The Business Owner’s Guide to Social Media Marketing Lingo

Social media marketing is fast-paced and ever-changing. When you’re in the thick of it, it’s easy to forget that some business owners may not have heard of ‘PPC’, ‘retargeting’, ‘DMs’ and ‘chat marketing’.

We got a reality check recently when someone’s mum asked them to ‘please explain’ about hashtags. First of all, good on you Mum for getting on board with social media! Secondly, it’s high time we explained what some of these social media marketing terms actually mean in 2018. Allow us to shed some light on this evolving lexicon and how these methods can help your business grow.

Quick reference guide
  1. @ = Legend has it the ‘at’ symbol was first used on social media in 2006 (thanks Twitter!) and has since been adopted by all platforms and social media marketing professionals. Email brought it back in a big way, but the @ symbol has actually been around for nearly 500 years. It was resurrected in 1971 as a way for computer programmers to communicate with each other.
  2. Article = Not to be confused with a blog post, an article is more of a balanced, journalistic piece of writing that doesn’t have to include keywords or personal opinion. Usually an article’s intended purpose is for publication in an external media source (as well as for dissemination on your own website), so it goes through an editing process. What blogs and articles have in common is that they can both help establish your business as a subject matter expert.
  3. Blog = A blog is an online journal that you update regularly. Some businesses blog for SEO (search engine optimisation) as well as credibility-establishing purposes. Google loves websites that are continually updated with relevant content (blog posts, new pages and articles). To that end, blog posts are dotted with specific keywords such as ‘social media marketing’.
  4. Chat = To you, this may refer to a nice talk around the watercooler but to us it means reaching audiences via direct messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Chat marketing has definitely come of age this year! Big companies such as Optus and some of the banks have been using it in their promotions.
     Social Media Marketing - Chat
  5. DM = This refers to ‘Direct Message’ (as in ‘DM me your details’). Nowadays most social media platforms have a DM function that allows people to send you a private message directly via your Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn.
  6. GIF = More than a photo, less than a video, a ‘Graphics Interchange Format’ (GIF for short) is an image file format that is animated by combining several frames into a single file. You would have seen them around on the internet making you smile, and now businesses are using them too as part of their social media marketing mix! GIFs move a little, but not a lot, and have no sound. Hilarious captions are usually included, such as: ‘When you did your own marketing instead of talking to Sketch Corp.’on a GIF of Homer Simpson saying ‘D’oh! while bashing away at a computer.

  7. Handle = In social media marketing, a ‘handle’ is another word for the username you use on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn. Ours is @sketch_corp­­ That’s why a social media marketing person may talk about ‘securing your handle’ when discussing the strategy for your business.
  8. Hashtag = A hashtag is a type of searchable label used in social media content that makes it easy for users to search for material on a topic. If you type in #marketing into Instagram, it will show you all posts where the author has used that hashtag, with the most popular posts appearing first. Our clients might use #smallbusiness, #accounting, #recruitin, #brisbaneaccountant, #telstrabusinessawards etc.
  9. Mention = A ‘mention’ is a digital shout-out from one user to another using their ‘handle’ (see above). A mention from the right person with a large following of the kinds of people you want to reach – someone credible with lots of influence –can have an incredible impact on a small business.
  10. Pin = A ‘pin’ is an image you share on the Pinterest platform. It can also be a verb as in ‘I’m pinning this image; it’s exactly what we want.’
  11. Post = Whenever you share anything on social media that appears in your main feed, that’s a ‘post’! This is a word that’s meaning has broadened in unexpected ways over the years.

    facebook post

  12. Retargeting = You can ‘retarget’ people that visit your website or socials. This means that your targeted ads will later appear in their social feeds or in websites they visit as they browse online. This can be an effective way to reach people who have already shown interest in your business.
  13. Story = Your Instagram and Facebook ‘Story’ is a feature (circles at the top of the screen) where you can post photos and videos that run for 24 hours only. Content that you upload to your Story won’t appear on your main feed, but can be used to great effect in social media marketing initiatives – especially when you want to promote a special offer or ‘behind the scenes’ video.
  14. Troll = A troll is a person who starts fights on the internet with deliberately inflammatory comments. This is where the phrase ‘being trolled’comes from. Businesses can be trolled while carrying out social media marketing. The key is to differentiate a troll from a simple customer complaint, which you should listen to and address. Complaining devolves into trolling when commenters are inappropriate, offensive, irrational and have a clear agenda/axe to grind.
Still baffled by marketing speak? Working with a marketing agency on a monthly basis may be the answer. Sketch Corp. works with many clients in this way, devoting a set number of hours per month to their graphic design, strategy, copywriting and social media marketing requirements.

Expand without damaging your brand – your brand agency can help

Many established SMEs feel confused about how to carry existing branding and aesthetics through to new divisions and products. A brand agency can help you handle this type of expansion seamlessly.

At Sketch Corp, we are regularly engaged to help successful SMEs make sense of their branding and revise their brand architecture to accommodate growth.

The scenario is usually this…

Historically, the business in question will have always used established branding to represent one type of product, service or positioning in the industry. Now that the company is planning to launch a new division or product, they have questions:

  • How do I use the same logo to represent new and different offerings?
  • Do I need to create an all-new aesthetic (i.e. logo design) for each new division offering?
  • Can I keep my original aesthetic structure and just change up the colours?

Usually when a brand agency is engaged, the client is confused because they have a plethora of branding elements (logo, brand pattern, key messages, colour palette, etc) however they’re not sure how they can be applied to new products and divisions.

If your business is confused about how to expand aesthetically, there’s every reason to be optimistic – not disheartened. Here’s how we advise our clients to approach the expansion process initially.

brand agency
Identify your ‘master brand’

A master brand is a specific overarching brand at the top of a branding hierarchy that serves as your business’s main anchoring point. All underlying divisions or products branch out from here. It’s important to identify your ‘master brand’, which clients sometimes refer to as ‘the parent company/brand’. Often this encompasses your original logo aesthetic.

The process of ‘master branding’ attempts to create a strong association between a company’s products and what the brand represents.

If, for instance, you have three brands and you’re not sure which one is the ‘master’, this is an issue. You either have three standalone companies or three separate divisions that need an overarching master brand to unite them.

A good way to identify your master is to think back to when your business started. What was the core brand then and what did it embody? What did you primarily sell or how did you serve your customers? If you know the answer, put this brand at the top. This is your master brand – a singular corporate trademark to link a variety of capabilities or products. A brand agency can assist you with this process.

The point of all this is for consumers to consistently associate everything you offer with the qualities of your flagship ‘master’ brand.

Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But the process is not always so straightforward.

Sort through your multiple ‘mini-brands’ (if you have them)

Here’s a fictional scenario that sometimes plays out in real life:

“I started a business in 2000 called ABC Business. In 2005, I launched a new division called ABC BUSINESS 2 and designed a new logo for it. I launched another new division in 2007 selling an entirely new product called ABC BUSINESS 3. I created a new division for this and a new logo for the product.  By 2010, ABC Business 3 was more profitable than ABC Business and ABC Business 2 combined.”

What do you do in that situation? How do you structure your branding architecture? It’s an interesting one and not as uncommon as you might think. At our brand agency, we’ve encountered similar cases more than once.


Important things to consider from a brand architecture point of view:
  • Is being associated with ABC Business or ABC Business 2 damaging or helping ABC Business 3? If it’s the former, consider making this brand separate from the master brand by giving it its own aesthetic and personality. This means that when it’s referenced in the marketplace, it wouldn’t be in conjunction with the master brand. It would stand alone.

  • If ABC Business 3 does benefit from being associated with its parent brand, it would instead become an important sub-brand.


Understand your sub-brand/s

In a company’s brand architecture, sub-brands work symbiotically with the parent brand – offering support as well as deriving benefit.

Each sub-brand embodies qualities that link it to the master brand, yet each has its own distinct identity with traits that reinforce the values of the master brand.

If they are to flourish and make your main brand proud, you must give your sub-brands care and attention. They form a vital part of your brand architecture.

Develop a ‘brand bible’ of correct usage and brief your staff

You’d be surprised at how many meetings our brand agency has attended where the business owner clearly explains the parent company and sub-brands while employees sitting around the table exclaim, “Oh really, I never knew that!” We also receive lots of phone calls from business owners or senior managers confessing that they don’t understand why certain sub-brands exist within their company.

From a branding point of view, it is vital that your staff promote your brand with a clear understanding of your business. If you’ve had to sit down with your team numerous times to explain how your business works, your brand story may be too convoluted and in need of refinement. A brand agency can clarify your core messages so the people who work for you can comprehend them and spread your message accurately.

When we work with clients, we always deliver a clear brand architecture document complete with visual elements, brand positioning and key messages. This maps the master brand and sub-brands/companies to provide a framework for how to successfully launch new products and services, and grow your business.

Ready to expand without damaging your brand? Sketch Corp. can guide you through the process. Call us on 0733696100 or send us an email to [email protected]