Social Media Defined

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Here I present an overview of various types of social media, definitions of terminology and a few pointers. Please share your links in the comment section. I would love to see what you are working on.


There are various types of social media and so starting with definitions of these is a great place to start expanding your understanding and , eventually, your social reach (how many people you reach across your social media platforms).
  •  Social Network – A service that allows you to connect with a group of people that have many of the same interests as you, or that you know from various avenues of life. The popularity contest is currently being won by Instagram (over 300 million active users), Facebook and LinkedIn but watch for Google Plus to pick up some real speed. Do not forget about Twitter just yet.. there are still over 284 million active users waiting for you.
  • Media Sharing – In this venue photos and video are the main thing being shared. Think in terms of YouTube, Instagram and SnapChat.
  • Bookmarking Sites – Services that allow you to save, organize and manage links to various websites and resources around the internet.  Most allow you to “tag” your links to make them easy to search and share.  The most popular are Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Social News – Communities which allow its users to submit news stories, articles and media (videos/pictures) and share them with other users, or the general public. Some of these articles will be given more visibility, depending on various factors such as the number of likes for each item.  
  • Microblogging – Services that focus on short updates that are pushed out to anyone subscribed to receive the updates.  Twitter is the leader of the pack on this one. Facebook status shares do fall into this category, as well.
  • Blogs – A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.   I encourage you to visit this link to review the top picks.


Additional Definitions:

  1. Hashtag (#) –  Labels what the content subject matter is for easier search capability. Please watch for information on this to come up under the Facebook discussion as they have been introduced, on a limited basis, on Facebook as of June 12, 2013. This will allow for searching across social media platforms.
  2. Viral: Anything shared across social networks that get passed along rapidly. YouTube videos are a great example.
  3. Platform: A system that manages content. For instance, WordPress is a platform that manages a community of blogs.
  4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): The process of organizing your website to give it the best chance of appearing near the top of search engine rankings.
  5. Trending: A word, phrase or topic that is popular. This tends to be a temporary situation but it is best to get on when you can. Think GMO’s. Do consider carefully if  you want to get on trends that are against specific companies. Make certain that it truly resonates with you and you are not concerned about the negative side regarding comments and your own reputation.
  6. Widget:  An application on a website to expand capabilities. An example is a Facebook fan page link that shows fan photos and how many likes that you currently have. 
  7. Likes: How many people follow your fan page on venues such as Facebook. On Pinterest and Twitter you see this as followers.
  8. Following: These are the boards, pages, people that you follow on social media venues. Again, you must be aware that those you are following are folks, businesses that are in line with your values. Your future clients will see those you follow as an endorsement of their value.
  9. Circles – This terminology is used on Google + to indicate a group of interest and as a filtering tool.  When you create a circle, it’s unique to you. Other members of your circle probably won’t have the exact same people in any of their circles. A circle is different from a friend. 
  10. Meme: An idea that spreads by word of mouth, email, blogs, etc.  

So there you have it… a bit of an overview of Social Media terms. Please do remember to share your link to your social media below. I shall see you in the social world.

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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27 thoughts on “Social Media Defined”

  1. Hi Dr. Elsie,
    Thank you so much for this informative guide! The definitions of terminology and pointers in relation to social media, Well coined and informative pieces. Though i know most of the definitions there is one word i learned today that is the last one. #10 Meme: An idea that spreads by word of mouth, email, blogs, etc. Thanks for reminding us these pointers.
    Yes, Social media can play a vital role in all our activities, especially in our blogging activities.
    Most of these media are doing wonders in spreading our own activities,
    Let us utilize it and spread the word about it to others who are not much understood about this.
    Thanks again Elise for this informative post
    I am sharing it with my social media too
    Thanks for visiting my page too!
    May you have a wonderful and purposeful and profitable day. 🙂
    Best Regards
    ~ Philip a

  2. Pingback: Social Media Posts Roundup - PAC

  3. Elise this is a great post to reference back too, especially for those starting out.

    With so many choices online, it takes a while to figure out which social media platform works best for an individual and focus on that one plus maybe connecting to another as well.

    My personal favourites have always been Facebook and Pinterest but I have discovered Tsu as another great outlet – invite only site that has less annoying spammy stuff than others.

    I am still trying to remember hashtags when I post – this was a great reminder. Thank you 🙂

  4. Nice article this will bring a lot of clarity to those who are new to social media or those looking to learn more and dig deeper. regards Dexter


    Hi Elise

    Social media can work great! it can also be your worst enemy it treated in the wrong way. Quite often we hear in media about ‘fails’. We hear about it on social media first.. WHY? Because that is where everyone hangs out. No on goes bike riding at the weekend anymore.


  6. It’s good to have an overview of just how social media platforms work in order to optimize them.

    This is a great primer, Ellse, for people trying to make sense of just how social media can work to their benefit.

  7. That was a great collection of Social Media definitions… and the terminology used for them, including those irritating things that can take ages to find out what they mean!!!
    I think it is a good idea these days to have a Business Presence on the major ones, although generally people have their favourite to use depending on the nature of ‘business, and personality!!
    My favourites are facebook and pinterest 🙂
    P.S. I have connected on all your social icons!!

  8. Erika Mohssen-Beyk

    Very good post ,I always have trouble with all this names.
    Meme ,for example I did not know what it means .
    Thank you ,Luise

  9. Hello Elise, You did a great job here with these overviews of Social Media terms, I do think alot of people will find this post very helpful..

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))

  10. This is a pretty cool guide particularly for someone brand spanking new. There are so many terms for platforms we commonly use and can help people distinguish. Great resource!

  11. Great post. Always helps to understand the lay of the land before you try and navigate your own course. I would add a couple of tips that I’ve learnt the slow way! And also echo that I think G+ will actually become a bigger player particularly in the B2B space.

    1) I see a lot of people posting that they are frustrated re: G+ and can’t seem to get any traction. I was in this camp too until I discovered Google+ communities. Much like social networks (which I consider LinkedIn Groups to be one of the best), G+ communities enable you to find other people who share your passion for a particular hobby, interest, or organization. And if no one’s started a community for what you care about, you can create your own. When you post, you can select communities you want to share your post in and if you’re posting about something that folks in that community care about, you will get traction.

    2) I’m also a big fan of LinkedIn blogging (as well as Groups as noted above). Not only do the blogs you’ve posted show up at the top of your LinkedIn Public Profile which gives people an immediate indication of your areas of expertise) but they seem to be a great way to stimulate intelligent dialog and engagement (i.e., people actually give thumbs up and comment).

    3) My final tip is to really be careful about what you are posting: promote what you love and do not bash what you hate. And, make sure only about 1 out of 10 of your posts are self-promotional IMHO.

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.