Just as Facebook redefined existing vocabulary, such as friends and like and Twitter with the words tweet and twitter, social media analytics requires learning a new vocabulary. Social media vocabulary terms run the gamut from academic (betweenness) to slightly absurd (conversions). Thus, I think it is helpful to identify some, but not all, of the vocabulary to understand social media and social media analytics. It is likely you may have heard, used, defined, or criticized the usage of some of the buzzwords. That said, social media is like the Internet in the mid-1990s: people are making up new words to explain new concepts.

While new ideation can be met with criticism, it is important to keep an open (but critical) mind in social media and toward the vocabulary, concepts, and constructs. Social media is only beginning to go mainstream—and the jargon will filter out (brick and click, anyone), but for now, it is helpful to speak the same language to drive the shared economies and markets. The following social media vocabulary will be helpful for social media analytics:

  • Listening. Refers to the process by which consumer, brand, or business actively monitors social media data using a social media tool or technology. Listening may be as simple as reviewing a Twitter feed or more complex, such as automatically categorizing massive volumes of incoming text-based social media data from multiple social media sites into logical categories. ...

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