The Ultimate Glossary for B2B Sales Reps

For many people, posting to social media has become second nature. But with new terms and new features popping up all the time, even seasoned social sellers are bound to run into terms that leave them scratching their heads.

For those moments of uncertainty, we’ve created the ultimate glossary of social selling terms. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, check out this must-have list of social media terms.


Meet the octothorpe, sometimes called a “pound sign.” You’ll see a lot of these on Twitter. Check out the definition of a “hashtag” to learn more.


A bio on social media is a brief biography that explains who the user is. On LinkedIn, this is your “Summary” section. On Twitter, users have 160 characters to describe themselves. To learn how to craft your bio on Twitter and LinkedIn, check out the Definitive Cheat Sheet for Social Sellers.


This is web content that provides a misleading or sensationalist headline with the goal of attracting clicks. Often times, the headlines pique your curiosity, but the content itself fails to live up to your expectations. Try to avoid sharing clickbait articles.

Content Curation

Content curation is the process of finding content online and sharing it with your audience. Most internet users curate content in some way, shape, or form. For social sellers, content curation is key. By sharing content, sellers establish expertise and trigger engagement with their buyers.

Social selling experts recommend an 80/20 split. 80% of the content that sellers share should be curated content (i.e. other people’s blog posts, research reports, etc.). 20% of the content should come from the seller’s company. This balance helps sellers look less biased towards their company’s point of view.

Direct Message

A direct message – also called a “DM” – is a private Twitter message. Typically, both parties must be following one another to send a message. However, Twitter recently added a setting that allows you to receive Direct Messages from anyone on the Twitter platform. To learn more, visit this resource from Twitter.


Emotions are hard to express online. That’s why we have emoji. They are small images that express an emotion in electronic communication. Learn more about them in this post: B2B Social Selling: To Emoji or Not to Emoji?


On social networks, engagement refers to any interaction you have with another user. This broad term encompasses a variety of actions, from commenting on a LinkedIn post to retweeting someone’s article on Twitter.


This is a sign that someone likes your tweet. It is currently represented by a small heart on Twitter. (Previously, it was represented by a star.)


On Twitter, a follower is someone who subscribes to your account in order to see your tweets. The number of followers you have can be an early indicator of the effectiveness of your social presence.


GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. In social media, GIFs serve as small-scale animations and film clips. They often are used to convey emotion. Here’s an example:

At this time, Twitter supports GIFs, but LinkedIn does not.

Header Image

A header image refers to the large photo displayed at the top of your profile on Twitter. (On LinkedIn, it is also commonly referred to as the banner image.)

Some people choose to use their company’s logo as their header image. Other people opt for something more personal – like an image of the city where they live. Either is fine.


A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by a “#” (e.g. #SocialSelling). Hashtags are used on Twitter, but not on LinkedIn.

On Twitter, they are built-in conversation finders. By using hashtags, you can make yourself known. People can find your tweets and jump into conversations with you. Likewise, you can see who’s using hashtags about your industry and strike up conversations with them.

HT or H/T

You’ll see this acronym on Twitter. It stands for “hat tip.” It is used to tell your followers that you’re tweeting something that was brought to your attention by someone else. A HT tweet typically looks something like this:

This article is a must-read for #B2B #sales reps: [insert link to a great article]. h/t @twitterusername.

Invitation to Connect

On LinkedIn, you need to send requests to connect with someone. If you’re not careful, LinkedIn will send a generic request that reads, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”

The default message fails to explain who you are and why you want to connect. Some people refuse to accept connection requests that use the generic message. So, take the time to send personalized messages to the members of your network.

In the upper right-hand corner, you can see invitations that other people have sent you. As you can see, I have 67 requests waiting for me:


This is a sign that someone liked your update or published post on LinkedIn. Typically, it is represented by a thumbs-up on the network.


LinkedIn is the professional social network of record. Users interact with other users to build their professional networks and exchange ideas. When using LinkedIn, remember that it is more buttoned-up than Facebook or Twitter. If you wouldn’t discuss a topic at a work meeting or professional happy hour, don’t discuss it on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Connection

Connections describe your relationship to other LinkedIn users. The first-degree connection is the most basic type. This is a person whom you know personally or professionally and who has accepted your invitation to connect.

Other degrees of connection depend on your extended network. For instance, a second-degree connection is someone who is connected to one of your first-degree connections. Don’t be afraid to ask your first-degree connections for introductions to their connections.

LinkedIn Endorsement

On LinkedIn, you can list the skills that you have. An endorsement on LinkedIn refers to when another LinkedIn user recognizes you for one of the skills in your profile.

The numbers on the left indicate how many people have endorsed you for each skill:

LinkedIn Group

LinkedIn Groups are centered on specific topics, and they are a great way to meet professionals who share similar interests. In groups, you can share content, ask questions, answer questions, view jobs, grow your network, and establish yourself as a thought leader.

Groups are private. To join, you have to request admittance.

LinkedIn InMail

InMail messages are private messages that you send to LinkedIn members who are not first-degree connections (i.e. people to whom you are connected on LinkedIn). To use this feature, you must have a premium (paid) subscription.

Whatever you do, don’t use InMail to send cold pitches. No one likes that.

LinkedIn Mention

On LinkedIn, you can mention companies and other users in your comments and status updates. Mentions are a great way of including people in a conversation and getting their attention. When you mention someone, LinkedIn notifies the person whom you are mentioning.

Here’s an example:

To learn how to mention someone, check out this resource from LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Messages

On LinkedIn, you can send private messages to your professional network. Your message is sent to someone’s messaging list and possibly to their email inbox, depending on their notifications settings. Messages are a great way to move a conversation offline.

Oh, and don’t forget to check your messages! As you can see, I have 5 messages to read.

LinkedIn Publishing

On LinkedIn’s homepage, you can “Share an update” or “Publish a post.” “Share an update” is for when you want to write messages. For example, you want to share a link and provide commentary on that link.

“Publish a post” is for longer updates – a couple paragraphs. Think of this option like a blog post on the LinkedIn network. If you’re a good writer, this is a great option for establish yourself as a thought leader.

LinkedIn Recent Activity

This LinkedIn feature shows a user’s recent activity – status updates, likes, etc. It is a gold mine for social sellers who are getting to know their buyers. You can learn how to dig into this gold mine from this post: How to Use LinkedIn Recent Activity for Social Selling.

LinkedIn Recommendation

A recommendation is a note written by one LinkedIn member for another LinkedIn member. Typically, these recommendations reinforce the user’s professional credibility or expertise. Think of it as a mini letter of recommendation. Learn more about recommendations on the LinkedIn website.


A meme is a concept, idea, joke, or thought that is widely spread online. Typically, a meme appears in the image format, but it can also come in video or link form. Here’s an example:

Pinned Tweet

This is a tweet that has been pinned to the top of someone’s Twitter profile page. Pinning a tweet is a great way to feature an important announcement or highlight one of your favorite pieces of content. Everyone who visits your profile page will see the tweet – like this one:


A term popularized by Ann Handley. It describes when someone pitches a product or service out of the blue. You’re using social networks to build relationships – not as a digital version of cold calling. So, avoid pitch-slapping at all costs.


A retweet is when someone on Twitter sees a message and chooses to re-share it to his or her followers. There’s a retweet button on Twitter, which allows users to quickly resend messages and attribute the message to the original sharer’s name.

On Twitter, the retweet feature is depicted by two arrows in the form of a rectangle:

Social Selling

Social selling is when salespeople build relationships using social networks with the end goal of selling more. Typically, social sellers supply and discuss content, which generates leads and opportunities, drives revenue, and increases customer lifetime value.


This is a public message on Twitter. A tweet can contain up to 140 characters of text, as well as photos, videos, and other types of media.


Twitter is a social network that allows users to write 140-character updates. Users can favorite and retweet other people’s messages, as well as use mentions, replies, and hashtags to engage in conversations. Unlike LinkedIn, it is a little more laid back. It is acceptable to show more of your personality and discuss your hobbies.

Because Twitter is fast-paced, it is important to tweet regularly. Without regular posts, your tweets get pushed down your followers’ stream by more recent tweets. To learn more about Twitter, check out: If You’re Social Selling Only on LinkedIn, Something’s Wrong.

Twitter Chat

A Twitter chat is a group discussion. Twitter users meet at a scheduled time to discuss a certain topic, using a designated hasthag for each tweet contributed. There’s typically a host or moderator that will pose questions.

During Twitter chats, you can network and grow your knowledge. To find a list of Twitter chats, check out this resource from TweetReports or this Google Spreadsheet.

Twitter Mention

A mention is when a Twitter user includes someone else’s @username in their tweet. Mentions are good ways of attributing content to someone or to start discussions.

Twitter Reply

A Twitter reply is when a user responds to a tweet from another user. It is initiated by using the bent arrow on Twitter.

The response begins with the @username of the other person. This is different from a Twitter mention because tweets that start with @username (i.e. replies) will be seen only by the users who follow both parties.

In the example below, only users who follow both Henry and me will see this tweet.

Note: Twitter may be changing this feature in the near future.

Twitter Timeline

Your Twitter timeline is a feed full of news. It’s where you can see the latest tweets from the people you follow on Twitter. Your timeline is constantly refreshing itself with updated information.


This is the action of unsubscribing to a Twitter user’s updates.

Move Beyond the Lingo!

Now that you have the lingo down, you’re ready to start social selling. If you need some help, check out our Definitive Cheat Sheet for Social Sellers.

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