May 3, 2021 - Brittany Garlin
Social media language is sometimes wholly baffling. In the past fifteen years, social media seems to have evolved with its own language, slang, and acronyms for the simplest of words. This lingo can take a while to get used to and is constantly changing. Social media users are well aware of these acronyms and expect others to understand and respond in a similar manner. People who use correct grammar and language usually come to their wit’s end trying to make sense of the acronyms.
Digital marketers trying to create a niche for their clients have to be up to date with this new age lingo. What’s more, is that, if they don’t remain up to date, the brands that they are representing may not connect with the audience at all. For brands, connecting with audiences and being liked and followed is a social media necessity. Digital marketers must arm themselves with the language that their audience prefers.
Many acronyms or shortcuts are also actively used in business conversations, private emails, and meetings. This makes it necessary to follow and understand what is being said. We’re here to help you navigate the new age of social media lingo and make it understandable. We’ll break it down for you entirely so you can shine at your next meeting.
Network-specific acronyms are the most common. They are widely used and are understood by most ages. They are related to popular social media sites.
FB – Facebook
IG – Instagram
YT – YouTube
TW – Twitter
WA – WhatsApp
LI – LinkedIn
These are the most popular and common acronyms. However, the acronyms don’t just stop there. Each of these social sites has individual features that are also referred to in short.
DM – Direct Message: These usually refer to conversations or messages that are private and are conducted between two people. Most businesses also use the acronym DM to ask clients to send queries directly to their messaging feature. Social media sites like Facebook and Instagram also have group DM for a large common message.
PM – Private Message: These are also meant for individual conversation between 2 people and are not seen by the general public. DM’s are a part of PMs.
IM – Instant Message: Real-time communication in written form.
RT – Re-Tweet: This is specific to Twitter and is used when someone shares your Tweet to their own page. Companies, celebrities, influencers, and politicians usually place much stock in RT’s. They also ask followers to RT their tweets to spread awareness or information about a particular topic.
MT – Modified Tweet: Simply put, modified tweets are edited tweets. Since digital marketers work in a team, there are some group messages and posts that are pre-set. When there is an edit on Twitter (before posting), it is called an MT.
Most business meetings are conducted informal language. Marketing meetings and social communication meetings usually use standard nomenclature. Some of these acronyms are also used in business communication in emails and company newsletters. However, no social media acronyms are used in annual shareholder reports.
B2B – Business to Business: This refers to businesses that work with other companies and not directly with consumers.
B2C – Business to Consumer: These businesses conduct sales directly with customers (usually via retail or eCommerce).
ROI – Return On Investment: It is a comparison of the rate of earning vs. the spending.
SMB – Small and Medium-sized Business
SMP – Social Media Platform
SMM – Social Media Marketing
SMO – Social Media Optimization
CMS – Content Management System: As the name suggests, CMS is used to schedule and systematically post online content. CMS is used for written and audio-visual content management.
PPC – Pay Per Click: PPC refers to the money paid by a company every time a viewer clicks on an advertisement. Media platforms like Facebook and search engine giant Google both have a PPC style of advertising.
CPC – Cost Per Click: CPC is the sum total of the allowable money a business will pay per click on advertising. For instance, CPC is measured as an average and not the max CPC since the amount would be less.
CPM – Cost Per Mille: This is the total cost of a thousand ad impressions, not clicks.
CTR – Click Through Rate: The people who clicked a link or advertisement. CTR is usually measured in percentages.
BR – Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the metric that identifies the total percentage of viewers who viewed only a specific landing page and did not see the entire site. Bounce rate is crucial for gauging the success of the page or the failure of the site (depending on the content and footfall to the website).
CR – Conversion Rate: This is a figure of the number of people who made a conscious decision to do the desired action divided by the whole number of people who could have done it. Conversion rates are of utmost importance to digital marketers. These rates are an indication of the success of the social media strategy and implementation.
CRO – Conversion Rate Optimization: CRO is the steps, strategies, or measures taken by digital marketers to improve the CR.
CTA – Call To Action: An action or statement that encourages or invokes audiences to do a particular thing.
ROAS – Return On Advertising Spend: ROAS is a tracking metric to check the results after implementing the advertising budget. It may be measured in percentages.
CAC – Customer Acquisition Cost: This is the total amount of money spent acquiring new customers via research, accessibility, events, marketing, and advertising.
KPI – Key Performance Indicator: The value of achieving a person’s or business’ performance.
TOS – Terms Of Service
UGC – User Generated Content: Any type of content created by viewers or users and not by professional content providers.
Most marketers don’t need to understand technical terms. However, if you’re in charge of social media marketing for an IT company, or one that deals in intelligent systems, you would need the basic know-how of the acronym world. Most technically gifted people do not have the patience to type words that they use in their daily vocabulary.
If you want to remain on top of the acronym game, you should know the basics of technical terms.
CX – Customer Experience
ESP – Email Service Provider
HTML – HyperText Markup Language: The technical language used to make or create websites. Web developers use this language while developing websites.
API – Application Programming Interface: The rules with which different pieces of software interact with each other.
ISP – Internet Service Provider
GA – Google Analytics: A measuring tool provided by Google to track valuable information such as page views, site visits, conversion rates, targets, and goals.
PV – Page Views
SaaS – Software as a Service: A centrally hosted, subscription-based software with a licensing and delivery model.
ASP – Application Service Provider: Businesses that provide Apps or computer-based services to consumers over the internet. Most companies that make Apps are known as ASP.
SERP – Search Engine Results Page
SOV – Share Of Voice: This refers to an online revenue model that shows the percentage of the market share among competitors.
UI – User Interface
URL – Uniform Resource Locator: A website address
RSS – Rich Site Summary: A list of various sites compiled together.
QR Code – Quick Response Barcode: A machine-readable code that helps open websites. It is read by the camera of a smartphone or intelligent device. Some phones come equipped with built-in QR code readers.
AIDA – Attention Interest Desire Action: The term denotes that the consumer is engaging in an advertisement.
SFTP – Secure File Transfer Protocol: The process of securely transferring files from one device to another via the internet.
IBL – Inbound Link: IBL is the hyperlink that redirects consumers to your web page from another website. Marketers need to create several IBL’s to drive traffic to their brand pages.
WOM – Word Of Mouth
WWW – World Wide Web
Social media is highly interactive and is meant to be light and not very business-related. Most marketers have to perfect the balance between driving client goals and keeping the audiences happy. To maintain this ratio, marketers must use acronyms that are relevant to their readers. This will make the content relatable.
It is also crucial to know what all these acronyms stand for so you understand what your audience and followers are trying to say. Digital marketers need to monitor posts, comments, hashtags, and tweets while responding to each individually. This task can get tedious if there is a communication gap.
To bridge this gap, we have compiled a list of some of the famous and trending acronyms. Most of these abbreviations are used in daily communication between users on social media networking sites. However, to keep up with the trend, large brands also converse with their followers using the same lingo.
AFAIK – As Far As I Know
AMA – Ask Me Anything
ASAP – As Soon As Possible
BRB – Be Right Back
CC – Carbon Copy
BTW – By The Way
BFF – Best Friends Forever
BAE – Before Anyone Else
BTS – Behind The Scenes (businesses use this to give followers a peek into the behind the final video or announcement prep work)
B4 – Before
BTAIM – Be That As It May
b/c – because
ASL – Age/Sex/Location
DAE – Does Anyone Else (usually asked as a question when users seek answers regarding validation of action of sentiment)
DYK – Did You Know (used when there is exciting news or gossip to share)
ELI5 – Explain Like I am 5 years old
F2F – Face To Face
FBF – Flashback Friday (sharing old posts/ images/videos on Friday)
TBT – Throwback Thursday (sharing old posts/ images/videos on Thursday)
WBW – Way Back Wednesday (sharing old posts/ images/videos on Wednesday)
MCM – Man Crush Monday
FBO – Facebook Official (often used when people change their relationship status on Facebook)
FF – Follow Friday
FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out (usually used when friends feel left out or not included in a social gathering – another word for social anxiety)
FTFY – Fixed That For You (is often used when people correct each other on social media. E.g., Monday comes before Tuesday, FTFY)
FTW – For The Win (used in celebration or to congratulate some else)
FYI – For Your Information
G2G – Got To Go (can also be abbreviated to GTG)
GG – Good Game
GTR – Got To Run (usually used to close conversations on social media)
HBD – Happy Birthday
ROFL – Rolling On the Floor Laughing
LOL – Laughing Out Loud
LMAO – Laughing My A** Off
ROFLMAO – Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A** Off
HIFW – How I Feel When (used at the start of a post to denote a feeling or emotion)
HMU – Hit Me Up (a way of asking people to connect later)
HMB – Hit Me Back (used to ask people to follow or get in touch; similar to HMU)
HTH – Here To Help/ Happy To Help (used to denote willingness to share information or add value to a conversation or post)
ICYMI – In Case You Missed It (used to re-share posts, images, news)
IDC – I Don’t Care
IDK – I Don’t Know
IKR – I Know, Right?
IMO – In My Opinion
IMHO – In My Humble Opinion
IRL – In Real Life (usually this abbreviation is used to draw parallels between real life and reel life or imaginary circumstances)
JK – Joking (JK can have two meanings – humor or sarcasm – depending on the tone of the post)
LMK – Let Me Know
LMS – Like My Status (a quick way of asking followers and friends to like the status update or post)
NBD – No Big Deal
NM – Not Much or Nothing Much (used when asked What’s Up?)
NSFW – Not Safe For Work (used as warnings about unsafe or unhealthy work environments)
SFW – Safe For Work
SMH – Shaking My Head (to show disappointment or sadness)
NVM – Never Mind
TBH – To Be Honest
TBBH – To Be Brutally Honest
TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday
OMW – On My Way (used in Direct Messages via text)
OOTD – Outfit Of The Day (Most style and fashion influencers and celebrities use this acronym to show their chosen outfit and style of the day. Now, most people use it in their daily posts to show off cute clothes or styles)
PPL – People
TMI – Too Much Information
WBU – What About You?
WFH – Work From Home
YOLO – You Only Live Once
Most of these acronyms are also used as popular hashtags across social media sites like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Knowing them and their meanings will help you make sense and form a correct response.
The trick to using social media abbreviations and acronyms is knowing when not to use them. You should not flood the brand page with slang and acronyms. At the end of the day, the acronym should make reading easy, not complicated.
Remember, clients and brands want you (the digital marketer) to maintain the integrity of their brand values through the tone and voice on social media. Consider what you would call people following your posts, whether they are family or consumers. The voice of the brand should not be mixed with acronyms simply to become famous.
A professional brand voice should always use few acronyms, and instead, keep the tone of voice casual yet courteous. Unnecessarily using social media slang can hamper the progress of the social media strategy and delay results.
The overuse and incorrect use of acronyms can be disastrous. When consumers have complaints or queries, avoid using acronyms, and instead, give them your undivided professional concern. As a digital marketer in charge of protecting the brand, you should carefully assess the severity of the complaint before using acronyms, asking consumers to reply or come on a private chat. Handling the complaints patiently and respectfully is the key.
Before using an acronym or social media slang, be doubly sure of the meaning. Replying or using an acronym that does not fit the context can be used against the brand on a public platform. Trolls (haters) pick on the smallest of issues and publicly humiliate brands for incorrect language, messages, or perceived insults. Acronyms should only be used when you are sure of their meaning.
This list of acronyms and abbreviations is not exhaustive, and there are many more that you can use. Just like each industry and niche has its own lingo and jargon, so does social media. The only difference is the fast pace of all the words and their abbreviations. Since this language keeps updating itself, it is best to keep yourself aware of everything happening on the brand page. A successful digital marketer understands evolving trends and patterns and makes the best use of them.
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