Ryan Holmes, CEO and founder of Hootsuite once said that “our digital lives have grown more tangled and cluttered.” If I didn’t know better, he may have been talking about the mass of social media advertising terms, multiplying with the creation of each new platform or binary jump in technological ability.

The content team at Strike Social wanted to see if we could capture in its entirety every possible word, acronym and platform variant related to digital and social media advertising. It was a mammoth undertaking, one which will constantly need updating as new terms are universally created or modified. Be sure to check back often for updates to our comprehensive guide to social media advertising terms.

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Abandonment rate Back to Top

The number of users who abandon an online shopping cart prior to the completion of a purchase.

Account currency Back to Top

A specific unit of currency, which you set in your account settings, to record financial transactions.

Account ID Back to Top

A unique ID, represented by numbers, to identify yourself, your ad account or ad group.

Account spending limit Back to Top

The ceiling you set on how much you want to spend on advertising.

Actions Back to Top

For Facebook, the number of actions taken by a user on your ad, page, app or event after viewing your ad, even if they didn't click on it. Actions include page likes, app installs, conversions, event responses and more. For example, two page likes and two comments count as four actions.

Active View Back to Top

A YouTube technology that allows Google AdWords to determine the viewability of your ad campaign.

Activity Back to Top

For Facebook Ads Manager, a column located in the conversion tracking area that shows the number of conversion events over a seven day period. Ad account: for Facebook, an account used to manage all your ads. Ad accounts can be managed by multiple people, with each person having the possibility of one or more different levels of access to an account.

Ad auction Back to Top

An online bidding system that matches a keyword query with an ad. For each ad impression, the ad auction system selects the best ads to run based on the ad’s maximum bid and ad performance. All ads compete against each other in the auction process, with the ad determined to be most likely viewed or clicked upon selected for delivery.

Ad bid Back to Top

The dollar amount offered at auction for your ad to be shown.

Ad blockers Back to Top

A type of software or browser extension that can remove advertising content from a web page, website or mobile app.

Ad group Back to Top

A shared set of keywords organized by a related theme, such as “cleaning supplies” or “energy bar.” Ad groups are used to categorize and organize by related themes

Ad ID Back to Top

A unique, numerical ID created for ad identification.

Ad schedule Back to Top

An account function, controlled by the account manager, that allows the scheduling of times for ad show to users. For example, brand x wants their video ad scheduled to coincide with their tv ads, which are shown between 12 and 4 pm, Monday-Friday.

AdSense Back to Top

For YouTube, a tool that allows advertisers to show their ads on a publisher’s website or curator’s channel. AdSense account holders earn money when YouTube users view ads while on the publisher’s site or curator’s channel.

Ad set Back to Top

A group of ads that share the same daily or lifetime budget, schedule, bid type, bid info and targeting data. Ad sets enable you to group ads according to your criteria, and to retrieve the ad-related statistics that apply to a set.

Ad text Back to Top

Copy that is held in a text ad for a PPC account. Text ads contain one or two headlines, description lines, a display url and a destination or final url. (see pay-per-click)

AdWords Back to Top

Owned by Google, AdWords allows businesses to run PPC and PPV ads on Google’s Search Engine Results Page, Search Engine Partners Page, Google Display network and the Google shopping platform.

Adds to cart (conversion) Back to Top

The number of times something was added to a shopping cart on your website as a result of your ad.

Adds to cart conversion value Back to Top

The total value returned when items were added to a cart on your website as a result of your ad.

Ads Back to Top

Image, text or video that is created and shown to the public to sell a product or announce an event or idea.

Ads API Back to Top

In Facebook, ads API allows you to create and programmatically manage ads.

Ads manager Back to Top

Where you create and manage your Facebook ads. Ads Manager allows you to not only run your ads but also create ad targets, set your budget, view ad performance and review your account information and history.

Advanced filtering Back to Top

For Google AdWords, a way to filter account statistics so you can search for the data that is most important to you and your campaign, such as “YouTube earned actions” or “Max CPV.” Advanced filtering allows you to filter by standard labels or create your own unique filters.

Algorithm Back to Top

Aprocedure for making calculations and solving problems; the backbone of computer science and the software it spawns.

Amount spent Back to Top

The total amount of ad spend during your advertising campaigns start and end date.

Analytics Back to Top

Using various sources of technology to measure the performance of a campaign.

App card Back to Top

In Twitter, a tweet that allows a user to download your app directly from Twitter.

App engagement Back to Top Back to Top

For Facebook, the number of actions, including app installs, credit spends and app uses that result from your ad.

App engagement Back to Top

Metrics that track how much a user is engaging with your app.

App installs Back to Top

The number of app installs as a result of your ad.

App story engagement Back to Top

The number of actions related to the application story as a result of your ad.

App uses Back to Top

The total number of uses of your app as a result of your ad.

Archiving Back to Top

The process of filing social media messages and associated metadata.

Attribution Back to Top

Assigning credits from a sale to the marketing touchpoint(s) viewed by a customer prior to purchase.

Attribution window Back to Top

The maximum length of time that can elapse between a click and a conversion. An advertiser cannot attribute a sale to an advertisement if the time period between the two events is too long.

Auction Back to Top

See ad auction

Auction fluctuation Back to Top

An erratic rising and falling of price due to the increase or decreases of participants within the auction. The more advertisers in the mix, the bigger the fluctuations.

Audibility Back to Top

The ability to hear a video on a social platform. Several platforms, such as Facebook, mute a video’s sound unless a user specifically chooses to click on it.

Advertisers want to include both viewability and audibility of video as a measurement objective in order to fully understand the quality and value of an impression purchased by the advertiser.

Audience Back to Top

The group of people who can potentially see your ads.

Audience network Back to Top

A network of mobile app publishers who have been approved by Facebook to show ads in their apps.

Automated reporting Back to Top

A universal term for the scheduling of existing, user-generated reports that are regularly refreshed according to a designated timeframe. Most social media advertising dashboards allow for the scheduling of automated reporting; refer to each platform for individual instructions on how to create these reports.

Automatic bidding Back to Top

A set daily budget that lets the advertising platform adjust your cost-per-click (CPC) bids. Automatic bidding brings you the most clicks or views possible within your budget.

Avatar Back to Top

An image that represents an internet user, often in the form of a small icon, as seen in video games and other online forums.

Average handling time Back to Top

In social customer service, the average time required for a team to resolve an issue from start to finish.

Average CPC Back to Top

A calculation based on the total cost for each click divided by the number of clicks. For example, your ad gets two clicks, one cost $0.20 and the other cost $0.40 for a total cost of $0.60. Divide $0.60 by 2 (total number of clicks) to get your average CPC of $0.30.

Average CPV Back to Top

A calculation based on the total amount paid for each view divided by the number of views. For example, you have five video views in which you were charged $0.25 cents, $0.25, $.50, $0.75, and $1.25. Add all five numbers together ($3.00) and divide by the number count (5.) $3.00/5=$0.60 average CPV.

Average response time Back to Top

In social customer service, the average time that a company takes to respond to a customer’s messages during the handling process.

Backup payment method Back to Top

Optional payment methods that can be added to your ad account. Backup payment methods are used when there is a problem with your primary payment method.

Bid Back to Top

The maximum amount you are willing to pay for your ad to be shown to a user. Bids can be automatic or manual (see automatic and manual bidding for additional definitions).

Bid modification Back to Top

Choosing to bid more or less at ad auction, based on the target variables most valuable to your campaign. Bid modifications are calculated as percentages, so a +2 modification on your previous bid of $1.00 means your new bid is +20% or an additional .20 cents for a total bid of $1.20.

Big data Back to Top

Very large amounts of unstructured data; in most cases, this data is then organized into rows and columns for analytical ease.

Billing summary Back to Top

A summary of all of your past ad charges that includes a detailed breakdown of activity within a set of dates and a description of the ads that ran during the billing period.

Bitly Back to Top

A URL shortener and link management platform. Bitly is a private company that shortens over 600 million links a month.

Block Back to Top

The equivalent of blocking someone’s phone number; you cut off all means of contact with this user. A block is universal across most social media platforms; you can’t see the offender’s social information and he/she cannot see yours.

Board Back to Top

In Pinterest, a board is where you save your pins and is a throwback to physical bulletin boards where announcements and important papers were ‘pinned’.

Bounce rate Back to Top

The percentage of users that land on your website or landing page (paid or organic) and leave without performing additional actions such as clicking to another page, performing a form submission or purchasing a product etc.

Brand advocate Back to Top

A customer who has had such a pleasant transaction experience that they help to market it on their own time; think of it as your friend telling you about “this great restaurant I went to last week.”

Brand awareness Back to Top

A consumer’s familiarity with a brand’s image, trademark, symbol, products or services.

Brandjacking Back to Top

Hijacking a brand to further your own interests; this can take the form of satirical marketing campaigns, fake accounts and more.

Budget Back to Top

The maximum amount you are willing to spend on each ad set.

Budget remaining Back to Top

The amount of money available after an expenditure. Social media advertising dashboards show on a daily basis the amount of ad money spent and the amount remaining, as determined by your initial ad budget and ad run time. (campaign start/end date.)

Bumper ad Back to Top

A six-second video format, sold through Google’s AdWords auction and displayed on YouTube and the Google network.

Call to action (CTA) Back to Top

A request, usually in the form of a clickable image or button,that drives a user to further engage with a brand. This engagement could be any number of actions such as buy, download, share, sign, view and so forth.

Campaign Back to Top

A set of ad groups (ads, keywords and bids) that share a budget, location targeting and other settings. Campaigns are often used to organize categories of products or services that you offer.

Campaign ID Back to Top

A unique numerical ID associated with a campaign.

Campaign spending limit Back to Top

The overall spending amount allowed for an entire campaign. A campaign spending limit ensures that all the ad sets and ads in your campaign stop running once your campaign spends the amount you have set.

Used in Instagram, Facebook and select Twitter accounts; Carousel ads allow people to swipe across a device to see additional product images. A call-to-action button gives the viewer the option to learn more.

Check-in Back to Top

Geographically “checking in” with Facebook to let others know where you have been.

Checkouts Back to Top

In Pinterest, the number of times a sale was completed on your website as a result of your ad.

Checkout conversion Back to Top

A product or service purchased by a customer after clicking on your ad and visiting your retail site.

Checkouts conversion value Back to Top

The total value received from checkout conversions as a result of your ad.

Clicks (all) Back to Top

A term used to define an action in which an ad viewer ‘clicks’ on an ad in order to see the full offer. In social media advertising, a click could be a page like, a comment, event response or app install. Clicks can help you understand how well your ad appeals to an audience.

Clickbait Back to Top

Asocial post with an outlandish or sensationalist headline designed to entice readers into clicking on it for the full story; ex: “7 Ways This Apple is Actually Your Mother!”

Clicks to play Back to Top

A video metric that measures the number of times a user ‘clicks’ a video and it starts to play.

Click-through rate (CTR) Back to Top

A ratio that shows how often people who see your ads ‘click’ on your CTA or call-to-action. CTR is calculated as a percentage and determined by dividing the number of clicks by the number of impressions. (see call-to-action)

Clicks to website Back to Top

The number of clicks on your ad that results in a user going to your website.

Closeup Back to Top

For Pinterest, a closeup occurs when a pinner enlarges your pin for a closer view.

Conversions Back to Top

Customer-completed actions, like adding an item to a cart on a website or getting someone to open an email.

Conversions for Pinterest Back to Top

Calculated from data collected via Pinterest’s conversion tracking tag; it is the number of completed actions, such as purchase, sign up, download, etc., on your website that can be attributed to promoted pins.

Conversions from clicks Back to Top

A universal concept, but one that is specifically defined by Pinterest in its glossary as “when someone on Pinterest clicks your Pin and keeps going to your site (from Pinterest.)” Google AdWords has evolved from the term ‘conversions from clicks’ and encourages its users to solely focus on conversions.

Conversions from repins + closeups Back to Top

In Pinterest, it is when a user repins your pin or clicks to view it as a closeup.

Conversions from views Back to Top

A universal concept, but one that is specifically defined by Pinterest in its glossary as “when somebody sees your pin on Pinterest.”

A tech term for a small text file of up to 4KB which is dropped and stored on a user’s computer for the purpose of website recognition and recording your preferences. Cookies can be stored either temporarily or permanently, at least until you clear your cookie history.

Cost per 1,000 people reached Back to Top

The average cost to have your ad shown to 1,000 unique people.

Cost per 10-second video view Back to Top

The amount spent for a 10-second video view divided by the number of views.

Cost per action Back to Top

The average amount paid for each action taken on your ads.

Cost per all actions Back to Top

The average amount spent for all actions taken on your ads.

Cost per acquisition (CPA) Back to Top

Also known as cost per conversion; it is the metric that shows your ROI (return on investment). CPA measures the total cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level.

Cost per app engagement Back to Top

The average cost per action, related to the application as a result of your ad.

Cost per app install Back to Top

The average cost for install of your app as a result of your ad.

Cost per app use Back to Top

The average cost for each app use as a result of your ad.

Cost per check-in Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each check-in as a result of your ad.

Cost per checkout (conversion) Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each checkout on your website as a result of your ad.

Cost per click (CPC) Back to Top

The average amount paid per click to your website, as a result of your ad. CPC is calculated as cost divided by paid clicks.

Cost per clicks to play video (CPPV) Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost per click to play a video as a result of your ad. CPPV is calculated as cost divided by video play

Cost per credit spend action Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each time an advertising coupon was spent in your desktop app as a result of your ad.

Cost per engagement (CPE) Back to Top

In advertising, CPE occurs when a user engages with an ad unit; in Pinterest, the average paid per engagement, such as repin, closeup and click, on your content. CPE is calculated as cost divided by total engagement.

Cost per event response Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each positive response to join for your event as a result of your ad.

Cost per gift sale Back to Top

The average cost of each gift sold on Facebook as a result of your ad.

Cost per key web page view (conversion) Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each view of a key page on your website as a result of your ad.

Cost per lead (conversion) Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each lead on your website as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app achievement Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each level achieved action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app action Back to Top

The average cost of actions that happened on your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app add to cart Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each add to cart action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app add to wish list Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each add to wishlist action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app checkout Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each initiated checkout action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app content view Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each registration action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app credit spend Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each credit spend action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app feature unlock Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each feature or achievement unlocked action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app install Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each install from a mobile device as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app payment detail Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each add payment information action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app purchase Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each mobile purchase action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app rating Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each rating action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app registration Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each registration action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app search Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each search action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per mobile app start Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each mobile app start action as a result of your ad.

Cost per offer claim Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each offer claim as a result of your ad.

Cost per other mobile app action Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each other action in your mobile app as a result of your ad.

Cost per other website conversion Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each time someone took another action on your website as a result of your ad.

Cost per page engagement Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost per action related to the page and your page's posts as a result of your ad.

Cost per page like Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each page like as a result of your ad.

Cost per page mention Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each page mention as a result of your ad.

Cost per page tab view Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost of views of tabs on your page as a result of your ad.

Cost per photo view Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each photo view as a result of your ad.

Cost per post comment Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each comment on your page's posts as a result of your ad.

Cost per post engagement Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost per action related to your page's posts as a result of your ad.

Cost per post reaction Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each reaction on your ad, such as like, love, haha, wow, sad or angry.

Cost per post share Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost for each share on your page's posts as a result of your ad.

Cost per unique click (all) Back to Top

The number of clicks received divided by the number of impressions.

Cost per video view Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost per video view, calculated as the amount spent divided by the number of video views.

Cost per view (CPV) Back to Top

For Google Ads and TrueView, the amount you’ll pay when a viewer watches your ad for 30 seconds or more. You are charged only if the viewer continues to watch your ad.

Cost per website action (all) Back to Top

For Facebook, the average cost of all actions, as tracked by your Facebook pixel or conversion pixels on your website, after people viewed or clicked on your ad.

Credit spends Back to Top

For Facebook, it’s the number of times advertising coupons were spent in your app as a result of your ad.

Custom audience Back to Top

For Facebook, an ad targeting option that lets advertisers define their Facebook audiences.

Custom conversion Back to Top

In Facebook, an advertiser can add custom conversions when the platform’s standard events do not apply, or you want to split or customize standard events placed on your website. (see standard events)

Community management Back to Top

The process of cultivating relationships around a common interest; in the case of social media marketing, you want to be a part of that interest

Connection Back to Top

The LinkedIn equivalent of a ‘Friend.’ In business terms, it is a way of building a network of business connections.

Content curation Back to Top

The process of scouring the web for the best and most useful content and presenting them in a way which conveys meaning; Reddit functions as a very large user-curated site.

Content management system (CMS) Back to Top

Think Wordpress; a CMS is an application that allows you to draft, edit, schedule and share content online; the most popular of these systems have simple editing tools that don’t require users to have working knowledge of coding.

Content marketing Back to Top

A marketing strategy designed around creating content to attract and retain customers; this content can be pictures, videos, blog posts, etc.

Content rate Back to Top

The rate at which content is produced by you or others within a specific time period.

Conversions Back to Top

Any action taken by a consumer on a website that demonstrates a site visitor is becoming a customer; this can be sales, downloads, newsletter signups, etc.

Conversion map Back to Top

Entirely unrelated to the conversion maps in science-based fields, these conversion maps are a visual representation of the terms most commonly associated with a keyword; they are there to help you see connections between phrases online and paint a better picture of the consumer you may be targeting.

Creative commons Back to Top

A public license that gives you the ability to use otherwise copyrighted material; this usually involves the sharing of photos in a social media post, and it benefits you to find photos protected under this license to avoid any sticky legal situations.

Custom Conversion Back to Top

An action that does not fall into one of the other conversion types. Daily budget: the average amount of daily spend on an ad set.

Dashboard Back to Top

An interactive, user interface that somewhat resembles a car’s dashboard; it presents your ad performance metrics in an easy-to-read format.

Deflection rate Back to Top

The percentage of customer service issues on social media that are transferred to more traditional channels like email or phone.

Delivery Back to Top

Facebook term to indicate whether an ad is active or not.

Demand-side platform (DSP) Back to Top

A system that allows buyers of digital advertising inventory to manage multiple ad exchange and data exchange accounts through one platform.

Demographic targeting Back to Top

A targeting option that allows you to deliver your ad based on a user’s age range, gender or parental status.

Desktop app credit spends conversion value Back to Top

For Facebook, the total value returned from advertising coupons spent in your desktop app as a result of your ad.

Device Back to Top

A term for a digital medium, such as desktop, tablet or mobile.

Direct Back to Top

In Instagram, it’s the forum with which you send direct messages to other users.

Discovery ad Back to Top

For TrueView and YouTube, discover ads run on the search results and watch pages for desktop and m.youtube.com, as well as the homepages for desktop and YouTube mobile apps. Discovery ads consist of an image thumbnail and up to three lines of text. When a user selects your discovery ad, the user will be redirected to the YouTube watch or channel page to view the video.

Display ads Back to Top

Are advertising boxes displayed in a distinct section of a webpage that are typically reserved for paid advertising and lead conversion. For many social media platforms, the reserved section is the right column of the page.

Dynamic ads Back to Top

It is the name given by LinkedIn for a customizable, creative ad that is displayed on the right column of the users desktop.

Earned clicks Back to Top

For Pinterest, the number of visits to your website after viewing your repined, promoted pins. (see repin)

Earned likes Back to Top

Found in Google AdWords but applicable universally, earned likes occur when a user likes your video.

Earned impressions Back to Top

For Pinterest, the number of views your promoted pin received after they were repinned (see promoted pins)

Earned playlist additions Back to Top

For YouTube, earned playlist additions occurs when a user adds the video to a playlist.

Earned repins Back to Top

For Pinterest, earned repins are the number of times your promoted pin was repinned by people who saw it outside of your paid campaign. (see promoted pins)

Earned shares Back to Top

Found in Google AdWords but applicable universally, earned shares occur when a user shares your video.

Earned subscribes Back to Top

For YouTube, occurs when a platform user subscribes to your channel. This action is valuable because content from the channel plus channel avatars can now be viewed on the user’s YouTube home page.

Earned views Back to Top

For Youtube, when a viewer watches subsequent videos on your YouTube channel or chooses to watch the same video again.

Effective clickthrough rate (eCTR) Back to Top

For Pinterest, it is the average clickthrough rate of promoted pins. eCTR is calculated as total clicks/total impressions.

Effective cost per click (eCPC) Back to Top

For Pinterest, eCPC is the average amount per click for paid and earned clicks combined. eCPC is calculated as cost/total clicks.

Effective cost per engagement (eCPE) Back to Top

For Pinterest, not to be confused with eCPC, it is the average amount per total engagement, such as repin, closeup and click, including both paid and earned engagement. eCPE is calculated as cost/total engagement.

Effective engagement rate (eER) Back to Top

For Pinterest, the effective engagement rate for promoted pins. eER is calculated as total repins + total closeups + total clicks/impressions)

Embedded media Back to Top

Media from one place being displayed within another; e.g. you can embed videos into written blog posts.

End date Back to Top

The date scheduled for campaign conclusion.

Endorsement Back to Top

If you list a skill on LinkedIn, people that are connected to you can “endorse” you for those skills i.e. they can substantiate your claims.

Engagement Back to Top

The number of clicks on an element such as an icon, image, trailer, link and so forth.

Engagement rate Back to Top

The percentage of people that are engaged with your advertisement, social media post or promoted content. This is an important metric as it can help you determine the quality of your social media efforts. The engagement rate is calculated as (the number of engagements/the number of times your ad, post or content is shown.)

Estimated bid Back to Top

An estimate based on historical data and/or competitor analysis of where you should set your bid.

Event Responses Back to Top

For Facebook, the number of "interested" and "join" responses for your event as a result of your ad.

Fans Back to Top

For Facebook, when someone “likes” your page, they become a fan of it; for businesses, this is a sort of social media email list since these people will receive updates that you post to your page on their feed.

Favorite Back to Top

Twitter’s equivalent of “liking” something. You click a heart symbol on the bottom of a tweet to do this.

Feed Back to Top

Sometimes called a “news feed”, a feed is a constantly updating series of content and information.

Follower Back to Top

Someone who follows your Twitter account’s updates; Instagram also has this feature.

Following Back to Top

Accounts that you follow on Instagram or Twitter.

Follows Back to Top

A verb meaning that you follow the updates from a user’s account and they will appear in your Twitter or Instagram feed.

Frequency Back to Top

The average number of times your ad was shown to each person.

Frequency capping Back to Top

An advertising term; restricting (capping) the number of times (frequency) a unique viewer is shown the same advertisement.

Friend Back to Top

Someone you are connected with on Facebook.

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Lynn Pedotto

Lynn Pedotto

Lynn Pedotto is a writer who holds an MS from Medill. In addition to covering all things social, she’s a policy wonk who loves to write about government.