Social Media & Digital Marketing Terms Explained

SEM, PPC, CPC, CMS, GA, CTA, API, A/B.. There are endless acronyms and terminology used when people talk about digital marketing and social media marketing. Some of them even more complicated than the others. The good thing is that, as a real estate agent, you don’t need to know all of them from the top of your head – that’s what we are here for. It is however still incredibly useful to understand some of the most common terms: they will undoubtedly be used when you’re conducting research or talking about your digital marketing strategy with someone. 

To help you out, we’ve created a list of some of the commonly used terms in social media and digital marketing. 

A/B Testing

A/B testing is also known as split testing and measures two social media posts or other ads against each other to see which one performs best. The most common way of using A/B testing is to only change one element of the post, such as the image, headline or CTA. By doing so, you will know that any difference in performance is because of that specific change. 

A/B testing can be done with both organic and paid posts. 

Ads Manager

Ads Manager is a tool in Facebook designed for creating, running and analysing your social ads. It’s used to manage your social media ad campaigns for Facebook and Instagram, and offers a wide variety of features for budgeting, targeting and optimisation. 


Now, we know algorithm is an actual word not just used for social media and digital marketing. For the purpose of this list however, we’ll focus on the meaning of the word when used in the social media context. 

Algorithm is short for ‘feed algorithm’ – meaning the set of rules a social network uses to automatically decide which posts come first in your social media feed. For example: a network such as Facebook may change it’s algorithm to prioritise posts with lots of comments – meaning posts with lots of comments are more likely to show up (first) in your feed than others. 

API (Application Programming Interface)

An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to talk to each other. It’s a way for two pieces of software to communicate – a simple example of an API in use would be when you can sign in to an app or service using your Facebook or Google account. 


On social media, your audience is the group of people you are able to reach with your content. This includes all your followers and anyone who sees or interacts with your posts. In order to generate more brand awareness, it is important to always focus on growing your social media audience. 


An avatar is a small profile picture with an image that represents you on a social network. This can be a photo of your logo, yourself, or anything else you want to use to identify yourself on social media. 


A bio on social media is a short description of who you are. It’s usually one of the first things people see when they visit your profile. It’s also a great place to share links to your website or other accounts. 

Boosted post

A boosted post on Facebook or Instagram is an organic post that you put money behind to increase its reach. The difference with an ad is that a boosted post started as an organic post on your social media page and does not need to be created in Ads Manager. When you decide to boost a post, you can still target a specific audience and set a budget and duration (similar to a traditional paid ad). 

Business Manager 

Business Manager is the software on Facebook that helps you organise your business’s social media pages. This includes all organic posts, ads, team members, analytics, finances and more. Anything you need to do or set up for your business’s Facebook (and Instagram) page can be done through Business Manager. 

Business Manager also ensures that company data account access is legally under control of the business, instead of an individual user on Facebook. 


Chatbots are artificial intelligence programs that can automate customer interactions for a company. Chatbots can be used on a number of social messaging apps, such as Facebook Messenger. They can answer questions, provide customer service and set up appointments. 

Make sure to check out our blog post on how to set up your Facebook chatbot ‘Automated Responses’.


Simply put, clickbait is content that uses manipulative copy to convince people to click on it. It relies on exaggeration and withholding information, used to push people to click on the link. Facebook considers extreme clickbait as spam and its algorithm will lower the reach for these posts. 

CMS (Content Management System)

A content management system, CMS, is an application used to manage web content. It allows multiple contributors to create, edit and publish content for your website. The most popular CMS is WordPress

CTA (Call To Action)

You’ve likely seen us use the word CTA before. CTA stands for call to action and refers to letting your audience know what next step you want them to take, such as instructing them to click on a certain button. It’s crucial to add a CTA to the end of each post or advertisement in order to optimise your conversion rate. 

CTR (Click Through Rate)

The CTR, click through rate, is the percentage of people who see your post that click on it. The higher your CTR, the better. The CTR calculation may vary slightly between platforms, but is normally calculated by the amount of clicks divided by the number of people who have seen your post (x 100%).

CVR (Conversion Rate)

The CVR, conversion rate, stands for the percentage of people who see your post and take the desired action. This action is called a conversion, and can be whatever you decide it to be. It can relate to a purchase, a sign-up, a download, or a booking. Your CVR is an important metric for analysing the effectiveness of your post if your goal is to increase conversions. 

CPC (Cost Per Click)

CPC stands for cost per click and is quite self-explanatory. It tells you how much you pay for each click on your ad – dividing the total cost of your ad by the amount of people that clicked on it. Whilst you ideally want to get your CPC as low as possible, this metric does not say everything about the performance of your ad: a low CPC does not always equate to a high conversion rate. A high CPC is not necessarily a bad thing if it comes with a high conversion rate. 

DM (Direct Message)

DM stands for direct message and refers to a private message directly sent to someone’s inbox. 

Engagement rate

The engagement rate tells you something about how many people have interacted with your post. The rate is calculated as the number of people who engaged with your post divided by the number of people who saw your post (x 100%). Whilst ‘engagement’ does not mean exactly the same for each platform, it usually includes things such as likes, comments, shares, reactions and sometimes clicks. 

Evergreen content

Evergreen content means content that maintains value over time. This includes posts that will stay relevant, regardless of the date it’s posted. Because it doesn’t lose its relevance, evergreen content is great for repurposing and recycling on social media. An example of evergreen content would be our blog post ‘5 Canva Designs To Make Your Social Media Posts Shine’, as opposed to for example an article explaining the latest Facebook update.


Feed stands for the stream of content you see on social media – for most social media networks, this would be the homepage and the most common way to see people’s posts. 


In social media marketing, geotargeting stands for optimising ad sets specifically for users in a certain geographic area. In Ads Manager, you can easily include or exclude users from your target audience based on their location. This makes geotargeting a valuable tool for advertisers to optimise content.


Impressions stands for the amount of times your post has been seen by users. The main difference between ‘reach’ and ‘impressions’ is that impressions may count multiple impressions for a single user. If a certain user sees your post 4 times, this will count for 4 impressions, but only for 1 reach. 


A listicle is a type of article or post based on a list. This is extremely popular on social media as it’s often quick to read and easy to digest. When a title mentions something such as ‘17 Blog Posts Ideas For Your Real Estate Business’, the reader knows exactly what to expect and how much there will be to read. Listicles are articles where the content is broken down point-by-point. You can often recognise them by titles starting with a number, such as ‘5 Reasons Why..’. 


A metric in social media is a statistic used to measure the performance of an ad or post, or your overall business account. In order to see what content is working well, you’ll need to use metrics such as engagement rate, CTR, and so on. 

Native Advertising

Native advertising stands for showing paid content to users in a way that looks organic. It is often an ad ‘hidden’ in a video, post or photo. It blends in with other content and does not automatically stand out as an advertisement. Some studies have shown that users look at native ads more often than display ads. 

PPC (Pay Per Click)

Pay Per Click is an ad model where you pay for the clicks your ads receive. PPC advertising makes the most sense when your primary goal is to increase website traffic, as you pay based on the amount of clicks. When you use PPC, you only pay when someone clicks on your ad – you normally set a maximum budget (such as maximum daily/monthly budget) prior to running the ad. You will never spend more than the budget you set (but you might spend less if your ad is not generating clicks). 


As briefly touched on before, reach tells you how many people have seen your ad or post. Reach is an important measure in understanding how big your audience is and whether it’s growing. It differs from impressions in that reach only counts each user one time, regardless of how many times they have viewed your post.

Relevance Score

If you’re familiar with Ads Manager, you may have noticed a metric called ‘Relevance Score’. The relevance score tells you how well your target audience is responding to your ads on a scale of 1 to 10. This is based on both positive and negative feedback your ad receives, including likes and users selecting options such as ‘I don’t want to see this ad’. 

The higher your relevance score, the better: the algorithm will favour your ad over others and it is more likely to be shown to your target audience. 


Retargeting is a technique of targeting ads at people who have interacted with your business before, such as having visited your page or website. This is a very effective way of reaching the right audience and keeping your brand front and centre for longer.

Recent updates to iOS 14 have made retargeting slightly more complicated as it now gives users a push notification to opt-in for tracking activity (previously, users had to opt-out). It is expected that retargeting will become more complicated over the next few years due to ongoing changes in personal data collection legislation. 

SEM (Search Engine Marketing)

SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing and refers to the digital marketing strategy used to increase visibility of your website in search engine results pages, such as Google. Search Engine Marketing primarily refers to the process of using paid advertising to boost these results, such as PPC campaigns. 

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and refers to the process of taking steps to help a website or page rank higher on search engines such as Google. Search Engine Optimisation targets unpaid traffic (as opposed to paid ads on Google) and is meant to increase organic search results and traffic. Simply put, SEO is the process of optimising your online content and website so it shows up first (after the paid ads) when someone searches for something on Google.


In digital marketing, traffic stands for the number of people who visit your website or page. It’s a common marketing objective for businesses to increase traffic.

UGC (User-Generated Content)

UGC stands for user-generated content and is a big part of today’s social media marketing. User-Generated Content is content created by users and promoting your brand. This can be in the form of photos, videos, reviews, articles and more. An example could be your clients sharing a photo in front of their new home with your ‘just sold’ sign, tagging your brand in the photo. 

Using UGC is a great way to build trust and loyalty with your followers. Make sure to check out or blog post about the benefits of UGC for real estate businesses.

Need help with your social media marketing? 

Hopefully, this list has helped you understand some of the most common terms in digital and social media marketing better. If you require help with digital marketing for your real estate agency, do not hesitate to schedule a free consultation with our expert team via the button below and we’ll show you how we can help you grow your business.