Ever been on social media, or reading an article when an acronym crosses your path that you don’t know?
Frustrating isn’t it?
And the problem is that new acronyms and internet slang are coming up all the time. Using them is almost a rite of passage for active and successful social media users.
As social media professionals it can be downright embarrassing when we come across a few letters that obviously are packed full of meaning but the meaning eludes us.
You might be thinking, “who cares?” or “acronyms are not that important” and that is exactly what I once thought.
I remember early in my career I was a bit late to the ICYMI game (if you don’t know what it means you NEED to keep reading, trust me). I saw it popping up everywhere and at some point my boss asked me what it meant…
Scheisse… as the Germans say!
I did not have an answer for him. It didn’t cost me my job, but if you are going to be involved in the social media marketing of your business, you need to stay up to date with the vernacular, especially when it comes to professional lingo.
Acronyms also have a practical benefit. They save characters when you are trying to message on Twitter or even just trying to keep your communications short and snappy.
To get you started I have compiled a comprehensive list of the social media and marketing acronyms that you absolutely HAVE to be familiar with if you are going to go anywhere in the digital world.
But the rest of the work is up to you, new acronyms pop-up regularly and you need to make sure you understand them and use them to remain relevant online.
In the world of marketing there are many important acronyms that you cannot live without. They are in memos, e-mails, articles, business plans and budgets, but what are they and what do they mean?
AIDA: Attention Interest Desire Action
Also known as the “Purchase Funnel”, it describes the events that occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement.
API: Application Program Interface
Set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications. APIs specify how software components should interact with each other.
ASP: Application Service Provider
Refers to a business that provides computer-based services to customers over a network.
B2B: Business to Business
Where one business makes a commercial transaction with another.
B2C: Business to Consumer
Where a business makes a commercial transaction with a consumer.
BR – Bounce Rate
Percentage of visitors to a website who navigate away from the website after viewing only one page.
CAC: Customer Acquisition Cost
The cost associated with convincing a customer to buy a product or service. Costs could include research, marketing and accessibility.
CMS: Content Management System
A computer application that allows publishing, editing and organizing content from a central interface.
CPA – Cost per Action
An online advertising pricing model where the advertiser pays for each specified action (ie: impression, click or sale).
CPC – Cost per Click
An online advertising model where the advertiser pays the publisher a pre-set amount whenever the ad is clicked. (also known as Pay per click PPC)
CPM: Cost per Thousand
The cost to reach one thousand people via a specific advertising outlet or medium.
CR – Conversion Rate
Percentage of users who take a desired action (ie: buy something on the website).
CTR – Clickthrough Rate
The ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view a page, email or advertisement.
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
Refers to an approach to managing a company’s interaction with its customers (current and future) by analyzing the data about a customers’ history with a company.
CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization
A system for increasing the percentage of visitors to a website that convert into customers.
CSS: Cascading stylesheet
A style sheet language used to describe the presentation of a document written in a markup language. Most often associated with the visual style of web pages and user interfaces written in HTML and XHTML.
CTA: Call to Action
An instruction to the audience or customer designed to provoke an immediate response.
CX: Customer experience
Refers to the interaction between an organization and a customer over the duration of their relationship.
DNS: Domain Name Server
A system that controls your domain name’s website and e-mail settings.
ESP: Email service provider
A company that offers email marketing or bulk mail.
FTP: File Transfer Protocol
The standard protocol used to transfer computer files from one host to another host over the internet.
HTML: Hyper Text Markup Language
The standard markup language used to create webpages.
IBL: Inbound Link
A hyperlink back to your site from another website.
IM: Instant Messaging
A form of real-time communication online using typed text.
IP Address: Internet Protocol Address
The numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication.
KPI: Key Performance Indicator
A measurable value that demonstrates how effectively a company is achieving key business objectives.
LTV: Lifetime Value
The prediction of the net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a particular customer.
OBL: Outbound Link
Links that take you away from your current website.
Google’s ranking software that calculates the relevance of a web page to the search keywords entered.
PV: Page View
The request to load a single HTML file (web page) of an Internet site.
QR Code: Quick Response Barcode
A machine-readable code used for storing URLs or other information for reading by the camera on a smartphone.
ROI: Return on Investment
The benefit to the investor resulting from an investment of some resource.
RSS: Rich Site Summary
A summary of different websites compiled into one feed or channel.
A software licensing and delivery model where software is licensed on a subscription basis and is centrally hosted.
SEM: Search engine marketing
Form of internet marketing that involves the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
The process of maximizing the number of visitors to a particular website by ensuring that the site appears high on search engine results.
SERP: Search engine results page
The listing or results returned by a search engine in response to a keyword query.
SMM: Social media marketing
A form of Internet marketing that utilizes social networks as a marketing tool.
SMO: Social media optimization
The use of social media communities to generate publicity in order to increase the awareness of a product, brand or event.
SOV: Share of voice
An online advertising ad revenue model that focuses on weight or percentage among other advertisers.
TOS: Terms of Service
Rules which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service.
UGC: User generated content
Content created by users of an online system or service.
UI: User interface
Everything designed into an information device with which a human may interact.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator
An address to a resource on the Internet.
UV: Unique Visitor
The number of individuals requesting pages from the website during a given period of time.
WOM: Word of Mouth
Oral or written communication by a satisfied customer to prospective customers of a good or service.
WWW: World Wide Web
An information system on the Internet which allows documents to be connected to other documents by hypertext links.
Social Media Acronyms
DM: Direct Message
The private message function on Twitter.
The social network.
Google’s social network.
GA: Google Analytics
A web analytics service offered by Google.
A social network to share images, short videos and photos.
The largest professional social network.
A Twitter function where you re-share content posted by someone else.
SM: Social media
Refers to the industry.
A social network dedicated to videos.
Social Media Hashtags
#FF: Follow Friday (Instagram/Twitter)
Highlight people that you want your followers to follow.
#F4F: Follow for follow (Instagram/Twitter)
A way of communicating that you will follow back whoever follows you.
#FBF: Flashback Friday (All)
A look back at previous posts or memories on any given Friday.
#GOTD: Gram of the Day (Instagram)
Your favorite or most popular Instagram post for the day.
#Igers: Instagrammers (Instagram)
Reference to those who use Instagram.
#MCM: Man crush Monday (Instagram)
Post pictures of your favorite man crush on Mondays.
#MM: Music Monday (Instagram/Twitter)
Post pictures about your favorite music artists on Mondays.
#POTD: Photo of the day (Instagram)
Share your favorite or most popular photo for the day.
#OOTD: Outfit of the day (Instagram)
Share a picture of your favorite outfit.
#QOTD: Quote of the Day (Instagram)
Share your favorite quote.
#TBT: Throwback Thursday (All)
Flashback Friday just on Thursday
#TGIF: Thank goodness it’s Friday (All)
Share your thankfulness for the end of another week with this hashtag!
#WCW: Woman crush Wednesday (Instagram)
Post a picture of your woman crush on Wednesdays!
#WOTD: Word of the Day (Instagram/Twitter)
Share your favorite word with this hashtag!
A word of caution, a lot, if not all of these “space savers” are super informal and some are downright crude. MAKE SURE you know your brand’s voice before you make a decision to use any of these. Because while they will save you characters and perhaps make your message more relevant, they might not be the right fit for your brand.
Regardless of whether you will use these or not they are still important to know so that you can understand what your prospective customers are saying on social. I haven’t given any explanation for the following as they are all fairly straight forward.
AFAIK: As far as I know
Ex. “AFAIK Vine is owned by Twitter.”
AMA: Ask Me Anything
This can be used to call for questions but it is better known as the Q&A series on Reddit where you can send your questions in for answering to featured experts.
Great way to get to know someone.
Ex. “Cool to connect with you! ASL?”
Ex. “B4 I go I have one last question…”
BAE: Before anyone else
A term of endearment for Millennials.
Ex. “I hate it when my BAE is away.”
BFF: Best friends forever
Ex. “Rick and Darryl are BFFs!”
BTW: By the way
Ex. “BTW the best tool for social automation is Buffer.”
BRB: Be right back
Ex. “BRB, just grabbing lunch!”
DAE: Does anyone else…?
Ex. “DAE think that Kanye West is CRAY?”
DFTBA: Don’t forget to be awesome
Ex. “Good night world and DFTBA!”
ELI5: Explain like I’m 5
Ex. “I have no clue about Physics, please ELI5!”
F2F: Face to face
Ex. “Twitter is awesome but I’d love to meet you F2F.”
FBO: Facebook Official
Used when two people have announced their relationship on Facebook.
Ex. “My brother just went FBO! OMG!”
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
Refers to the social anxiety that occurs when you might miss out on something great!
Ex. “Beyonce concert in a week! Experiencing major FOMO!”
FTFY: Fixed that for you
Ex. “I know the website has been down but I just FTFY!”
FTW: For the win!
Ex. “Rick Grimes FTW! Zombies have no chance!”
FUTAB: Feet up, take a break
Ex. “Just scheduled my social content for the day! FUTAB!”
FYI: For you information
Ex. “FYI, the site will be under maintenance tonight.”
G2G: Got to go
Ex. “G2G late for work.”
GG: Good game
Ex. “Just finished a GG of Call of Duty, so close!”
Ex. “Gr8 news! Congrats.”
GTG: Got to go
Ex. “I GTG, the pie eating contest is starting.”
GTR: Got to run
Ex. “It was great chatting but I GTR.”
GTR: Getting ready
Ex. “My wife is GTR for her presentation, wish her luck!”
HBD: Happy birthday
Ex. “HBD buddy and many happy returns.”
HMU: Hit me up
Ex. “I’m at work but HMU later.”
HT: Hat tip
An acknowledgement of a tip received from someone.
Ex. “A HT to Jeff Bullas for that last RT!”
HTH: Here/Happy to help
Ex. “No problem, glad it worked, HTH.”
IANAD: I am not a Doctor
Ex. “Yoga might be one of the best exercises you can do, but IANAD.”
ICYMI: In case you missed it
Ex. “ICYMI here is last week’s article.”
IDC: I don’t care
Ex. “IDC what they say, social media rocks!”
IDK: I don’t know
Ex. “IDK how to do that but I can find out.”
IKR: I know right
Ex. “IKR last night’s episode was craaaazy!”
ILY: I love you
Ex. “Talk to you later Honey, ILY.”
IM: Instant message
Ex. “Let’s switch to IM.”
IMHO: In my humble opinion
Ex. “IMHO the best show on Netflix is The Blacklist.”
IMO: In my opinion
Ex. “IMO last night’s game was a fluke.”
IRL: In real life
Ex. “I wonder what Taylor Swift is like IRL.”
JK: Just kidding
Ex. “Guess who got killed off in Walking Dead last night… JK!”
LMAO: Laughing my ass off
Ex. “Jimmy Fallon has be LMAO right now!”
LMK: Let me know
Ex. “LMK what your biggest challenges are and I will help you.”
LMS: Like my status
Ex. “Here is my latest article, please LMS.”
LOL: Laughing out loud
Ex. “Check out this video! LOL.”
MT: Modified tweet
When you have changed or paraphrased a RT slightly, share it with MT.
MTFBWY: May the force be with you
Ex. “Heading into watch the newest Star Wars movie! MTFBWY.”
NM: Not much
Ex. “NM going on this weekend, time to chill!”
NP: No problem
Ex. “NP man, hope you are feeling better.”
NSFW: Not safe for work
Ex. “Check out this trailer, warning, NSFW.”
NVM: Never mind
Ex. “NVM, sometimes it’s better to ignore me.”
OAN: On another note
Ex. “OAN did you see the game last night?”
OMG: Oh my God
Ex. “OMG how good were the Grammys!”
OMW: On my way
Ex. “OMW, should be there in 15 minutes.”
ORLY: Oh really?
Ex. “ORLY? Did not know that!”
OTP: One True Pairing
Ex. “Beyonce and Jay-Z are sooo cool! OTP!”
PM: Private message
Ex. “Maybe it is easier if we go to Facebook and PM?”
Ex. “Listen up PPL! You are gonna want to see this!”
ROFL: Rolling on the floor laughing
Ex. “ROFL at work! My coworkers are hilarious!”
SMH: Shaking my head
Ex. “SMH, cannot believe my brother is in Hawaii!”
TBH: To be honest
Ex. “TBH I don’t like country music.”
Ex. “Thx for the RT.”
TIL: Today I learned
Ex. “TIL that you can publish articles on LinkedIn.”
TL;DR: Too long; Didn’t read
Ex. “Sorry but that article was TL;DR.”
TMI: Too much information
Ex. “Whoa TMI. Really don’t need to know about your love life.”
TTYL: Talk to you later
Ex. “Going offline for a bit, TTYL.”
TTYS: Talk to you soon
Ex. “Have a great trip, TTYS.”
Ex. “Messenger isn’t working so well, switch to Txt!”
Ex. “I’m at the Baseball game w/ my family.
WTF: What the f***
Ex. “Did anyone here what Kanye did? WTF?”
WDYMBT: What do you mean by that?
Ex. “I bet your followers are asking WDYMBT!”
YOLO: You only live once
Ex. “Buy your World Cup tickets now! YOLO!”
YSK: You should know
Ex. “Here are 10 Twitter tips YSK!”
Go ahead and tell me. What acronyms did I miss?
Okay I admit it, this is a rather large list, but I also know that I have missed some, there are simply too many acronyms that have become an important part of how we communicate online. What are some of the other acronyms that you use online or in your business?
Leave your answer in the comments and I will update the list, with hopes to making it THE go to resource for acronyms on the web.