Social Media Acronyms Defined!
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Social Media Acronyms Defined!

Social Media Acronyms Defined!

I always vowed that I would keep my blogs short and sweet. Never more than 800 words. Let’s be honest, who wants to stare at a screen for that long. This blog is a bit long – but I thought it’d be useful as a reference tool for all my buddies out there desperately trying to stay on trend and keep up with the latest lingo!

You know, that feeling you get when you’re talking to another marketeer and suddenly they chuck in a new acronym you’ve not heard before? I know it well. You stand there trying to connect the dots while fighting to keep that ‘WTF does that mean’ look off your face, and it just feels like you could give up on social media altogether.

Don’t worry, happens to every one! Social media acronyms are no different than any other kind of jargon: they are vaguely understood by the group to which they belong (and rarely by anybody else).

Like overly academic or pontificating language, acronyms can be annoying and should be used with caution. It is definitely worth knowing them though, even if you want to avoid being ‘that guy’ who speaks in acronyms.

So, in order to keep it simple I’ve categorised a list of these acronyms and abbreviations into three categories:

  1. Network-specific acronyms
  2. Popular acronyms on social media
  3. Acronyms used by social media marketers

It’s pretty comprehensive so don’t feel like you have to trawl through it all in one go, but they might just help you survive your next meeting.

Network-specific acronymsacronyms

  • FB: Facebook
  • IG: Instagram
  • LI: LinkedIn
  • TW: Twitter
  • G+: Google Plus (for both the people who use it)
  • YT: YouTube

Popular acronyms used on social media

AMA: Ask me anything – mostly used on Reddit by big names. Question is asked and voted up with the most popular ones answered.

BAE: Before anyone else – A term of endearment for your loved one. Usually makes people sick in their mouth so try not to use it unless you’re being facetious.

DM: Direct message – self explanatory, refers to messaging function on social platforms.

ELI5: Explain like I’m five – explaining complicated concepts as if you’re doing so to a 5 year old.

FOMO: Fear of missing out – the dread associated with missing an event then seeing how great it was on social media.

FTW: For the win – to add excitement or emphasis at the end of a social post, but most often used sarcastically, e.g. “I missed my deadline again, FTW!”

ICYMI: In case you missed it – catching you up on the latest information and news.

IMO/IMHO: In my opinion, In my humble opinion – something you say is an opinion, not fact.

IRL: In real life – let people know you are talking about something in the real world and not in the internet world.

IKR: I know, right? – agree with someone’s statement.

JIC: Just in case – in the event that you might need something.

LMK: Let me know – someone writing this in a message expects a response.

MCM: Man Crush Monday – trend on social where you reveal who your ‘man crush’ is on social – must be done on a Monday (#ManCrushMonday, #MCM).

MT: Modified Tweet – if a manual Retweet is edited for length, use MT to signify that you’ve changed the original author’s words.

NSFW: Not safe for work – don’t open or play this within eye/earshot of your boss!

OOTD: Outfit of the day – popular on Instagram showcasing an outfit you’ve worn that day or an outfit that is suited for that day.

RT: Retweet – a Tweet that is re-shared to the followers of another user’s Twitter account.

SMH: Shaking my head – finding something really stupid and you don’t have the words to respond.

TL;DR: Too long; didn’t read – When someone hasn’t read what you’ve written. (like this blog)

TBH: To be honest – emphasising that they are giving their honest opinion, often used for negative feedback

TBT: Throwback Thursday – trend on social media where people post old photos of themselves or others on Thursdays (#ThrowbackThursday, #TBT).

YOLO: You only live once – when you are about to do something stupid/risky.

YSK: You should know – when you should already know what someone is talking about.

WCW: Woman Crush Wednesday – trend on social where people reveal who their female crushes are on Wednesday (#WomanCrushWednesday, #WCW).

Acronyms used by social media marketers

AIDA: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action

AIDA is a marketing model that has been around for years. (Wiki)

API: Application Programming Interface – the mechanism that allows one backend system to be connected to another.

CMGR: Community manager – builds relationships on social media. They engage with, and nurture, customers and key members of your community.

CMS: Content Management System – allows you to create and modify your content. Blogs, websites, & social channels – a CMS holds it all together. E.g. WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.

CPC, PPC: Cost per click, Pay per click – an internet advertising model that is used to direct traffic to websites.

CR: Conversion rate – the number of people who take action through things like views, engagement, or purchase.

CRO: Conversion rate optimization – the strategy employed to increase conversions.

CTA: Call to action – an action intended to prompt a response from your customer.

CTR: Click-through rate – measures the number of people that click a specific link. Usually applies to social media or email marketing campaigns.

CX: Customer experience – the relationship that a customer (or potential customer) has with your company.

ESP: Email service provider – hosts email marketing services on their servers. E.g.  MailChimp, DotMailer.

KPI: Key performance indicator – a broad business metric used to determine success.

PV: Page views – the number of views that your website or other online content is getting.

GA: Google Analytics – web analytics service that tracks and reports website traffic.

ROI: Return on investment – a way to measure the efficiency or effectiveness of your investment. It’s the benefit of the investment divided by the cost of the investment.

RSS: Rich site summary (AKA really simple syndication) a format for syndicating web content. Blogs, news publishers, and other publications use RSS feeds to broadcast content to their audiences.

RTD: Real-time data – presented as it is received. It gives you the convenience of accessing the latest information whenever you need it.

SaaS: Software as a service – sometimes referred to as web-based or hosted software allows you to run an application on your web browser.

SEM: Search engine marketing – a form of internet marketing that typically refers to buying traffic through paid search listings which will appear on search engines like Google.

SEO: Search engine optimization – focuses on growing organic search engine results.

SERP: Search engine results page – shows the pages displayed in response to the search query.

SM: Social media – you’re probably already familiar with this 😉

SMB: Small and midsize businesses – small businesses are usually defined as less than 100 employees and midsize businesses between 100 and 999 employees.

SMP: Social media platform – refers to the platform of a particular social network.

SMM: Social media marketing – the use of social media by marketers to increase brand awareness, identify target audiences, find and nurture sales leads, and build relationships.

SMO: Social media optimization – similar to social media marketing, social media optimization refers to improving existing marketing strategies on social media.

SOV: Share of voice – measures what percentage of mentions within your industry are about your brand, and what percentage are about your competitors.

SoLoMo: Social, local, mobile – refers to the converging trends of social media, location-based searches, and mobile devices. Its emergence has a lot to with geo-location technology.

SRP: Social relationship platform – secure and scalable technologies that allow businesses to manage social media communications across departments and devices. Hootsuite is a social relationship platform.

TOS: Terms of service – the rules that you have to abide by in order to use a specific service.

UGC: User generated content – any content or media created by the users of an online system.

UI: User interface – maps the user’s intention to the application program. An effective UI allows the user to easily perform the actions provided by the site or program.

URL: Uniform resource locator – the web address of a specific page or site.

UV: Unique views – the number of distinct, individual views your website or content receives, regardless of how many times that person views your content. (differs from views)

UX: User experience – a person’s entire experience using a product or service.

WOM: Word of mouth – the passing of information from one person to another, including on social media.


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