Avatar: a graphic that represents the owner of a social media account, such as a photo, a logo, or an icon.
Blog: a type of online self-publishing vehicle that allows you to instantly post virtually any type of content. “Blog” is a shortened form of “web log.” Blogs can exist as standalone entities, or function as part of a larger website.
Checking In: An activity promoted by location-based social media sites. Users are able to “check in” to businesses or other locations via sites like Foursquare and, Yelp. At a basic level, checking in merely lets other people know where the user is; however, many businesses offer deals or other incentives to reward customers for checking in.
Commenting: Virtually all social media vehicles (blogs, Facebook, Yelp, YouTube, etc.) allow users to reply or respond to posts within their channel via commenting. The owner of the social media account usually has a variety of ways to manage comments—from actively moderating and approving comments to allowing instant publication of all comments.
Facebook: arguably the most dominant social media service, with over 750 million members. Facebook allows users to connect with other people and share comments, photos, videos, invitations, etc. Businesses and organizations are able to create pages to communicate with Facebook users.
Flickr: a social media service that enables photo sharing and streaming.
Friending: the method of connection via Facebook. Users “friend” each other in order to join each other’s stream of information. If you attempt to friend someone, he or she must approve your friend request before you can see his/her information.
Following: the method of connecting via Twitter. When you follow people, you subscribe to their Twitter feeds and see their updates.
Foursquare: the premiere location-based social media site. It allows users to look for businesses or other locations near them, then “check in” (usually via their smartphones) to let other users know they are there.
LinkedIn: a social media channel directed at professionals. The functionality is similar to Facebook, but LinkedIn is geared toward career-related connections and it offers features like message boards and job postings to help foster professional connections. Users create their own profiles and connect to others on LinkedIn.
Location-Based Marketing: the method of delivering custom advertising, messaging, and other marketing information to cell phone users based on their current location. The cell phone provider obtains the location from a GPS in the user’s phone, or based on their positioning relative to cell phone towers.
Retweet: a re-posting of someone’s comment on Twitter (“tweet”) on one’s own Twitter feed.
Status Update: refers to Facebook’s feature that allows you to make brief posts or statements on your “wall.”
Tagging: the ability to categorize, label, and group similar pieces of information on a social media channel. Blog posts and Flickr photos, for example, can be tagged with descriptive keywords. On Facebook, you can tag photos and videos with the names of your Facebook friends.
Tweet: a post on Twitter.
Twitter: a social media channel that allows users to make brief posts or “tweets” of up to 140 characters, as well as photos.
Wall (i.e. Facebook wall): a space on every Facebook user’s profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see
Yelp: a social media channel that lets users post reviews, criticisms, and recommendations of local businesses.
YouTube: a site that enables people (and businesses) to upload, publish, share, and view videos.