An Admin’s Guide to Understanding Social Media Lingo

Jul 3, 2014 | Technology

Social media is a vital tool for every administrative professional. Social sites, including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, can enhance your networking abilities, develop your personal brand, and help you identify new job opportunities. They can also provide valuable industry news, professional information, and career resources that you might not find elsewhere.

However, if you’re new to social media, some of the lingo may sound foreign, which can make it a challenge to get active on these sites. To help you overcome this language barrier, below are some basic social media terms and definitions that every admin needs to know.

  • Blog: Originally created from the words “web log,” a blog is a website with dated entries, also known as posts, that an author publishes online.
  • Circles: Groups of people you follow on Google+ that you can break down into categories, such as friends, family, colleagues, etc.
  • Comment: A response to a blog post or social media message.
  • Connections: Connections are people you choose to connect with via the LinkedIn social media network. (To learn how to create a polished and professional LinkedIn profile, click here.)
  • Fans: The people who like a company or organization’s page on Facebook.
  • Follow: When you follow someone on Twitter, you’re choosing to see his or her tweets in your Twitter feed. Conversely, someone who follows your tweets is called a follower.
  • Friends: The people you allow to interact with you and view your Facebook profile.
  • Groups: These are sets of people on LinkedIn and Facebook that share a common interest. For instance, you can join a LinkedIn group for administrative assistants.
  • Hangout: A Google+ feature that allows up to 10 users to chat via video.
  • Hashtag: A word or phrase that’s preceded by a # sign, which makes the word or phrase searchable. Hashtags originated on Twitter but are now also used on Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • Hootsuite: This is a free social media aggregator that allows you to manage multiple social media accounts and posts from one place. (Click here to sign up for your own Hootsuite account.)
  • Homepage: The landing page when you log into your LinkedIn account that includes a digest of posts from your connections.
  • Like: Most commonly associated with Facebook, but also used on LinkedIn, a like is a way to recommend or agree with a social post.
  • Lists: One of the best ways for navigating Twitter, lists allow you to create categories for your followers, instead of having to keep track of who goes with what group.
  • Newsfeed: The landing page when you log into your Facebook account that includes a digest of posts from your friends.
  • Post: A comment, question, image or link that you put on your page or your connection’s social media page.
  • Profile: This is the form or questionnaire you fill out when joining a social media site. It typically includes fields for your name, job title, company, hobbies, location, school, etc. Your profile also typically includes a picture or pictures of yourself.
  • RSS: An acronym for Really Simple Syndication, RSS is a program that lets you read subscription content from one feed rather than going to multiple sites.
  • Thread: Conversations on social media grouped by post.
  • Tweet: A Twitter update that consists of 140-characters or less. A shared tweet is called a retweet.
  • Wall: This is the public page of your Facebook account where you and your friends can add posts. It’s also where friends can view your profile information.

Understanding these common social media terms can help you navigate the social media world and maximize its benefits to you and your administrative career. But this list just scratches the surface of social lingo. If you’re looking to learn more, click here to view a more comprehensive list of social media terms. Once you have a grasp of the language, get online and get social! Your administrative career will be better for it!

© 2014 Julie Perrine International, LLC


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Julie Perrine, CAP-OM, is the founder and CEO of All Things Admin, providing training, mentoring and resources for administrative professionals worldwide. Julie applies her administrative expertise and passion for lifelong learning to serving as an enthusiastic mentor, speaker and author who educates admins around the world on how to be more effective every day. Learn more about Julie’s books — The Innovative Admin: Unleash the Power of Innovation in Your Administrative Career and The Organized Admin: Leverage Your Unique Organizing Style to Create Systems, Reduce Overwhelm, and Increase Productivity. And request your free copy of our special report “From Reactive to Proactive: Creating Your Strategic Administrative Career Plan” at

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