The Ultimate Glossary of Social Media Advertising Acronyms

Akvile DeFazio
July 19th, 2022
Akvile DeFazio

With the continual inception and evolution of social media advertising platforms, features, metrics, and tactics, we find ourselves creating and utilizing acronyms for efficiency in communication across mediums, teams, and clients, to account nomenclature, reporting, and analysis.

The longer we, as advertisers work in this field, we may occasionally find ourselves knee-deep in jargon and unintentionally assuming that those we communicate with have understanding of the vocabulary. Keeping industry newcomers, students, interns, peers, colleagues, and clients in mind will benefit us all as we innovate, educate, and share, to support our individual and collective education and strengthen our skills.

By nature, acronyms are used for increasing efficiency, so the objective of this glossary is to make searching for, housing, discovering, and understanding these terms more efficiently and effectively.

Give it a bookmark as we’ll continue keeping it up to date as our industry further evolves and innovates. If we’ve missed any that you believe will add value, please comment below and we’ll add it in.

Social Media Advertising Acronyms

ABO (Ad Set Budget Optimization): The ability to set your daily or lifetime budget at the ad set level. This tells the platform how much to spend at most, on a daily basis or through the lifetime of the ad set. This option gives the advertiser more control over how much and where to spend. Currently, this is one of the two current options for budget settings. See CBO below for the other option.

AEM (Aggregated Events Measurement): A protocol used by Meta Ads that allows for measurement of web and app events from the use of Apple iOS 14.5 or later devices. AEM is limited to 8 conversion events for configuration in your Ads account.

API (Application Programming Interface): According to the Oxford Dictionary, it is a set of functions and procedures that allows the creation of applications that access the features or data of another app, service, or operating system. Visit Facebook Developers to learn more about their various APIs.

ARPU (Average Revenue Per User): A metric that determines the value of your users or customers. ARPU is calculated by dividing total business revenue by the total number of paying customers in a given period. While similar to customer lifetime value (CLTV) that measures a single user’s relationship with your company, ARPU measures overall business health.

ASC (Advantage+ Shopping Campaigns): A sale campaign type in Meta Ads manager for ecommerce brands that uses automation and machine learning by dynamically serving your ads to audiences most likely to convert while better utilizing your advertising budget. Learn more about Meta’s Advantage+ Shopping campaigns.

ATC (Add To Cart): The action of adding a product or products to an online shopping cart on an ecommerce website or app. This is usually the first step of the checkout process to purchase a product.

ATT (App Tracking Transparency): Apple’s opt-in privacy framework that requires all iOS apps to display an on-screen pop up window asking users for permission to share their data. Users can either consent or deny the app’s tracking abilities.

AOV (Average Order Value): In ecommerce, this tracks the average dollar amount spent every time a website or mobile app order is placed by a customer. AOV is calculated by dividing total revenue by the number of orders. If you gained $5,000 in revenue from 25 orders, your AOV is $200.

BOF/BOFU (Bottom Of Funnel): The two acronyms are interchangeable and used preferentially. The bottom of the funnel is where retargeting efforts take place to convert leads and prospective customers from higher in the funnel, to become converted customers.

BR (Bounce Rate): A metric that assists with website traffic analysis. Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors that visit a website and then leave after only viewing one page, instead of continuing to browse other pages of the same website. Google calculates this by dividing single-page sessions by all sessions. The lower the bounce rate, the better it is, especially if you have a website with many pages.

CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost): The cost of converting a customer to purchase a product or service. CAC is calculated by dividing the total customer acquisition expenses by the total number of customers over a period of time. Customer acquisition expenses are typically the cost of marketing and sales and this helps to understand how much a company is spending to acquire each customer. If you spent $200K on sales and $100K on marketing for a total of $300K in expenses and acquired 250 new customers, the CAC is $1,200.

CAPI (Conversions API): This API creates a connection between a company’s server and Meta’s system that helps optimize ad targeting, decrease cost per action, and measures results. CAPI was launched in 2021 after the iOS 14 update as it adversely impacted advertising on Facebook. More about CAPI and its implementation found here.

CBO (Campaign Budget Optimization): The ability to set your budget at the campaign level. By using CBO, the platform will automatically manage your budget across all active ad sets within the campaign. The goal of the algorithm is to determine how to use your budget to deliver you the best overall results. The other of the two budget setting options is ABO.

CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act): A state statute that was enacted in 2018 in California that gives consumers more information and control over their personal information that businesses collect on them. The intention of this act was to enhance privacy rights of California based consumers. When CCPA was enforced, it impacted advertising in California, particularly retargeting.

CMS (Content Management System): A system that is designed to help marketers create, manage, and update their website content. Examples of CMS providers are WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, Joomla, and Magento.

CPV (Cost Per View): Synonymous with Pay Per View (PPV), CPV is a video campaign bidding method where advertisers only pay if their ad displays for a user. With Meta Ads, a view is counted when a viewer watches at least the first 3 seconds of a video ad.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management): A software system that provides business owners the ability to effectively track all communications and nurture leads and customers. These databases can help organize relationships in a more efficient and effective manner to assist the business in its growth. An example of a popular CRM is Salesforce.

CPA (Cost Per Action or Acquisition): This advertising metric is used to understand the cost of particular action, which can help inform goals. To calculate it, divide the total cost of conversions (e.g. purchases) by the total number of those same conversions (e.g. purchases). If your campaign, ad set, or a particular ad acquires 10 purchases and you spent $200, your CPA for those purchases is $20.

CPC (Cost Per Click): An advertising metric that informs advertisers how much they are paying for each click on their ads. To calculate it, divide the total cost of your ads by the number of clicks. For example, if you spent $50 and drove 250 clicks from your ads, the CPC is $0.20.

CPL (Cost Per Lead): This advertising metric is similar to CPA, except it is used more often with lead generation efforts. To calculate CPL, divide your total spend by the number of leads acquired. If you spent $50 and acquired 25 leads, the CPL is $2.

CPM (Cost Per Mille or Thousand Impressions): An advertising metric that measures the cost for one thousand views or impressions of an ad. To calculate CPM, divide the total cost by the number of impressions served, multiplied by 1,000. For example, if you spent $1,000 and served 100K impressions, the CPM is $10.

CR or CVR (Conversion Rate): An advertising metric that helps measure the performance of a campaign, ad set, or ad. Conversion Rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions (e.g. purchase) by the total number of visitors to a website (e.g. link clicks). For example, if you acquired 100 purchases from 2,500 link clicks, the CVR is 4.00%.

CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization): The process that marketers use to improve the percentage of people to take a desired action, such completing a purchase.

CTA (Call To Action): A marketing term that guides a person to immediately take the next step. For example, Learn More, View More, Add To Cart, Sign Up, Get A Free Quote, or Shop Now. The buttons you see on social media ads are called CTA buttons.

CTC (Click Through Conversion): A conversion (e.g. a purchase) that occurs after a person sees, interacts with an ad, then purchases directly as a result of interacting with the ad.

CTR (Click-Through Rate): An advertising ratio and metric that informs us of the percentage of people that visit a website landing page from clicking an ad. To calculate CTR, divide the number of clicks by the number of impressions and multiply by 100 to get the percentage. For example, if you had 2,500 clicks from your ad that served 150,000 impressions, the CTR is 1.67%.

DABA (Dynamic Ads for Broad Audiences): An advertising tactic that serves ads dynamically to broad, upper/top of funnel audiences. This tactic focuses on customer acquisition rather than retargeting and has been quite successful for ecommerce brands with product catalogs, especially since 2021. To set this up, launch a catalog sales campaign with ad sets targeting broad audiences, such as open targeting where there are little to no limits on targeting, lookalikes, and other large broad audiences. The ad within will be a dynamic ad that will pull from the product catalog you designate for promotion. Meta’s algorithm has become increasingly more successful in finding people likely to purchase from DABA campaigns.

DCO/DCT (Dynamic Creative Optimization/Test): A method of dynamically testing the creative variables in an ad such as images, videos, headlines, and descriptions by utilizing automated features where it combines variables to build high-performing ads.

DTC (Direct To Consumer): A business model and ecommerce term where a business sells products directly to customers, bypassing any third-party retailers and wholesalers.

FTIR (First Time Impression Ratio): A metric that assesses the percentage of impressions that comes from people seeing an ad set for the first time on a given day. FTIR can be found in the ad set “Inspect” tab and is an estimated percentage that Meta provides using the number of new people reached today divided by the total impressions for that day. It is desirable to have this percentage high so if you see it lowering over time, you may want to refresh your creatives by launching new ads, testing new audiences, or testing bid control.

GA (Google Analytics): GA is a tool that provides data and insights about your website for your business. By utilizing the data in GA, marketers can better understand website, marketing, and advertising performance, their customers, and what to improve upon to better accomplish business goals.

GDS (Google Data Studio): An online tool developed by Google that converts data into customizable, visual dashboards and reports that can improve reporting efficiency.

KPI (Key Performance Indicator): A quantifiable measurement of performance for a specific business goal that helps brands evaluate the success of the business or with a particular activity, such as social media advertising. KPIs provide goals to work towards, milestones to gauge progress, and information for businesses to understand where they want to scale and where to pull back in order to drive more success. Revenue growth, profit margins, and client retention rates are examples of KPIs.

LAL/LAA/LLA (Lookalike Audience): An upper/top of funnel/prospective audience that is made to look like another audience with similar characteristics, based on interest and behavioral data. For example, we may want to take a high value audience, such as existing customers and create a lookalike of these existing customers in an effort to find more like them to drive sales. Many platforms offer this custom audience feature. Most call it a lookalike while other platforms refer to it as an act-alike audience.

LPV (Landing Page Views): The action of when a person clicks an ad and then the landing page successfully loads. Meta Ads uses this action with website destination URLs and Instant Experiences and supplies a cost metric associated with it. When running a traffic campaign, you can select it to optimize for link clicks or landing page views. Landing page views typically has higher quality traffic and lower bounce rates compared to link click optimization.

LTV, CLTV, LCV, or CLV (Customer Lifetime Value): A metric associated with the total value of a customer throughout the entire duration of their relationship with a business. To calculate CLTV, multiply your customers’ average purchase value by their average number of purchases. Then multiply that number by their average customer lifespan. The value of this information is that you can then optimize your strategy to target and convert more people into customers that are high value spenders.

MER (Marketing Efficiency Ratio): This informative ratio measure your overall digital marketing performance by dividing revenue by total spend. This term is synonymous with blended ROAS. Learn more about MER from our friends at Foxwell Digital.

MOF/MOFU (Middle Of Funnel): Just as the name states, this refers to mid-funnel retargeting of warm audiences.

MoM (Month Over Month): In advertising performance reports, it is often insightful to do a month over month comparison to see how various metrics changed in performance from the prior month.

nCPA (New Customer Cost Per Action): An advertising metric is used to understand the cost of particular action a new customer. To calculate it, divide the total cost of conversions (e.g. purchases) from new customers by the total number of those same conversions (e.g. purchases). If your campaign, ad set, or a particular ad acquires 10 purchases from new customers and you spent $200, your nCPA for those purchases is $20.

ODAX (Outcome Driven Ad Experiences): Meta’s streamlined advertising campaign objective update where objective options are now consolidated from eleven to six options. These new consolidated campaign objectives are awareness, traffic, engagement, leads, app promotion, and sales.

PDP (Product Detail Page): A website page that outlines product details that prospective customers/buyers should know about the particular product showcased on this page. This typically includes color/print, size, material, measurements, shipping information, photos, customer reviews, and more.

PPC (Pay Per Click): An advertising model that drives traffic to website for which advertisers pay when a person clicks an ad. PPC also refers to paid search or search engine advertising such as Google Ads or Microsoft Ads.

PPV (Pay Per View): Synonymous with Cost Per View (CPV), PPV is a video campaign bidding method where advertisers only pay if their ad displays for a user. With Meta Ads, a view is counted when a viewer watches at least the first 3 seconds of a video ad.

ROAS (Return On Ad Spend): It is a metric and a KPI that is used to determine the amount of revenue that is earned for every dollar spent on an advertising campaign. Divide your revenue by the total cost of the advertising. Anything below a 1.0 is us not profitable, a 1.0 is break even, and a value over 1.0 is profitable. Another way to calculate it taking that same calculation and multiplying the result by 100 for a percentage. ROAS below 100% is a loss and over 100% is profit. For example, if you spent $5K on advertising that resulted in $12K revenue, the ROAS is profitable at 2.4 or 240%.

SDK (Software Development Kit): A collection of development tools for third-party developers that can assist in the creation of applications using a specific framework or platform. When it comes to Meta, its Business SDK gives you access to their suite of business APIs that allow developers to create unique and customized solutions for businesses.

SEM (Search Engine Marketing): A form of online marketing that uses advertising to promote websites to increase their visibility in search engine results. It is often used synonymously with PPC.

SM (Supermetrics): A tool that gathers and moves your marketing data from popular marketing platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads into Google Sheets, Google Data Studio, Excel BI tools, data warehouses, and data lakes. Supermetrics is a time saving tool that assists with reporting and analysis.

TOF/TOFU (Top Of Funnel): Similar to the aforementioned MOFU and BOFU, this acronym defines the top of the funnel, the upper funnel, prospecting portion of the marketing funnel where we introduce cold new audiences to your business.

UGC (User Generated Content): Marketing content that is created by people, often consumers and/or influencers that are not employees, that relate to your business. Often times, UGC is shared on social media in a post using images, videos, testimonials, reviews, or commentary on podcasts. Brand typically then share or boost UGC with paid ads and even develop paid partnerships with influencers where the influencer will develop content and the brand will then utilize it in marketing and advertising campaigns.

URL (Uniform Resource Locator): A unique address that resides on the web, such as a website. An example of this is

UTM (Urchin Tracking Module): You may see this also referred to as UTM parameters or UTM code. These are a set of parameters that are appended to URLs that help identify and track specific website traffic data that is generated by an advertising campaign, ad set, ad, or other marketing efforts. We typically ad these to every ad we run so we can then see additional performance data in Google Analytics that can further inform us about how our ads are performing once someone from an ad lands on our website. Advertisers can customize UTM parameters to an extent or use dynamic ones such as utm_source=meta&utm_medium=paid&utm_campaign={{}}&utm_content={{}}&utm_term={{}}. Please note, UTM parameters are changing July 1, 2023 with the update from Universal Analytics to Google Analytics 4 (GA4).

VTC (View Through Conversion): A conversion (e.g. a purchase) that occurs after a person sees an ad but doesn’t interact with it, then later converts through another source (e.g. direct, organic social, paid search, email, etc.).

WoW (Week Over Week): A commonly used method in advertising reports where performance data is compared on a weekly basis to see what changes transpired from the week(s) prior. This can shed light on changes in performance and trends.


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