What are impressions? How do I use a Hashtag?… Your guide to Online Jargon

“22 000 impressions per image” and “your website had 20 returning visitors yesterday”, are phrases you’ll hear flying around meetings with your digital agency/communications company…the only problem is: What do they mean?

The average consumer is often confronted with online jargon on their favourite social media platforms as well with people hashtagging everything they post e.g. #lovinglife #fitness #selfie. Don’t fret, here is a list of 8 common online phrases with an easy guide that will have you engaged in your next meeting.


Commonly known as a view/ad view. Impressions are used to measure how many times someone views your ad, post or image. Your consultant will say: “your post had 22 000 impressions on the first day”. This means that your post was viewed 22 000 times. It is a good way of quantifying the return on investment.

It is important to remember to be realistic with your expectations of how many impressions your post gains. Factors that can influence the number of impressions your post gets are:

  • Is your content/message relevant?
  • Are you targeting the right audience?
  • What platform are you using?
  • Is it organic or paid for?

Cost per Impression
You are more likely to see the acronym “CPM” in an advertising campaign report. All you need to know is that is a performance measuring tool. Facebook explains how it is measured: “The metric is calculated as the total amount spent, divided by reach, multiplied by 1,000.”

Tip: Ask your agency for a full breakdown with amounts spent, and how many impressions were gained.


Reach is the number of people who received impressions of a Page post. Reach might be less than impressions because one person can see multiple impressions. For example, if a person sees a Page update in News Feed and then sees that same update when a friend shares it, that would represent a reach count of one.

Unique Visitors and Returning Visitors

Each time someone visits your website, their IP address is recognised as a new visitor, making them a “unique visitor”. This means it is the first time they clicked on your content. When they return to your site at a later date they will be recognised as a “returning visitor”

The same customer can visit your site multiple times. During a campaign, you can track how many new visitors you have viewed your content vs how many returned. It is good to compare these numbers as a way of understanding where your campaign can be improved.

Average Session Duration

This is the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website looking at content. The amount of time can tell you a few things:

  • They just wanted to check it out
  • They spent time looking through what is on offer


PPC is essentially just the abbreviation of Pay Per Click, is also referred to as the Cost Per Click and not the cement brand we know 🙂 Clients want a return on investment for any advertising, more so in the online sphere.

Casey Weisbach summarises what it is perfectly in an article he did for Forbes magazine:” PPC is a pinnacle of online marketing. In this form of advertising, you pay each time someone clicks on your ad – simple.”

Pay-per-click advertising campaigns are powerful and can be adjusted to each client’s needs and budget.


This little icon # – is a hashtag. It is used to start, track and monitor keywords and conversations online. An easy example can be seen when brands run competitions. The consumer is given a specific hashtag to use in their post. Audi is a good example of how hashtags were used successfully with the #WantAnR8 hashtag.

Tip: Engage with your customers by posting about trending topics relating to your industry. Repost content by finding content linked to your brand’s hashtag.


🙂 colon + minus sign + close parentheses = smiley face

These are little images used in online chats and social media posts. They are made of multiple characters to create an icon. Shigetaka Kurita is a Japanese man who created emojis.

“Keenly aware of how text messages could be misconstrued, he wanted to create visual accompaniments to help articulate tone.” – AFP Bizcommunity

Emojis are powerful because they transcend language, culture and social content.

Tip: Do not use emojis informal conversations online. It is best used if your brand is aimed at the younger generation. It can be used at the end of a social media post. E.g. “It’s Friday #TGIF” with an emoji with sunglasses on or a cocktail.

You are now prepared for your next meeting or Facebook/Instagram post with these simple descriptions.

Comment below if there are any terms you would like us to discuss in our next blog.