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The A-Z of Social Media (Part 1)

September 27, 2018

Social media can help your business increase revenue, reach and overall ROI by bringing new traffic to your site, in addition it can help you increase lead generation and expand your brand reach. But if you’re new to social media, you may not yet be fully conversant with all of the hip-and-happening terms. So we’ve chosen some of our favourites and put together a quick and easy list of the first 13 letters of the alphabet (check back next week for the remaining half!)

A – Analytics

Whichever your social media platform of choice, make sure you become acquainted with its analytics. The social media networks all have built-in analytics tools in which you can view, track and report on your posts, helping you to measure your performance. This data is essential to help you grow your channel, it will help you understand what is and isn’t working. Analytics will also help you understand your followers, providing key information such as age, gender, interests etc to help you target them more effectively and understand if the content you put out is of use and value to your audience. For best results, be sure to combine findings from your social media analytics with your Google Analytics social media acquisition data.


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B – Blog

Although not strictly a social media term, a blog is a great opportunity to get your opinions across without the character limitations that some of the networks impose. Plus, it’s a great piece of content to share across your social channels. Hosted on your own website, a blog is the perfect destination to help your brand or company develop its own personal voice. Providing a behind-the-scenes look into the inner workings of your company, it is also your chance to share your knowledge and become an expert authority in your field. Top tip: your blog can be broken down into several parts to share across your social media platforms, therefore providing a constant stream of shareable content. And, if you spot a third-party blog that’s of interest to your industry, share this content from your channels. It will add some outside opinion and build relationships with others in your field, especially the brand you have shared.

C – Call-to-Action

Also knowns as a CTA, you’re directing your users to action. So within a social media post, you could be promoting a new product, event or asking them to sign up to your newsletter – you are suggesting that they take action, provoking an immediate response. If they take action, this results in a successful conversion. Sometimes people need to be told what to do!


D – Digital Marketing

Digital marketing is the umbrella term for any type of marketing carried out online, one such example being social media marketing. As digital marketing can be measured more accurately than offline marketing, it provides real-time results for your marketing efforts and being very interactive, your company can grow its customer base in a relatively short period of time, getting to know your customers in a much more effective way than traditional marketing.

E – Engagement

Engagement is the interaction between you and your customer. In simple terms, engagement measures the amount of likes, shares and comments that your social posts receive. Your analytics can track this measurement on any of the social platforms you’re using and it’s seen as a keen indicator that what you are posting is working. It’s often used as a Key Performance Indicator (KPI) to measure the success of a channel.

F – Facebook

Facebook was launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg as a school-based social network at Harvard University. Appealing to both people and businesses, Facebook provides a shared platform that everyone can benefit from. In case you’re in doubt as to just how big Facebook is, check out these facts:

  • 2.23 billion monthly active users worldwide
  • 1.15 billion mobile daily active users
  • 1.47 billion people on average log on daily
  • 1.74 billion mobile active users
  • 29.7% of users are in the most common age bracket of 25-34
  • 5 new profiles are created every second
  • Highest traffic occurs midweek between 1-3pm
  • 300 million photo uploads per day
  • 20 minutes is the average time spent per visit
  • 42% of marketers report that the network is critical / important to their business

And to provide more context in relation to some of the other social networks, this is where Facebook is currently sitting in regards to follower numbers (1):

  • Facebook – 2.23 billion
  • Whatsapp – 1.5 billion
  • Instagram – 1 billion
  • 336 million – Twitter

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G – Google+

Google+ is Google’s attempt (and some might say failed attempt) to overshadow Facebook with their own social network. Set up in 2011, the platform has experienced many updates and strategy changes. Google+ keep a lot of their statistical data private, however we did find the following facts and figures (2):

395 million monthly active users
2 billion registered users
28% of users are between 15-34 years
55% of all users are US based
73.7% of users are male, 26.3% female
3 minutes 46 seconds is the average time spent per visit

H – Hashtag

A hashtag # is a key tool used in social media to help identify a topic and discussion point. Seen as a powerful marketing tool for businesses, it help can help make your business discoverable. Hashtags are becoming more important as social media develops. Instagram for example, has created a feature on their platform whereby you can follow a specific hashtag within your feed, making the humble hashtag just as important as the people you follow. So make sure you include hashtags within your posts!

Each platform has a different etiquette so it’s worth doing some research on current patterns of behaviour. As Instagram is a key player in hashtags, we suggest using anywhere between 11 and 30 hashtags. As the feed moves so quickly, make sure you post the hashtags at the time of your post or at the very least in a post comment a few seconds afterwards. Choose your hashtags carefully, using apps such as Hashtagify or Hashtagger to help you with hashtag diversity. Pay attention to the popularity of the hashtags you use, and mix up some of the popular hashtags (where it will be difficult to be noticed) along with some of the less popular hashtags, where you have more chance to be seen. Although hashtags are still used on Twitter and Facebook, they are not quite so focussed, so choose a few key phrases that will help you join the topic discussion.

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I – Instagram

Created in 2010 and acquired by Facebook in 2012, it originally began as an ios-exclusive app, and has gone on to become the fastest growing social platform to date (3), with constant updates and improvements that help keep users engaged. Check out these impressive facts and figures (4):

  • 1 billion monthly active Instagram users
  • 500 million daily active Instagram users
  • 400 million daily active users on Stories
  • 50% + business on Instagram have produced a Story
  • 8 million business profiles on Instagram
  • 2 million monthly advertisers on Instagram
  • 5 Instagram accounts allowed per user
  • 7500 is the number of people you are allowed to follow on Instagram
  • 72% of Instagram users have purchased a product they saw on it

Fur further reading, check out our previous blogs on How to Instagram Insights and How to Create a Shoppable Feed.

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J – Join

Join all of the networks as they come out and create a profile with your username to build uniformity across your brand. But as a business, don’t feel that you need to use all of the channels. Have a play around with them, do your research and decide which are going to suit and be of benefit to your specific business. It’s better to have a few channels that you run successfully than have every platform that exists with diluted or infrequent content.


By definition, a Key Performance Indicator defines a “set of values against which to measure” and will demonstrate how effectively a company is achieving key business goals. When setting KPI goals within social media, it is important to look at your business specifically and set goals to suit.

There are 4 broad areas that your KPI’s should focus on:

Engagement – Focus on your engagement levels by creating a marketing message that resonates. Having a large follower base means nothing if they aren’t interested in what you’re offering. With an engaged audience, no matter how small, it will grow organically and help generate more leads. On top of that, some of the social network algorithms focus on the engagement levels of your content to decide if your followers even get to see the content! Pay particular attention to the following areas: clicks, likes, shares, comments, brand mentions, profile visits and active followers.

Reach – Provides the metric for how many pairs of eyes are seeing your message. Although just an estimated metric, pay attention to followers, impressions and traffic data.

Leads – Once your social media accounts start to build in popularity, as fun as the likes and shares are, you need to understand if your efforts are actually converting to sales. Start to measure lead generation, to help you determine which of your accounts you should spend more time working on. It will also help you establish if the platform is working for you and that your content is engaging.

Conversions – The ultimate measurement for your social media success is working out if your acquired customers are actually interested in the product you are offering. Although a lot of followers may be interested in the content alone, it is a useful measurement to understand which of your channels are producing good leads.

L – LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the business and employment-related social network that was launched in 2003. LinkedIn report that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, proving that it is a network not to be missed, if it suits your business needs that is. Here are some key facts and figures (5):

  • 562 million total number of users
  • 260 million total number of monthly active users
  • 2 new LinkedIn members per second
  • 61 million users are senior level influencers
  • 40 million users are in decision-making positions
  • 40 million are students and recent graduates
  • (Of) 500 million users, just 3 million users share weekly content

Further reading – How to Make Your LinkedIn Account Work for You and the Benefits of Company and Showcase Pages on LinkedIn

M – Mobile

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Referring to mobile technology in this instance, it’s the little word that packs a lot of punch. It’s the device that has made social media possible. Mobile has taken over our lives and these facts prove it:

  • In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones (Statista, 2018)
  • Worldwide, more people own a mobile phone than a toothbrush – 3.5 billion own toothbrushes, compared to 3.7 billion phone owners (6)
  • 51% of customers say they use mobile devices to discover new brands and products
  • Over 40% of online transactions are now done on mobile (Google, 2017)


mobile usage statistics 1


Don’t forget to stay tuned for the second half of the A-Z and if you need any support with your social media strategy in the meantime, get in touch with a member of our team today. Or apply for a FREE AUDIT of all of your digital marketing channels, including social media.


(1) Zephoria (2) (3) Search Engine Journal  (4) Expanded Ramblings  (5) Omnicore (6) LinkedIn

Written by Andy

Andy is Venture Stream’s Chief Operating Officer and has over 15 years’ experience in ecommerce consultancy, design and retail marketing.

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