Social Media Lingo–Terms It Won’t Hurt You to Know


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fire tweet—Despite the Pins, Pokes, Tumbles and Tags!

Did you see that sign outside an elevator that said, “In case of fire, please leave the building before you Tweet about it”? Jokes apart, I think this could happen! What with traffic cops getting frustrated by Tweeters who warn bad drivers about where they are parked with speed guns and unmarked cars. And Facebook addicts who will post status updates about every breathing moment. Truly, the world has gone nuts with social media and I begin to wonder whether all those “smart” phones aren’t actually making people dumb and dumber!

In the world of business, particularly B2B marketing, there is a dire need to proceed with caution. As I have been saying here on my blog, don’t get carried away by the glitz and glamour of what B2C is experiencing in social media circles. Temper your efforts with a good measure of common sense and you can make social media work for your business. It just has to fit in with your overall marketing plays and deliver measurable results.

There is good reason I believe that B2B executives must be up to date on social media lingo and yet be wary not to get too caught up in the jargon.

The B2B Executive’s Essential Social Media Dictionary

Like it, love it, hate it, but you simply can’t ignore it—social media is a common discussion topic and you’ve got to stay up to speed. Not because you need to be doing all of this and all the time, but you are expected to be aware of commonly used social media terminology.

Here I have compiled a list of 15 essential social media related terms that I find useful knowing about as a B2B marketing professional.

  1. Connections: This is kind of like the online version of your business network connections. As a LinkedIn user, these are other users you choose to ‘connect’ with. What can you do if you are a connection in someone’s LinkedIn network? You can view their ‘full’ profile instead of only their ‘public’ profile, you can send them a message in private and share updates with them.

  2. Circles: The community groups that can be built by users on Google+.

  3. Meme: Okay, I’ll confess; I did not even know how to say this, but now I’m told it rhymes with ‘dream’. A catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet.

  4. Tweets: Short updates or statuses posted on Twitter, limited to 140 characters. Still beats me how folks who tweet 5 times a day have something significant enough to say, and say it in 140 characters!
  5. Retweet: The process of a user taking another Twitter user’s tweet and tweeting it themselves. The credit still goes to the original user that tweeted it, but the tweet appears in all the retweeter’s followers’ timeline. This is shortened to ‘RT’ on Twitter.

  6. Twebinar: This is like a live podcast/audio broadcast and Twitter as the backchannel for discussion.
  7. Tumblr: This may sound like the modern day Humpty Dumpty with bad spelling, but it is another blogging website and social networking platform. It enables users to share content and connect with others based on their blog entries. Like many other social media platforms, users are able to ‘follow’ other users’ blogs.

  8. Widget: No, no, it’s nothing like a wedgie! A widget is a mini application that performs a specific function and connects to the Internet.

  9. RSS: (Really Simple Syndication)—a web standard for the delivery of content — blog entries, news stories, headlines, images, video — enabling readers to stay current with publications without having to browse to their content.

  10. Tag: Not what you identify your dog with! It’s a phrase or keyword that is added as an association with a blog, website or social network. Much like keywords, these words and phrases represent what the user is discussing online, and associate the discussion/text with relevant words to aid SEO.

  11. Geotagging: The process of adding geographical identification to media, enabling others to know your location when you do so. Commonly found on smart phone apps for social media like Twitter and Facebook. Why anyone would want everyone to know exactly where they are at all times is something I will never understand!

  12. Hashtag: Nothing to do with drugs, believe me. It is simply a community-driven convention for adding additional context and metadata to tweets. The creation of a hyperlink on Twitter by placing the # sign in front of a word. This is now a hyperlink that once clicked on performs a search of that word within the Twitter website.

  13. Pinning: Yeah, you like someone else’s content, you put a pin on it! Pinning is how to show that you like content on Pinterest. Once the content is ‘pinned’, it then appears on your own Pinboard.

  14. Social Graph: A visual representation of the different connections that an individual has within a larger social network. I’m quite sure there are folks out there who place greater importance on their social graph than on their career graph. Oh well!

  15. Social Media Optimization (SMO): It’s about making sure all the content you have, have created or have curated is available across the best media and easy to access by your target audience. Check if it can be subscribed to through RSS. Can a user submit it to Digg? If you shared a video, is it possible to take it and embed it on a site?

And before I close this post, I’d like to share with you this amusing explanation of social media terms from a lover of donuts!

Photo source:

What new or confusing social media terms did you hear lately? Please email or call me, Louis Foong, at (905) 709-3827.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Louis Foong
Louis Foong is the founder and CEO of The ALEA Group Inc., one of North America's most innovative B2B demand generation specialists. With more than three decades of experience in the field, Louis is a thought leader on trends, best practices and issues concerning marketing and lead generation. Louis' astute sense of marketing and sales along with a clear vision of the evolving lead generation landscape has proved beneficial to numerous organizations, both small and large.


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