Instagram Glossary: the terminology you need to know

Instagram Glossary: the terminology you need to know

Approaching the digital marketing world, you’d probably start to find many terms never heard before or words that you can understand the relation with social networks. In order to understand digital marketing and distinguish if the consultant or agency that is offering a digital marketing service to you, it’s important to know some terminology, especially if you’re thrilled to try the influencer marketing that’s one the wave at the moment.

So here we go with an Instagram Glossary that will allow you to fully understand the mechanism behind this platform, discover the real value of the services offered by each digital marketing agency and learn how to improve your Instagram marketing strategy.


The algorithm is a procedure that helps make calculations. Instagram algorithms decide where and to who display a certain post. Many factors are considered by the algorithm before displaying a certain post to someone. Every time you make an action on Instagram (post something, like comment or share contents, do research), the algorithm records it and uses the information to customize your feed. In the same way, analyze the behavior of your followers and decide IF and in which position shows your contents to them.


The followers of a page are the audience. A good audience has common interests in specific topics (usually the main topic of the Instagram profile) and the analysis of the audience is the most important part of the digital marketing strategy. Knowing your audience allows you to create content interesting and suitable for your audience, using a tone of voice close to them. Your audience is your potential customers.


Instagram Bots are automated actions that make actions like press the like button, leave copy and paste comment, follow and unfollow profile, to get your attention.

If you come across random comments on your posts or a slew of likes seconds after you post a picture, a bot was probably involved in the process.

The best thing to do is to ignore the bots. If they’re posting spam or inappropriate content, you can report and block them as well.

We recommend NOT to use this automation because all the platforms that offer this (paid) service are not authorized by Instagram and you can be penalized by the algorithm. Furthermore, you need to provide your access password to these services and the risk of seeing your account stolen is really high.

Business/Creator Profile

Instagram offers 3 different types of profiles: personal, business, and creator. The main difference is that a personal account doesn’t show any statistical data, while the statistics are available for business and creator profiles.

Business Instagram accounts are meant for brands and other businesses and offer the possibility to add additional Call-to-Action buttons like book an appointment, contact customer service, make reservations, or buy a product.

Creator Instagram accounts instead are for influencers and content creators show some slightly different statistics and have the specific button to declare the contents created in collaboration with a brand.
We recommend setting the Instagram profile of your company as a Business profile and work with Influencers that have a Creator profile, avoiding the ones that still have a personal profile, since they won’t be able to provide you a report of their marketing activities.


Instagram Caption is the description that appears underneath a photo.

It might include a call to action, a funny quote, or explain the story behind the picture. Captions are almost 2,000 characters long and up to 30 hashtags can be included here.


When referring to the audience, often is use the term “community”. It means that the followers of a profile are really close-knit and a strong relationship between the brand/influencer and the followers is established.


Engagement simply refers to people interacting with each other on social media. These interactions are what makes social media social. Replying to comments and doing an Instagram live Q&A, for example, are methods of engaging with your audience.

Engagement Rate

This ratio is defined by calculating the total number of likes and comments received on a post and dividing it by the number of followers of the account that posted. There are also some marketing tools that analyze Instagram profiles and include in this ratio all the actions made by followers, like sharings and savings. A good engagement rate indicates a strong relationship between the Instagram account’s owner and followers and is one of the indicators of effective power to influence the audience.

Fake Followers

Fake followers are fake social media profiles that were set up with the intention of mass-following other social media accounts for money.

These accounts are usually inactive, meaning they don’t engage with your content. On rare occasions when they do get active, they often spread spam-ridden posts ranging from silly memes to fake news.

If a digital marketing company promises you to increase your followers in a short time, they are probably going to buy you fake followers. Sure, your number of followers will grow, but not the number of your potential customers and you’re going to reduce your engagement rate and lose credibility. If you want to really grow your Instagram channel, avoid this type of service, and choose an honest digital marketing agency that offers you an Instagram strategy customized for your business.


Instagram Stories lasts only 24h, but you can save them for unlimited time in the highlights of your profile. Highlights are useful for display information about you and your business or as F.A.Q. Section.


An influencer is defined as someone who produces highly engaging, organic content for a large audience, and often has expertise in a particular domain (food, fashion, etc).

In our article about choosing the right influencer, you can find deeper information.


Impressions can occur multiple times per user and count the total number of times the post has been seen. That means one person could look at the same post three times, it will be counted as 3 impressions.


The Insights button in the top toolbar is available for business and creator profiles. Is where to find all the statistics related to your account, like the age and gender breakdown of followers, the reach of each post a

nd the best time to post.

Interaction (in the stories)

The number of interactions in the statistics of stories indicates all the actions made on this single story. Could be a profile visit, a tap on a hashtag or geotag, or a reaction to the story.

Pod Groups

An Instagram pod is a group of users who all agree to comment on and like posts created by the other members, with a goal of mutual growth. Instagram pod is rarely a valuable long-term strategy. The central involvement you’ll get will be from people that you’re asking to interact with your posts. This means that the results of your campaigns will be skewed, people that interact with your post just because they HAVE to but are not really interested might raise your engagement rate but are not potential customers and you’ll receive a lot of comments all similar that looks like spam and make your trustability fall down.


The number of unique users who find and view content.

Organic reach consists of people who find your page by themselves, from a webpage, or through friends. For small businesses that don’t have the budget to create a promotion, focusing on organic reach can be a great strategy.

Paid reach is instead the people reached by a specific advertising campaign.

Saved Post

Saving a post is a way of keeping posts to look at again because they must be useful in the future (shopping idea, learning, place to visit,…)

To save a post is just need to tap the banner icon at the bottom right, just above the caption. This will save the post in the library, not in your phone library, it’s more a bookmark on Instagram.


IG Stories is another way to share photos and videos with followers. Stories disappear from profile and Feed after 24 hours unless added as a highlight. This is a great tool to use for business and grow relationships with followers. It’s best to use it to show off more of a behind the scenes photo or live video to grow a rapport with followers faster than ever before.

User-Generated Contents

Content (photos or videos) created by fans of a certain brand or celebrity.

When a customer posts pictures of themselves using your product or service, that’s defined as user-generated content or UGC. Often, brands will look for user-generated content and ask permission to repost it and include them in their Instagram Editorial Calendar.