There are tons of terms and acronyms that get thrown around in the marketing world. Since many of these are important to running your business, let's take a moment to break them down into less complex terms.

 
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THE GIF

GIF means "graphic interchange format." You don't need to know that...everyone just says GIF. You are probably aware that video files are huge. They're hard to move around without losing visual quality. GIF's, on the other hand, are basically compressed video files. Compressed, meaning smaller so you can do more with them. But the cool thing is that even though they're small in size, they're still great quality. 

There's also a quite funny ongoing disagreement about the pronunciation of GIF. While the inventor of the GIF, Steve White, uses a soft G (like Jiff Peanut Butter), it is more commonly pronounced with a hard G. Dictionaries actually contradict each other on the pronunciation. I prefer the soft G because it makes me think of peanut butter. Peanut butter is awesome, especially with chocolate. I digress.

 
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THE HASHTAG

Think about what you last Googled. Maybe it was, "best Los Angeles date spot." Or maybe it was "best ice cream spot because my ex-boyfriend sucks." Whatever the search query, you definitely received a list of results. How does Google know which results to give you? There are many technical ways they decide, but one way that is useful to you is the hashtag. I'll bet that within your results was a piece of content that contained a hashtag similar to what you searched. For example, maybe someone tweeted that same day, "My wife and I loved our dinner at Gusto #LAdatespot." Since this person used a hashtag that was similar to what you typed into Google, it's likely this tweet will be one of your results.

Hashtags are used to classify and categorize content on social networks. It makes it easier for people to search for your posts by the designated hashtag terms.

 
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THE MEME

The term meme is deeper than people think. Most people today use "meme" to simply describe a photo with text overlay. When in fact, "meme" is defined as -- an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture. The word is actually short for mimeme (try pronouncing that one!) which is Greek for "imitated thing." Meme was coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins in 1976 and describes carriers for cultural ideas. Think melodies, catch-phrases, fashion or technology.

So what do we need to know today? We need to know that this term is used today to mainly describe "internet memes" which are activities, concepts, catch-phrases or media that spreads from person to person on the internet. Some examples you have seen (and probably tried yourself) are planking photos and Harlem Shake videos. Creating a meme branded to your company can catch a lot of attention and increase online awareness.

 
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SEO

SEO means "search engine optimization." That doesn't help, I know. What it means is the process of getting website visits from a search engine listing -- without paying. It happens all day, every day. We all use Google (or Bing, or Yahoo!) to get information online. The companies and information that are better optimized fall higher in the search results. Since we all want our companies to fall above our competitors, this is the goal. 

So how do we improve our SEO? It's like the ultimate question (any Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy fans out there?). There are many ways to improve your website's SEO. Some include:

  • Editing your web content to include more search terms
  • Edit your website's HTML code to increase relevance to specific keywords
  • Sign up with Google Webmaster Tools 
  • Set up Google Authorship
  • Create outstanding content that is easy to share

While some of this can be done in-house, it's helpful to bring on a marketing or SEO firm to help if you're truly struggling. This is work for the tech-savvy. 

 

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AuthorNicole Reisberg