Understanding social media abbreviations and acronyms is essential for effective communication in an out of your social media marketing department.
If you’ve been observing social media conversations, you have undoubtedly seen these acronyms and lingo. We’ve all had that awkward moment when we’re staring at something that we don’t understand.
Many of the social media acronyms get thrown around casually in captions, comments, and conversations between people. Social media acronyms and abbreviations are essentially the airport codes of the internet. You must know them to start and you generally have to pick them up on the fly.
When you’re in charge of creating social media marketing content or responding to your customers, you must know the most common social media acronyms. This helps you understand what your audience is saying and allows you to better speak their language.
There are of course some acronyms that may find their way into business meetings, marketing, or sales report this makes it even more important to know what they stand for so that you can become better at your job.
That’s why we have compiled this extensive list of social media acronyms and abbreviations to help you stay current with the latest lingo.
Network Specific Abbreviations
Let’s begin with the common acronyms that are related to specific social media networks and go from there. Though these network specific acronyms are intuitive, it’s important that you know them well.
While participating on social media across any of these networks, you may also come in contact with acronyms that refer to features on them. These are especially important if you are on Twitter where abbreviations are commonplace due to character limits. Knowing them helps you improve Communications with followers and your team members.
DM: Direct Message
This refers to a message that is sent between two users. These are mostly used on Instagram and Twitter. Users and companies generally ask followers to DM for more information.
PM: Private Message
This term is a more generic phrase for one-on-one communications that are not visible to the public. This could also be used to describe DMs.
When you share someone else’s tweet to your own feed, you are retweeting them. Companies, celebrities, and influencers alike often after followers to “RT” a post to increase its visibility.
MT: Modified Tweet
This is similar to a RT, except you’ve made some changes to it for brevity, or added your own thoughts to it. It’s also known as a Twitter Quote.
Social Media Abbreviations and Acronyms
AFIK: As Far as I Know
AMA: Ask Me Anything
These refer to social question and answer sessions. Brands and influencers often host AMAs on Reddit, Twitter, or in a live stream.
BRB: Be Right Back
This is a relic, but it is seen on social media when the time is right.
BTS: Behind the Scenes
If you want to show your followers what a day in the office is like, use this to give them a behind-the-scenes look.
BTAIM: Be That As It May
BTW: By The Way
This is a quick and easy way to add more information, throw shade, or go on a tangent.
DAE: Does Anyone Else
DYK: Did You Know
Offer a fun fact to your audience but save valuable character space with this one.
ELI5: Explain It To Me Like I’m Five
Most commonly used on Reddit, this is a way to say that you want someone to take a complex topic and simplify it so it is easier to understand.
FBF: Flashback Friday
This is one of the many ways to throw back to throw back to the past. There’s also TBT for Throwback Thursday, and WBW for Way Back Wednesday, if you want to share something and it’s not Friday yet.
FBO: Facebook Official
When a person or people decide to become public enough about their relationship to put it on their Facebook profile.
FF: Follow Friday
A tradition in which people send tweets recommending other Twitter users they think are interesting to follow.
FOMO: Fear of Missing Out
This is a social-bred phobia that demonstrates the anxiety of missing out on something while you’re away from social media or the internet. There’s also its opposite, JOMO, which stands for the joy of missing out – the happiness you feel when you’re not so hyperconnected.
FTW: For The Win
The sometimes sincere, sometimes sarcastic declaration at the end of a post to signify something positive.
FYI: For Your Information
This abbreviation is usually delivered with sass.
HT: Hat Tip
This is a virtual nod for credit to the original source, or the place you got the material from. It may also be written as H/T.
HTH: Here to Help/Happy to Help
This is used to show that you are available to help someone with something, or that you were glad to be able to be of assistance.
ICYMI: In Case You Missed It
This is used to re-share content that followers may have missed before.
IMO or IMHO: In My Opinion or In My Humble Opinion
This is used as a disclaimer for sharing a hot take on something. Some people think the H stands for honest, though we’re not really sure why anyone would share a dishonest opinion.
IRL: In Real Life
Some people will say that the internet is real life, and prefer to use “away from keyboard” (AFK) as the better way to refer to things that happen offline. But IRL is used to indicate that something is happening in the reality that exists outside of the internet – such as when two friends who’ve only known each other online meet in person.
LMK: Let Me Know
When someone uses this, they want feedback, or need to know the details about something that has yet to be determined.
NBD: No Big Deal
Typically used as a humble brag for something that is really a big deal.
NSFW: Not Safe for Work
This one is literally not safe for work. You’ll want to really think about using it on a corporate account.
WFH: Working from Home
Most often used in online chats with friends and coworkers, but has some use in social media, too.
SMH: Shaking My Head
For those moments you’re shaking your head behind your computer screen.
TBH: To Be Honest
Used to soften the blow of a negative opinion or a humble brag.
TBT: Throwback Thursday
Like FBF for Flashback Friday, but on a Thursday
TFW: That Feeling When
Generally used ahead of something that you relate to – usually with a meme.
TGIF: Thank God It’s Friday
Not the 90s ABC television lineup – just an expression of happiness that the weekend is almost here.
TIL: Today I Learned
Used when someone learned something new.
TL;DR: Too Long; Didn’t Read
Used to share content that’s too long for most people to want to read, usually accompanied by a short summary of the important part.
WBW: Way Back Wednesday
Like Flashback Friday and Throwback Thursday, but on a Wednesday.
Business Specific Social Media Abbreviations and Acronyms
These are acronyms that are frequently used in a business setting. While you’ll generally use these acronyms in your marketing meetings and communications, they are also useful for social media communications in certain niches.
B2B: Business to Business
This refers to companies that cater to the needs of other businesses.
B2C: Business to Consumer
This refers to companies that sell products or services directly to consumers.
CMGR: Community Manager
Community managers are responsible for managing and nurturing a brand’s relationship with a community. This should not be confused with a social media manager. Social media managers are responsible for managing a Brand’s social media presence across multiple platforms.
CTA: Call to Action
A written, verbal, or visual prompt to do something. “Sign up”, “Call us today”, “Subscribe”
KPI: Key Performance Indicator
A measurement to determine how effective something was at reaching the intended benchmark or goal.
ROI: Return on Investment
The amount of profit made as a result of a purchase or expense. This is one of the most common ways a business tracks the success of its campaigns.
SEM: Search Engine Marketing
A method of advertising on the internet that refers to purchasing ads on search engines to drive traffic to your website
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
A tactic to try and improve where your site appears on the search engines for relevant keywords to drive organic traffic (traffic that you didn’t pay for) to your website.
SERP: Search Engine Results Page
The paid and organic results a search engine delivers on the page for any given keyword.
SMB: Small and Midsize Businesses
Small businesses – those with less than 50 employees. Mid-size businesses – those with less than 250. You may also see them referred to as small and midsize enterprises, or SMEs.
SMP: Social Media Platform
Used to refer to the site of a particular social media network
SMM: Social Media Marketing
The practice of using a SMP to build brand awareness and consideration through building relationships and lead generation.
SMO: Social Media Optimization
Much like SMM, this involves using the appropriate SMP for your marketing efforts and making adjustments to attract the right kind of followers and leads
SoLoMo: Social, Local, Mobile
The convergence of mobile with locally targeted social media marketing that becoming more popular because of geolocation technology.
SRP: Social Relationship Platform
A centralized platform that allows companies to post on multiple social media websites, monitor, moderate, and analyze their activity. Examples include Buffer and Hootsuite.
TOS: Terms of Service
The legal rules you agree to follow when you use a SMP.
UGC: User-Generated Content
Any content – posts, videos, images, etc. that is shared by users of a SMP or other website.
WOM: Word of Mouth
The viral buzz of brand conversation through a company’s active encouragement.
Technical Abbreviations and Acronyms You May See on Social Media
API: Application Programming Interface
A set of tools and protocols that allows software developers to connect the backend of one system to another. For instance, Google Maps makes APIs available to allow other companies to integrate map technology.
CMS: Content Management System
Platforms like WordPress that allow for content creation and management.
CPC: Cost Per Click
Also known as pay per click (PPC), this refers to the price advertisers pay for each click they earn on a campaign.
CPM: Cost Per Thousand Impressions / Cost Per Mile
This refers to either the cost of 1,000 impressions on an ad, or the cost per mile driven.
CR: Conversion Rate
The percentage of people who have taken action. This is a key metric when calculating ROI.
CRM: Customer Relationship Management
The act of (or platform by which) creating and managing customer relationships from lead through conversion.
CRO: Conversion Rate Optimization
Measures taken to improve conversions.
CTR: Click-Through Rate
The percentage of people who click on a link after being given the option to do so.
CX: Customer Experience
The relationship a customer has with a company through all touchpoints.
UX: User Experience
In digital design, this refers to how effectively people interact with systems. Good UX aims to understand values, needs, barriers, and abilities.
ESP: Email Service Provider
A third-party company that offers email services such as newsletters and marketing campaign services.
GA: Google Analytics
Analytics platform for websites that allows you to track website visitors, bounce rates, referral sources and more.
PV: Page Views
The total of how many visitors have landed on any given page. The total number of page views along with unique page views is tracked.
RSS: Really Simple Syndication / Rich Site Summary
A format for syndicating web content that makes it easier to share content with a wider audience.
SaaS: Software as a Service
Cloud-based applications that are available to users anywhere there is an internet connection.
The amount of exposure a company owns in comparison to its competition.
UI: User Interface
The visual part of the system that has been designed for the end user.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator
The global web address of a website or webpage.
UV: Unique Views
The number of individual views of a page, image, or video. If a single user views something 10 times, it results in one unique view, but 10 page views.