The Essential Social Media Acronym Glossary

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).