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"My business needs help online, but I don't understand any of the words my digital manager, social media strategist, or virtual assistant are using. Help!" Say. Less.


What does it all mean?

Like any industry, digital media has a small novel's worth of jargon. Maybe your specialist does not consider that if you knew about these things yourself, you probably wouldn't have hired them in the first place. Or perhaps you just want to know more and see what you can do on your own. This mini dictionary should help answer any questions you have, and if it doesn't (or you just think of more to add to the glossary), send them over to me and I will help you!

This page is a work-in-progress, forever growing. Check back soon, or bookmark for reference!

  • Bio: The first thing a new visitor sees on your page. Many people think the bio should be "all about you" – it should actually be "all about" your ideal client! Must be well-designed to quickly, attractively communicate your message to make a viewer want to stick around.

  • DM/PM: Where the magic happens. In the safety of private messages, you can really get to know and connect with your (potential) clients. Building a sense of relatability works wonders for converting sales.

  • Comments: Inspire followers to leave comments on your posts, using engaging captions. Respond quickly and aptly, opening further conversation in your responses, to develop a sense of community and hospitality. Be the page that viewers visit frequently to learn and hold discussions on your posts.

  • Highlight covers: Icons personalized to represent your brand identity as your cover images on Instagram's permanent story highlights feature.

  • Color palette: We can develop an assortment of color options to identify you and your brand. A color scheme upholds a consistent brand image, and is kept safe in your brand’s “style guide.”

  • Hashtags: A built-in search feature exclusive to the site you are on. The hash symbol (#) triggers the following characters to produce a metadata tag which can be clicked to link you to other content using the same tags. Hashtagging is a great way to increase exposure of your content to new eyes – but reaching the right audience (one that is useful to the objectives of whatever goal that post seeks to satisfy) requires strategy.

    • Hashtags are not case sensitive, but writing in CamelCase greatly improves readability and accessibility. CamelCase simply means typing your hashtags #WordByWordLikeThis. This allows individuals using screen readers and other reading devices to be aware of the tags, since most screen readers will otherwise read the text aloud phonetically, as #onelongrunonword.

    • Abusing hashtags as a means to present your social media content in unrelated search results can lead to your post being reported as spam, often causing your post to be removed or even for your account to be restricted.​

  • Hashtag set: Carefully curated set of 30 researched hashtags determined specifically to reach your target audience and increase your content's exposure where it matters most.

    • Hashtags are an integral tool for social media strategy that help new (and established!) Instagram accounts to grow. Using hashtags automatically "serves" (shows) your content to more viewers, so your profile has a greater chance to be seen and followed. The better your hashtag strategy, the more people can discover you!

  • Testimonials: People love to know "what's in it for me?" Testimonials are statements by previous clients, sharing their own experiences with your brand, showing how you can help future customers. They strengthen your reputation and build a stronger sense of trust and credibility for potential consumers. Recent consumer review surveys show that consumers read 10 reviews before they trust a local business; 86% of all consumers read reviews about businesses online.

  • Brand identity: Consistent branding, through the application of themes for colors, patterns, fonts, logos, etc, uphold a consistent brand image. This helps you stand out to others so that audiences easily recognize your work, remember your brand, and associate you more deeply with your topic/industry. Deeper mental association builds familiarity (know-like-trust factor), which leads to increased trust and higher likelihood of the person buying from you and recommending you to others.

    • Style guide: This is a customized template where all components to your brand identity are kept safe and quickly accessible for you to use at any time. They can be edited over time, and they can be shared among your company's creative team to ensure all elements stay true to your brand's representation.

  • Advertising vs Marketing: Marketing is the "big picture" of all your business's steps toward its goals. While advertising is just one component of the whole marketing process, it is the most expensive element of all the pieces to the marketing puzzle. It involves brainstorming, designing, and creating imagery, statements, concepts, and ads that are served directly to the consumer to further your business visions. Marketing efforts nurture the relationship that are acquired through advertising.

  • SMM: Social Media Management/Manager – or – Social Media Marketing/Marketer​

    • Social media management involves managing your social presence as a brand. Curating feeds on your platforms, light graphic design and/or photography, content creation, copywriting (captions, blogs, blurbs, ads), planning, community engagement. A social media manager must be skilled at analyzing insights of your social media accounts to extract pertinent information that determines what is working, what is failing, and where to improve your strategy in order to maximize your presence. Whether your KPI is focused on growth, engagement, sales, etc, an SMM should be able to apply critical thinking to your projects + statistics in order to develop your best strategies and capitalize on the most opportunities for your brand.

    • Social media marketing's focus is a bit more salesy than social media management, although many duties overlap. Marketers still help plan and publish your content, but the main goal is more of a direct line to generating leads, compared to managers creating and designing the content for an array of possible results more than producing straight-on sales.

      • If you have a mind for the numbers part of marketing, but are lost in terms of content creation, you can probably work alongside your social media manager to reach business/sales goals.

      • If you can make everything pretty and talk your audience, you can likely hire only a marketer and effectively work alongside them toward your goals.

      • If it's all Greek to you, consider hiring both if your budget allows, or splurging for a media manager who does it all.

      • If you have it all under control but want the free time to run your business itself (or just live life!), aside from your online presence, contract with an SMM per month. We often offer packages that let you pay for only what you need, as well as bundles and multi-month contract discounts!

  • Public relations: Strategic communications that build valuable, useful relationships between organizations and their publics. Components of strong public relations campaigns include research, planning, execution, and evaluation. Every brand can benefit from a PR specialist – this is the person who will handle all your business's affairs from reputation management and crisis intervention, to publicity stunts and press releases.

    • A favorite resource of ours is Strategic Planning for Public Relations by Ronald D. Smith!

​More valuable tidbits coming soon on...

  • SEO: 

  • SERP: 

  • Insights/analytics: 

  • Organic growth: 

  • Copywriting: 

  • Engagement:

  • Content calendar: 

  • Community building: 

  • CTA: 

  • Copyright vs trademark vs patent: 

  • Art vs design

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