The social media industry employs as much jargon as any other field does.
The only difference is that understanding social media terminology is critical for success across many different genres of work, whereas if you’re a blogger and you don’t know what Hagen-poiseuille flow is – you’re going to be ok.
Below, we’ve compiled an essential social media acronym glossary so you can tweet with confidence, @mention with the best of them, and converse with digital marketers with ease.
• API: Application Program Interface. API is a set of routines, protocols, and tools for building software applications. Although APIs are designed for programmers to use as building blocks, they’re ultimately good for users, too, because they guarantee that all programs using a common API will have similar interfaces. On the flipside: follow AllTwitter’s Twitter API Limit Death Watch feed for news on which Twitter apps and clients are going kaput thanks to the limitations Twitter put on third party developers last year.
• CC: Carbon-copy. Works the same way as email. So if you’re @mentioning someone on Twitter and want to “copy” another tweep, just include “CC: @___” and you’re good.
• CPC/PPC: Cost Per Click/Pay Per Click. This method of advertising on a search engine entails an agreement to pay a certain amount every time someone clicks on your ad.
• CRM: Customer relationship management. CRM entails all aspects of interaction a company has with its customer, both sales and service related. Social CRM (SCRM or CRM 2.0) builds upon CRM by leveraging a social element that enables a business to connect customer conversations and relationships from social networking sites into the CRM process.
• DM: Direct message. A DM is a direct message sent via Twitter that only you and the recipient can see, kind of like a Twitter text message. The user you want to send a direct message to must be following you. To send, begin your message with “d username” or use the direct message inbox on Twitter.
• FF: FollowFriday. On Twitter, #followfriday or #ff is an endorsement used to call attention to a user’s favorite followers on Twitter. When you tweet a FF message, you’re recommending that your followers also check out the people you mention in your post.
• HTML: Hypertext Markup Language. HTML is the standard text-based computer language for creating electronic (hypertext) documents for the web.
• PRT: Please retweet. If you see “PRT” in a tweet, it stands for “Please retweet,” a plea for retweets. Use this tactic sparingly, and feel free to ignore if you see it on someone else’s tweet, unless you legitimately want to spread their content to your followers.
• RSS: Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. When you see an orange button that looks like audio waves, alongside sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and the like – that’s how to access a site’s RSS feed. RSS is a syndication of data which enables subscribers to access up-to-the-minute blog entries directly from a website. Users may subscribe to any RSS and compile a personalized library of feeds on topics of interest, using tools like Google Reader and Feedburner.
• RT: Retweet. A retweet is a tweet that has been repeated. You can retweet by clicking the “retweet” button on a tweet (the original tweet will be sent to your followers in its entirety), or manually typing in RT, followed by the user’s handle, followed by their tweet (you can shorten or modify the tweet or add in your own commentary).
• SEM: Search engine marketing. Nope, it’s not a scanning electron microscope. SEM stands for “search engine marketing.” It’s a form of Internet marketing that helps websites gain traffic from or visibility on search engines. How? Through optimization (both on-page and off-page) and advertising (paid placements, contextual advertising, paid inclusions).
• SEO: Search Engine Optimization. The letters stands for Search Engine Optimization, and the term encompasses the tactics used to increase the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural or un-paid (referred to as “organic”) search. SEO is the web equivalent of PR in the off-line world, wherein SEO experts are employed to increase the odds of a website’s favorable positioning in search results. If you want more people to find and read your content, you need more than funny headlines and well-crafted text. That’s where SEO comes in. Check out this beginner’s guide for more.
• SMM: Social Media Marketing. Just as the name suggests, SMM is a way of using social media platforms to market your concept, brand, product, self, etc.
• SMO: Social Media Optimization. SMO is the process of increasing awareness of a product, brand, business, person, or event by using social media outlets and communities to generate viral publicity. SMO includes the use of RSS feeds, social news and bookmarking sites, social media networks, and video and blogging sites. The practice is similar to SEO (see above) in that the goal is to drive traffic.
• SN: Social Network. SN is shorthand for any of the social networks you know and love: Twitter, Facebook, GooglePlus, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.
• SoLoMo: Social, Local, Mobile. This is a new industry term referring to the growth and connection between social media, local media and mobile media. This term was made popular by John Doerr in the New York Times. Startups building on this principle include Foursquare, Gowalla and SCVNGR – deals, suggestions, and other content is pushed straight to you based on your real-world check-ins or social activity.
• SROI: Social Return on Investment. Just as Return on Investment, in the business world, refers to the percentage profit earned from a specific activity, SROI describes the payoff on time, energy, and money spent on social media activity and/or marketing.
• UGC: User Generated Content. You might also see it as CGM (Consumer Generated Media) or UCC (User Created Content). It’s exactly what it sounds like – think Yelp, YouTube, Wikipedia. Remember back in 2006 when Time magazine’s Person of the Year was “you”? The concept of user generated media has only expanded since then.
• XML: Extensible Markup Language. Similar to but much more capable than HTML, XML is a computer “metalanguage” designed primarily to enable different types of computers to exchange text, data, and graphics by allowing files to be shared, stored, and accessed under different application programs and operating systems.
(Image from Social Media Today)