that a person feels intrinsically motivated to prepare and share.

Organic social ads – Organic social ads are shared on a person’s activity stream following a brand interaction (such as liking the brand). Organic social ads occur only when people are interacting with the brand and are thought to carry enhanced credibility.

Original content – Original content refers to contributions that originate with the poster.

Owned media – Owned media are channels the brand controls. Corporate websites and e-commerce sites, corporate blogs, advergames, and ARGs all represent forms of owned media.

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Paid links – Paid links are considered somewhat unethical in that linking should be the realm of earned media, not paid.

Paid media – For paid media, marketers are assessed monetary fees, including purchasing space to deliver brand messages and securing endorsements.

Pareto principle – The Pareto principle says that roughly 80 percent of events come from 20 percent of the causes.

Participation effect – The Participation Effect is definable as the consequence associated with agents’ direct involvement in self-deciding a mechanism to reward/ punish contributory behaviors.

Passion-centric – Passion-centric communities are communities joined by people who not only share an interest in the object in question; chances are they are passionate about the object.

Participatory advertising – In participatory advertising, brands invite content, set mandatory guidelines and specifications, and possibly also provide participants with selected brand assets such as footage from prior commercials that ran on TV.

Pay-per-click fees – Pay-per-click fees are the fees a marketer pays when someone clicks on an online display ad.

Penetration rate – A penetration rate is the measure of the percentage of a population with Internet access.

Percentage of ad spend – The percentage of ad spend method assigns a set portion of the overall advertising budget for the organization to social media activities.

Performative – Action games are performative in that the player chooses an action that the game then executes. The actions may revolve around battles, sports, gambling, and so on.

Permission emails – Permission emails are the direct mail of the digital age—they are personalized email offers sent to individuals who “opt in” to receiving marketing communications.

Perpetual beta – Perpetual beta means that a product is always in testing.

Pick lists – Pick lists are item lists such as wish lists and gift lists; pick lists usually also offer a sharing feature.

Pillar content – Typically pillar content is made up of educational content that readers use over time, save, and share with others.

Platform – A game platform refers to the hardware systems on which the game is played.

Plot placement – Plot placements involve situations in which the brand is actually incorporated into the story itself in a substantive manner. Whether a plot placement or some other form of integration, the result is enhanced brand attitudes, recall and recognition, and purchase.

Plug-ins – Plug-ins are third-party applications that “plug in” to a main site to add some form of functionality.

Popularity filters – Popularity features are filters that enable the shopper to show products by most popular, most viewed, most favorite, or most commented.

Population – A population is all the organisms that both belong to the same group or species and live in the same geographical area.

Positioning statement – A positioning statement is a single written statement that encapsulates the position the brand wishes to hold in the minds of its target audience. Positioning statements succinctly capture the heart of what the brand is and what the sponsor wants it to become.

Power site – A power site refers to a site with enormous readership.

Power users – Power users are those others view as knowledgeable sources of information.

Presence – Presence refers to the effect that people experience when they interact with a computer-mediated or computer-generated environment.

Presence indicators – Presence indicators enable users to project an identity more vividly to others within a community.

Principle of least interest – According to the principle of least interest, the person who is least committed to staying in a relationship has the most power because that party doesn’t care as much if the other person rejects him or her.

Principle of scarcity – The principle of scarcity says that we tend to instinctively want things more if we think we can’t have them.

Privacy salience – Privacy salience refers to people’s need to maintain their privacy on the internet.

Product placement – A product placement is simply the placement of a branded item in an entertainment property such as a television program, movie, or game. A placement can be very simple—involving nothing more than having a brand visible in a scene—or it can be heavily integrated into the entertainment property (and then product placement begins to overlap with immersive in-game advertising, which we discuss later).

Propagation brief – A propagation brief is a planning document for social media.

Protest sites – Protest sites exist to criticize a source.

Prurient impulse – Prurient impulse occurs when people feel a curiosity about others and want to feed this interest.

Psychic income – Psychic income is perceived value that is not expressed in monetary form.

Psychographic segmentation – Psychographic segmentation approaches slice up the market based on personality, motives, lifestyles, and attitudes and opinions.

Psychology of influence – Psychology of influence refers to the factors that make it more or less likely that people will change their attitudes or behavior based on a persuasive message.

Public relations – Public relations, the promotional mix component tasked with generating positive publicity and goodwill, may also utilize paid media in the form of sponsorships.

Puppet masters – Puppet masters are the game writers of ARGs, who come up with game characters, events, places, and plot.

Purchase pals – Purchase pals are shopping companions who help us to think through our alternatives and make a decision. They validate the choices we make.

Puzzle games – In puzzle games, the story unfolds as a mystery that invites players to solve clues before more of the narrative is revealed.

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QR code – A QR code is a two-dimensional bar code that can be read using a webcam or mobile device equipped with a code reader. QR is an acronym for Quick Response.


Rabbit hole – The rabbit hole is the clue or site that initiates the game.

Radical trust – Radical trust refers to the trust bestowed on others when organizations shift control to their consumers and users. The trust is radical because those participating are not vetted; anyone and everyone online can participate in making decisions, creating and editing content, disseminating knowledge, and rating content quality.

Ratings – Ratings are simply scores that people, acting in the role of critics, assign to something as an indicator. The rating may reflect perceived quality, satisfaction with the purchase, popularity, or some other variable.

Reach – Reach refers to the percentage of the target audience that can be accessed using a form of media.

Recommendations – Recommendations and referrals are personalized product endorsements. Whereas ratings and reviews are visible to everyone who wishes to see them, recommendations and referrals originate from the recipient’s social graph.

Referent power – Referent power refers to authority through the motivation to identify with or please a person.

Referrals – See recommendations.

Relative pull – Relative pull is a comparison of how well different creative executions generate a response.

Reputation economy – In a reputation economy, the value that people exchange is measured in esteem as well as in dollars, euros, or pounds.

Reputational capital – Reputational capital is based on the shared beliefs, relationships, and actions of those in the community such that norms, behaviors, and values held and shared by individuals ultimately support a community reputation.

Reputation indicators – Reputation indicators broadcast users’ contributions to a site; they include participation levels, labels, collectible achievements and awards (badges), and points.

Research design – The research design specifies a plan to collect and utilize data so that desired information can be obtained with sufficient precision and/or so that hypotheses can be tested properly.

Research hook – The research hook offers a claim about something of interest. For example, our Weight Watchers’ article might claim, “66% of Americans are overweight, but you don’t have to be.”

Resource hook – The resource hook is a common type in social news sites. It refers to content written with the intent to be helpful to the target audience.

Response device – Device in which viewers can click the ads (called a clickthrough) to reach a target landing page.

Return metrics – Return metrics focus on the outcomes (financial or otherwise) that directly or indirectly support the success of the brand. They include return on investment measures, cost reduction measures, and other performance metrics.

Return on earned media model – The return on earned media model uses a metric called advertising equivalency value to equate publicity in news media outlets to its paid advertising equivalent.

Return on emotion – Return on emotion conceptually assesses the extent to which a brand has delivered a value in exchange for the emotional attachment fans have awarded it.

Return on impressions model – The return on impressions model demonstrates how many media impressions were generated by the social media tactics employed. An impression is simply an “opportunity to see” for the target audience.

Return on investment (ROI) – ROI is a measure of profitability. It captures how effective a company is at using capital to generate profits.

Return on social media impact model – The return on social media impact model attempts to track coverage across media and in different markets against sales over time. It requires the statistical technique of advanced multiple regression analysis to analyze variables that may affect sales, including the mix of advertising and promotional tools used at each time and place.

Return on target influence model – The return on target influence model relies upon survey data to assess the effectiveness of social media marketing. Surveys assess whether participants were exposed to the social media tactics and what perceptions they formed as a result of exposure.

Revenue stream – A revenue stream is a source of income.

Reverse tracking – Reverse tracking is conducted after an activity or campaign has concluded. Reverse tracking also uses residual data and may include primary data collection such as surveys to assess the effects of the campaign.

Reviews – Reviews are assessments with detailed comments about the object in question. They explain and justify the critic’s assigned rating and provide added content to those viewing the content.

Reviews and ratings – Reviews and ratings are social commerce channels on review sites or branded e-commerce sites that give feedback on products.

Reward power – Reward power is one’s ability to provide others with what they desire.

Rich media – Rich media refers to television commercials.

Rich media ads – Rich media ads are ads that include streaming video.

Role-playing game (RPG) – Role-playing games (RPGs), games in which the players play a character role with the goal of completing some mission, are closely tied to the milieu of fantasy. Perhaps the best-known RPG started its life as a tabletop game—Dungeons and Dragons.

Roving nodes – Roving nodes want to be connected, but primarily for work. They use texting and email and rely upon their mobile devices for productivity.

RSS feeds – RSS feeds are syndicators of content that send content directly to subscribers.

Rubberneckers – Rubberneckers participate in game forums but do not actively play the game.

Rule of reciprocity – The rule of reciprocity basically says that we have an embedded urge to repay debts and favors, whether or not we requested the help. Reciprocity is a common norm of behavior across cultures.

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Sales conversions – Sales conversions refers to the number of people who click through who go on to purchase the product.

Sales promotion – A sales promotion is an initiative that seeks to motivate buyer behavior during a limited period of time by offering a discount or prize. Sales promotions are a tried-and-true tool; we see them all around us in the form of coupons, sweepstakes, and contests.

Salesmen – Salesmen are people who influence others with their natural persuasive power.

Sample – A sample is a subset of a population.

Sample frame – A sample frame is an available list that approximates the population and from which we draw a sample to represent the population.

Sampling – Sampling means to offer a free trial of a product; these are usually mailed to consumers’ homes or distributed in stores or on the street. Social media can be used to recruit interested prospects to qualify for samples.

Sampling error – Sampling error is the result of collecting data from only a subset, rather than all, of the members of the sampling frame; it heightens the chance that the results are wrong.

Sampling weights – Sampling weights are adjustment factors applied to adjust for differences in probability of selection between cases in a sample.

Scalability – Scalability means to be able to grow and expand capacity as needed without negatively (or at least minimally) affecting the contribution margin of the business.

Scale free – Scale free means that the more connections someone has, the more likely they are to make new ones.

Scraping – Scraping means collecting conversations according to established criteria for inclusion in a database.

Screen placements – Screen placements that incorporate the brand into what’s happening on the show are the most common form of product placement.

Script placements – Script placements include verbal mentions of the brand’s name and attributes in the plot. For example, in Madden NFL11, players are exposed to the Old Spice Swagger, a sponsored rating of a player’s personality.

Search advertising – Search advertising is a method of placing online advertisements on Web pages that show results from search engine queries.

Search engines – Search engines are websites such as Google and Yahoo that answer almost any kind of question.

Search engine marketing (SEM) – Search engine marketing, (SEM), is a form of Internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs) through the use of paid placement, contextual advertising, and paid inclusion.

Search engine optimization (SEO) – SEO is the process of modifying content, site characteristics, and content connections to achieve improved search engine rankings

Secondary content – Secondary content is things that others create we feel are worth redistributing to our social networks, such as retweets, links to a celebrity blog, or even brands we “like” on our Facebook page.

Seed – A seed is something that gives fans a reason to interact with the brand.

Sentiment – Sentiment refers to how people think or feel (especially feel) about an object such as a brand or a political candidate. Sentiment is heavier on emotion than reason but it captures an opinion about something.

Sentiment dictionary – A sentiment dictionary specifies sentiment indicators and rules to be used in the analysis. For instance, if the word “high” is in close proximity to the word “price,” the sentiment may be scored as negative.

Share of voice – Share of voice is the percentage of advertising for a brand compared to competing brands.

Share tools -Share tools are plug-ins that appear as clickable icons on a website and enable the viewer to bookmark or share the page with many social networking, social news, and social bookmarking sites.

Share Your Story – Share Your Story refers to tools for publishing customer testimonials; includes video testimonials and narratives submitted by customers.

Shop together – Shop together is an application that allows shoppers to log in to an e-commerce site and then interact and collaborate throughout the e-commerce site.

Significant ties – Significant ties are somewhat close connections, but less so than core ties.

Simulation games – Simulation games attempt to depict real-world situations as accurately as possible. There are several subgenres including racing simulators, flight simulators, and “Sim” games that enable the players to simulate the development of an environment.

Situation analysis – The situation analysis details the current problem or opportunity the organization faces.

Six degrees of separation – Six degrees of separation is an observation that everyone is connected to everyone else by no more than six ties.

Skins – Skins, also called themes, are visual elements people use to change the aesthetic of a web page. They typically include background scenes, colors, fonts, menu styles, and a stylized layout of the page’s elements.

Small-world network – A small-world network illustrates that most nodes in a social graph are not directly linked to one another— instead they are indirectly connected via neighbors.

Social ads – Social ads are online display ads that incorporate user data in the ad or in the targeting of the ad and enable some form of social interaction within the ad unit or landing page.

Social bookmarking – Social bookmarking is a method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online.

Social capital – Social capital is resources whose value flows to people as a result of their access to others.

Social commerce – Social commerce refers to the use of social media to assist in the online buying and selling of products and services. Social commerce leverages social shopping behaviors when online shoppers interact and collaborate during the shopping experience.

Social context ad – A social context ad includes ad creative, an engagement device, and personalized referral content from people in the viewer’s network.

Social contract -The social contract is the agreement that exists between the host or governing body and the members.

Social data – Social data is collected from information users leave in their digital footprints and lifestreams and is harnessed to deliver messages that should be relevant to the recipients based on their online behaviors.

Social engagement ad – A social engagement ad contains ad creative (image and text) along with an option to encourage the viewer to engage with the brand (e.g., a clickable “Like” button).

Social entertainment – The zone of social entertainment encompasses channels and vehicles that offer opportunities for play and enjoyment.

Social footprint – A social footprint is the mark a person makes when he or she occupies digital space.

Social games – Social games are hosted online and include opportunities for interaction with members of a player’s network.

Social graphs – Social graphs are diagrams of the interconnections of units in a network.

Social identity – Members of social networking sites can develop a social identity using a profile picture or avatar, basic information, and other customizable options.

Social interaction – Social interaction is interaction between two or more people.

Social lock-in – Social lock-in occurs when a user is unable to transfer social contacts and content from one social network to another.

Social media – Social media are the online means of communication, conveyance, collaboration, and cultivation among interconnected and interdependent networks of people, communities, and organizations enhanced by technological capabilities and mobility.

Social media addiction – Social media addiction is a psychological dependency and recurring compulsion to engage in social media activity.

Social media marketing – Social media marketing is the utilization of social media technologies, channels, and software to create, communicate, deliver, and exchange offerings that have value for an organization’s stakeholders.

Social media marketing maturity – As organizations develop in their social media marketing maturity, they plan systematically to ensure social media marketing activities are consistent with their marketing and marketing communications plans and are capable of meeting specific marketing objectives.

Social media monitoring – Social media monitoring works with the aid of software that systematically searches key words it finds in social spaces such as blogs, social networks, and forums.

Social media omnivores – Social media omnivores are people who eagerly participate in several different platforms. Most people who are involved in social media are members of at least two networks.

Social media optimization (SMO) – Social media optimization (SMO) is a process that makes it more likely for content on a specific social media platform to be more visible and linkable in online communities.

Social media policy – A social media policy is an organizational document that explains the rules and procedures for social media activity for the organization and its employees.

Social media press release – A social media press release should have an optimized title, good keywords and tags, links to the main site landing page, RSS feed options, share buttons, and embeddable multimedia content that can be shared on several networks, in addition to the typical press release content.

Social media research – Social media research is the application of scientific marketing research principles to the collection and analysis of social media data such that valid and reliable results are produced.

Social media return on investment (SMROI) – SMROI answers the question, “How much income did our investments in social media marketing generate?”

Social media storefronts – Social media storefronts are applications that enable businesses to conduct transactions with customers from within social network sites.

Social media touchpoints – Social media touchpoints include all Internet-enabled devices.

Social Media Value Chain – The Social Media Value Chain illustrates the core activities of social media users and the components that make those activities possible.

Social network – A social network is a set of socially relevant nodes connected by one or more relations.

Social networking sites – Social networking sites are online hosts that enable site members to construct and maintain profiles, identify other members with whom they are connected, and participate using various services the site offers.

Social networking fatigue – Social networking fatigue comes in part from the need to manage multiple community accounts (and to forego some due to the required investment) as well as from the steady streams of content flowing from multiple networks. Rather than experiencing a single social stream, those with multiple networks have several streams flowing at any point in time.

Social object theory – Social object theory suggests that social networks will be more powerful communities if there is a way to activate relationships among people and objects.

Social persona – A brand’s social persona defines how the brand will behave in the social Web, what voice will be used, and even how deeply the brand will interact in the social space with customers.

Social presence – Members of social networking sites maintain a social presence in the community that indicates their availability, mood, friend list, and status.

Social proof – Social proof means that people in our personal social graphs are awarded a special form of influence.

Social services – Social services are application service sites dealing with social media.

Social sharing – Social sharing provides people with the tools they need to reveal elements of their digital identities. These elements include information about us or things that we create—such as our opinions, photos, videos, songs, and artworks.

Social shopping – At its core, social shopping refers to situations where consumers interact with others during a shopping event. Of course, just as in the physical world this changes the dynamic of shopping because it opens the door for others to influence our decisions.

Social shopping markets – Social shopping markets are online malls featuring user-recommended products, reviews, and the ability to communicate with friends while shopping.

Social shopping portals – Social shopping portals are sites that enable shoppers to shop multiple stores (like when at a mall) using several social shopping tools.

Social software – Social software provides the programming we need to carry out social networking.

Social storefronts – Social storefronts are online retail stores that sometimes operate within a social site like Facebook with social capabilities.

Social technographics – Forrester’s Social Technographics data classifies consumers into seven overlapping levels of social technology participation.

Sockpuppeting – Sockpuppeting is the term used to describe people who take on a fictional identity when promoting content online.

Spam – Spam is increasingly common in social communities and signature lines but it does not represent real conversations we should include in the data set.

Spectators – Spectators (estimated at 70 percent of those online) sit on the periphery of social communities.

Speed of response – Speed of response refers to how social media enable companies to identify crisis situations quickly and respond quickly. It can be difficult to quantify the value of speed, but we know it is valuable.

Spokesbloggers – Bloggers who post sponsored conversations as their sole reason to contribute to a conversation are known as spokesbloggers.

Sponsored – Sponsored links are paid for.

Sponsored conversations – Sponsored conversations refer to paid consumer content. Consumers are paid for their content creations, and brands may actively seek out certain people like bloggers, videographers, and artists to participate in the campaign.

Static ads – Static ads are hard-coded into the game and ensure that all players view the advertising. Bing’s display ad in FarmVille is an example of an in-game, static display ad.

Statuscasting – Statuscasting occurs when you broadcast updates to your news feed or activity stream.

Steganography – Steganography is the tactic of hiding messages within another medium; the message is undetectable for those who do not know to look for it.

Stickiness – Stickiness is a term that explains how well the site can retain visitors during a single session and encourage repeat visits. The more there is to do on a site, the stickier the site is.

Strategic phase – When an organization enters the final strategic phase, it utilizes a formal process to plan social media marketing activities with clear objectives and metrics.

Strategic planning – Strategic planning is the process of identifying objectives to accomplish, deciding how to accomplish those objectives with specific strategies and tactics, implementing the actions that make the plan come to life, and measuring how well the plan met the objectives.

Strategy games – Strategy games are those that involve expert play to organize and value variables in the game system. These games may involve contextualizing information available from secondary sources outside the game itself, including previous experience with game play.

Strong ties – Strong ties are relationships with at least three connection streams between you and your friend that extend over several years and multiple shared experiences.

Stunts – Stunts are one-off ploys designed to get attention and press coverage.

Susceptibility to interpersonal influence – Susceptibility to interpersonal influence refers to an individual’s need to have others think highly of him or her.

Switching costs – Switching costs refer to the fact that once our social graph is firmly engrained in a particular host community, the time and effort to shift may outweigh the benefit we think we will get if we move to a new community service.

SWOT analysis – SWOT analysis refers to strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that the firm should consider as it crafts a strategy.

Synchronous communications – Synchronous communications require the active, real-time involvement of two or more people to make sense. For example, if you enter a virtual world in avatar form and strike up a conversation with another avatar you talk as if you are in the “real world”; the other avatar is likely to give up and walk away if it doesn’t get a response almost immediately.

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Tag – Tags are labels that individuals choose in a way that makes sense to them, as opposed to using predefined keywords.

Tag cloud – A tag cloud not only enables others to search and retrieve information using tags that also make the most sense to them personally but also provides information about the popularity of the tags used.

Taxonomies – Taxonomies are classifications that experts create; for example, you may have learned (and perhaps forgotten) the classic system that biologists use to categorize organisms (the Linnaean taxonomy) that places any living thing in terms of Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Specie.

Tech indifferent – Tech indifferent people are light users of the Internet who would be willing to give up their digital connectivity.

Testimonials – Testimonials have long been a source of social proof that a product is the right one to choose.

Text ads – Text ads present short, clickable headlines.

Text classifier – A text classifier (from the dictionary) is applied to the data to filter any irrelevant content that made it into the data set.

Text mining – Text mining is the gathering and analysis of text data from relevant sources.

Themes – Themes, also called skins, are visual elements people use to change the aesthetic of a web page. They typically include background scenes, colors, fonts, menu styles, and a stylized layout of the page’s elements.

Theory article – Theory articles offer some unique insight into a topic but the content is opinion. This is the equivalent to opinion-editorial pieces in your local newspaper.

Thinslicing – Thinslicing occurs when we peel off just enough information to make a choice.

Three-way linking – Companies using three-way linking ensure that their own sites link to each other in sequence and then back to the original site.

Ties – Ties are relationships that connect members of a social network to each other.

TINAG – TINAG stands for “This is not a game!” The story is fictional as are the game characters, but the game space is not.

Title – The title is your headline—the main indicator of your page’s content. It should be loaded with keywords.

Title tag – A title tag is an HTML tag that defines the page’s title.

Trackback – See backlink.

Tradigital marketing – Tradigital marketing is characterized by improvements in interactivity and measurement, but it retains the primarily vertical flow of power in the channels of communication and distribution.

Traffic – Advertisers use the term traffic to mean consumers who visit a client, not cars that drive there.

Trail – A trail is a reference index of the game including relevant sites, puzzles, in-game characters, and other information. Trails are useful for new players coming late into a game and to veteran players who eagerly try to piece together the narrative.

Transactional advertising – Transactional advertising rewards players if they respond to a request.

Transference effect – A transference effect occurs when players love a game and some of these positive feelings rub off on the brands they encounter within it.

Transition phase – During the transition phase, social media activities still occur somewhat randomly or haphazardly but a more systematic way of thinking starts to develop within the organization.

Transmedia social games – Transmedia social games involve two or more different media.

Trial phase – The trial phase is the first phase of the adoption cycle. Organizations in the trial phase test out social media platforms, but they don’t really consider how social media can play a role in the overall marketing plan.

Two-step flow model of influence – The two-step flow model of influence proposes that a small group of influencers are responsible for dissemination of information because they can modify the opinions of a large number of other people. When the authors run extensive computer simulations of this process, they find that the influence is driven less by influentials and more by the interaction among those who are easily influenced.

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Uploading functionalities – Uploading functionalities are applications that make it easy to share from many locations.

Urban legends – Urban legends are untruths and exaggerations.

URL – The URL is the website address.

User forums – A user forum is group of people who meet online to communicate about products and help each other solve related problems.

User galleries – A user gallery is a virtual gallery where users can share their creations, shopping lists, and wishlists; these exist outside of social commerce but may include galleries that feature products for sale.

User-generated content campaign – User-generated content campaigns offer a way for brands to invite consumers to engage and interact while they develop shareable content.


Validation impulse – Validation impulse refers to the idea that social media focuses intently on the individual. You can share as much or as little of your opinions and activities, and comment on those of others.

Vehicle – Within each medium of communication, marketers can choose specific vehicles to place a message. For instance, within the medium of television, marketers may choose How I Met Your Mother as one vehicle to broadcast their message.

Verbatims – Verbatims are the actual comments people post in English or other languages.

Verification – Verification occurs when consumers use ratings and reviews as a form of validation just prior to purchase.

Vertical networks – Vertical networks are sites designed around object sociality, or the ability of an object to inspire social interaction.

Viewthrough – A viewthrough is the number of people who are exposed and do not click through, but who later visit the brand’s website.

Viral spread – Viral spread is the speed and intensity of a message across the online population.

Virtual good – Virtual goods are intangible goods that that consumers purchase in huge numbers as they continue to spend more of their time in online worlds rather than in the physical world.

Virtual world – Virtual worlds are three-dimensional communities where people participate as avatars—digital representations of themselves that can take pretty much any form the person desires. Second Life and Web Alive are examples of virtual world vehicles.

Voting campaigns – In voting campaigns, voters are incentivized to vote for a story.


Weak ties – Weak ties refer to contacts with whom your relationship is based on superficial experiences or very few connections.

Web crawlers – Web crawlers are automated web programs that gather information from sites that ultimately form the search engine’s entries.

Web scraping – See fetching.

White hats – White hats play by the rules of the system, striving to provide good quality content, with the best use of keywords and tags, and earned links at reputable sites. They create site maps so that every page is linked to every other page and search engine bots can crawl every page.

Widgets – See apps.

Wiki – A wiki is a website whose users can add, modify, or delete its content via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a rich-text editor.

Word-of-mouse – Word-of-mouse refers to the ease and speed with which people share brand experiences, recommendations, and product-related opinions with others, both negative and positive.

Word-of-mouth (WOM) communication – Word-of-mouth (WOM) communication (called influence impressions in social media) and publicity are important forms of earned media. Companies release content through press releases and paid channels, participate in community events and causes, create stunts designed to generate media attention and buzz, and offer exceptional service quality, all with the hope that a brand message will spread.

Word-phrase dictionary – A word-phrase dictionary is a program researchers use to code data. The program will scan the text to identify whether the words in the dictionary appear.

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