For your convenience, this list of social media terms used in reporting and measurement will be updated when new standards are released from credible resources that specialize in research, measurement standardization, and training for public relations and marketing professionals, such as (but not limited to) the Coalition for Public Relations Research, the Institute for Public Relations, and other industry leaders.
You may be familiar with some of these terms if you use social media channels, such as, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ or LinkedIn for business purposes. Using these terms or similar terms can help small businesses or nonprofit organizations gain a basic understanding of social media reporting, and it is suggested that professionals interested in public relations, social media, and marketing become familiar with them, and empower their clients to understand the importance of metrics other than “Likes” and “followers,” so please feel free to bookmark this page and revisit this list often as updates become available.
An item of content is a post, micro-post, Tweet, article, or other instance appearing for the first time in a digital medium.
Used to identify instances where data is based on the total / aggregated amount of occurrences.
Used to identify instances where data is based on an individual user, visitor, or recipient of an item or specific content.
A mention refers to a specific reference in an item of a brand, organization, campaign, or other entity that is being measured or analyzed.
A specific group of consumers from your target market that is being targeted during a specific campaign. The target audience can be the same as a brand’s target market, but a target audience can be more defined to include demographics and segmentation criteria, such as: age, location, gender, income level, education level, ethnic background, lifestyle, etc.
This term addresses the questions of how many individuals were exposed to an item and then took some additional action. Engagement is defined as some action beyond exposure and typically occurs in response to an item published on an owned channel. This metric could be related to clicks, likes, comments, shares, votes, +1s, retweets, video views, content embeds, etc.
This term addresses the number of individuals that might have been able to see, read, or hear a communications item. It represents the total number of unique users who had an opportunity to see an item or a valid reproduction of that item across digital media. Includes the number of people who visited your page, or saw your page, or one of its posts in news feed or ticker. These can be people who have liked your Page and people who haven’t. (Unique Users)
The number of people who might have had the opportunity to be exposed to a story that has appeared in the media. Impressions are also known as an “opportunity to see” (OTS) and do not equal awareness since it relates to the number of times and item was displayed or the number of individuals who may have viewed or been exposed to an item and isn’t based on an action taken by the message recipient. Includes the number of times your posts were seen in news feeds or ticker or on visits to your page. These impressions can be by people who have liked your page and people who haven’t. (Total Count)
The number of stories created about your Facebook page. (Total Count)
The total number of people who have liked your Facebook page. (Unique Users)
- PRSA | Social Media and Digital Media Measurement Standardization
- HubSpot | The Ultimate Glossary: 120 Social Media Marketing Terms Explained
With years of experience in the higher education and nonprofit sectors, Yasheaka Oakley is the owner of YOakleyPR, a woman-owned small business that provides public relations, social media, and online marketing support services to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware.