Top 50 social media terms all advisors should know

By Amy McIlwain

Financial Social Media Marketing


Sometimes the social media landscape can feel like a whole other planet. It comes with its own unique etiquette, customs and language. Whether you’re an advisor just starting to explore this strange new world or an old pro, there are always new words and phrases to learn. To help you get all the social vernacular straight, we’ve created the social media dictionary (a close relative to Webster).

Here’s our list of need-to-know social media lingo for advisors, broken down by platform:

General social media terms:

Authenticity: A trait which is valued on social media and blogs. This allows consumers to get to know the real person behind your financial firm.

Compliance: Social media activity that meets the regulatory conditions set forth by FINRA and the SEC. This includes the process of archiving social media communication. See highlights from the latest SEC guidance update.

Cost Per Click (CPC): This is how much you pay when your ad on a social site gets clicked on.

CPM: Cost per 1,000 impressions. This is how much you pay for 1,000 people to see your ad on a social site.

Crowdsource: The process of reaching out online to a group of social media users for opinions and feedback. Advisors can reach out to groups on LinkedIn, or ask questions on Facebook and Twitter to see what resonates with their clients and prospects the most.

Editorial calendar: A schedule used to organize when you plan to post content across multiple social media platforms. Read more about editorial calendars and other time-saving tips.

Embed: Using code to display a photo or video on one website while it is still being hosted on another website. For example, you can embed a video from YouTube in your financial blog.

Engagement: The actions that occur on a post or update. This includes likes, comments, and shares.

Financial blog: A “web log” within an advisor’s website. Advisors can use a financial blog to regularly create entries containing valuable content for their clients and prospects. Learn more about how advisors can benefit from a financial blog.

Financial hashtag: The dollar sign ($) preceding a company’s abbreviated stock market name. Example: $GOOG.

Geo-tag: Labels a location to your content where a status update or tweet was posted from.

Hashtag: The pound sign (#) preceding a word which is used to classify a conversation topic. For example, #Advisor. A hashtag will turn into a link for a search thread within your message. Originally used solely on Twitter, you can now create and use hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
Klout: A score which determines an individual’s social media influence. This allows marketers to find influencers within the social space.

Optimization: The process of enhancing your social platforms and profiles to maximize their overall performance, including search, reach and engagement.

Reach: The number of people overall who saw your post, update or ad.

Share: A feature which allows you to share a post or update with your own network. (On Twitter, this is akin to a retweet.)

Tag: Labels a topic or person that a post or comment is referring to. You can tag people in a status or comment, or you can tag a topic in a blog.

Two-step verification: A security measure for logging into social sites which requires a user to enter in a code texted to their mobile device in addition to entering a username and password.

Viral: Content that gets shared at a rapid rate through social networks.

Vlog: A video blog that consists of video dialogue rather than a written article.

Facebook lingo

Activity log: A function on Facebook that shows all of your scheduled posts as well as your past activity.

Display ad: A paid ad on Facebook (orLinkedIn) which show up in the right hand column of the webpage.

Fan: A Facebook user that has “liked” your Facebook business page.

Organic reach: The number of unique people who saw your post or update either on your profile page or in their newsfeed. This includes if they saw a post that was shared by a friend.

Paid reach: The number of unique people that saw an ad or promoted a post.

Promoted post: A Facebook post which you pay to promote to your Facebook fans and their friends or to a targeted audience. A promoted post can increase engagement and page likes on your Facebook business page.

Sponsored story: A version of a paid Facebook ads which shows a Facebook user's interaction with a page or event. For example, an ad which shows that “Jane Doe likes Financial Social Media."

LinkedIn lingo

Connection: Another LinkedIn user that you are linked to.

Degree: The number of people linking you to a specific user. LinkedIn will show you the number of degrees (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) that are separating you from another user when you view their information.

Endorsements: A tool on LinkedIn which allows users to create a testimonial for a skill or expertise for their connections with the click of a button. Because of compliance, these can get a little tricky. Here's more info on how advisors can manage LinkedIn endorsements.
Group [LinkedIn]: A place on LinkedIn for members who share common interests or industries to share information, engage in discussions and make new contacts. Participating in LinkedIn groups can help distinguish an advisor as an expert in their field.

Influencers: Industry thought leaders selected by LinkedIn to share insightful content to the LinkedIn community. You can choose to follow any of the influencers.

Recommendations: A comment written by a LinkedIn member to commend or approve of the performance or skillset of a fellow LinkedIn connection.

Sponsored update: An update on LinkedIn which you pay to promote to a broader audience beyond your network.

Twitter lingo

Direct message: A private message sent on Twitter. You can send a private message to another user by beginning a tweet with the abbreviation “DM” or by clicking this option on their profile.

Follower: Someone that has subscribed to your profile on Twitter. They will see everything you tweet and any tweet which mentions you.

Handle: The username created for your Twitter profile preceded by the @ symbol. For example,@FinSocMedia.

List: A tool to organize the users you follow on Twitter. For example, an advisor can have multiple lists for people who tweet about market info, small business and technology.

Mention: A reference to another Twitter user in your tweet. A mention is the user’s Twitter handles preceded by the @symbol. Like the hashtag, this will create a link to a search feed for that specific user handle.

Reply: A direct response to a tweet. This will create a conversation thread surrounding the tweet.

Retweet: A share of someone else’s tweet. If you find a tweet about an article you want to share with your own followers, you would then retweet it.

Tweet: A post on Twitter that is 140 characters or less.

Trending: A topic or phrase that is popular on Twitter at any given time.

Verified account: The act of establishing your business with a social network to signify that you are a reputable company. This adds trust and credibility to your company’s social media presence. Twitter automatically verifies your business based on usage. A verified business is usually signified with a check mark symbol. Pinterest lingo

Pin: An image or video that you add to a board on your Pinterest profile. You can add a pin from within Pinterest, from an external website, or upload your own.

Board: A place on Pinterest to categorize pins. For example, on an advisor’s Pinterest page, you can create boards for retirement destinations, holiday ideas and your own blogs.

Google plus lingo

Circle: A community or network that you build on Google+.

Hangout: A video chat that occurs on Google+ with up to 10 users.

Hangout on air: A Google+ hangout which is broadcasted and can be viewed on your Google+ profile page. This type of hangout can also be replayed after the hangout has occurred on Google+ or Youtube.

+1 button: The Google+ version of Facebook’s “Like” button. Clicking this button shows that you like a post.

Now that you’ve read our list, you should get an A+ on your next social media vocabulary exam.