Navigating your way through social media isn’t easy. The web has a complex dictionary full of its own acronyms, figures of speech, and memes.
Merriam-Webster isn’t around to spell check your Tweets or Facebook messages, so users have taken spelling and grammar into their own hands, filling the Twitterverse and Facebook-sphere with abominations that would make your English teacher cringe.
This is a comprehensive list of what I think are the 100 most important acronyms on social media. The list is divided into two parts: marketing/business-related terms and conversational acronyms. Please don’t bust me on the exact number, it’s an approximate living list.
Marketing and Business Terms
When buyers and sellers communicate over the web, they share a unique language of technical terms and abbreviations. The average Twitter user may not come in contact with these acronyms on a daily basis, but if you’re involved in any type of online commerce, then these are 50 terms you’ll need to know:
- FB – Facebook
- IG – Instagram
- G+ – Google Plus
- LI – Linkedin
- U2BE – YouTube
- B2B – Business to Business
Sales that occur from one business to another
- B2C – Business to Consumer
Sales from a business that go straight to the consumer
- GA – Google Analytics
Online tools that allow you to view critical online information like page views, inbound links, etc.
- DM – Direct Message
Sometimes referred to as Private Messages (or PM’s); these are simply non-public messages sent directly to your profile from another user
- ISP – Internet Service Provider
The largest ISP’s in the US are: Comcast, AT&T, TimeWarner Cable, Charter, and Verizon
- P2P – Person to Person
Often refers to financial transaction from one person to another using mobile apps or online banking
- PPC – Pay Per Click
A web advertising model; how much you owe a publisher each time your advertisement is click by a visitor to their site
- CPC – Cost Per Click
Another way to refer to PPC (Pay Per Click)
- PV – Pageviews
A numerical value for how many times a single web page (HTML) is loaded on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis
- RT – Retweet
When someone wants to repost or forward another person’s tweet on Twitter
- SERP – Search Engine Results Page
After typing in a search query into Google, the list of sites that the search engine spits out is called the SERP (typically refers to Page 1 unless otherwise noted)
- SEO – Search Engine Optimization
The process of building your site’s web recognition by making it easier for consumers to find your business at the top of search engines
- SMB – Small and Medium Businesses
A generic term that refers to the thousands of companies that operate on a relatively small scale with fewer than 100 employees
- SMO – Social Media Optimization
Building your business with Google+, Twitter, or Facebook and using the medium to communicate with customers
- TOS – Terms of Service
The long, small-print that you have to read (or simply scroll through) in order to sign up for a web service.
- UV – Unique Visitor
Quantifies how many hundreds, thousands, or even millions of individual people are clicking on your profile or website
- UX – User Experience
When the average visitor lands on your site, what do they think? Is the site easy to operate and visually appealing?
- EOD – End of Day
Example: I’ll get my social media plan to you by EOD.
- MIME – Multi-Purpose Internet Mail Extension
Documents, photos, audio files, or programs that are sent in an email message
- TLD – Top Level Domains
The end of a website’s URL; could refer to .com, .net, .org, .edu, .gov, or dozens of country-specific codes like .ca (Canada)
- VK – VKontakte
Russia’s largest social networking site. Also popular throughout Europe
- CTR – Clickthrough Rate
The average number of clicks that an advertisement receives per 100 impressions (or views)
- PRT – Partial Retweet
To purposely omit part of a tweet in order to still meet the 140 character limit
- NIC – Network Interface Card
A hardware circuit inside your computer that allows it to connect to a network
- F2F – Face to Face
Refers to real-life meetings or encounters that occur outside the web
- ROI – Return on Investment
The percentage that is gained (or lost) after capital is invested in a web marketing campaign. Was there an increase in sales that outweighed the cost of the investment?
- RSS – Really Simple Syndication
XML-based software that compiles headlines, newsfeeds, and other short blurbs from across the internet into a syndicated stream of content
- SMM – Social Media Marketing
Using Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and other social media sites to promote your business
- UGC – User Generated Content
Sites that use submissions and posts from unpaid users to fill content needs
- UI – User Interface
How a site’s HTML code is transferred into usability for a visitor
- CMS – Content Management System
Online tools or application that allow you to edit, post, review, and publish things directly to your site
- OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer
Mostly refers to industrial or mechanical manufacturers that sell products to a reseller
- API – Application Programming Interface
Programming instructions or guidelines that are released by software companies so that developers can produce other services
- KPI – Key Performance Indicator
Financial and non-financial metrics that are used to assess business growth (can refer to conversion rates, customer loyalty, etc.)
- MT – Modified Tweet
The purposeful modification of a tweet to either change its meaning or fit the 140 character limit. Always precedes with “MT” so that readers know it is not the original tweet
- CPA – Cost Per Acquisition
How long and how expensive it is to gain new customers based on how much money is spent on marketing campaigns and how many customers buy your product or service
- MTD – Month to Date
- YOY – Year over Year
Social media marketers may compare a given month with the same month the previous year
- QoQ – Quarter over Quarter
- SaaS – Software as a Service
Applications or programs that are hosted by a single source on the internet so that you don’t have to deal with software management on your own computer
- 404 – Page Not Found Error
Defunct on nonoperational sites – unable to reach the server (Example: the site seemed to be running fine the other day, but now it’s 404)
- DDoS – Distributed Denial of Service
Online hacking attacks that send overwhelming amounts of traffic to a site at a single time, temporarily shutting it down
UTM – Urchin Tracking Module
The UTM you see in Google Analytics tracking URLs is actually legacy from the days when it was called “Urchin” before Google purchased it (source: socialmediaexaminer.com).
With a 140-character limit on Twitter, people need to be creative to cram as much information into each Tweet. From the classic TTYL to the ubiquitous OMG, these are the 50 terms to you need to know to REALLY understand the language of social media:
- AMA – Ask Me Anything
The featuring of an expert or popular individual on a social media site for the purpose of answering questions from the community.
- IIRC – If I Recall Correctly
@Kevin9883 Tom Brady threw 2 interceptions in his last game IIRC
- IMO – In My Opinion
Well IMO, that restaurant is nothing more than overpriced garbage
- ITT – In This Thread
ITT about global warming: lots of people who have no idea what they’re talking about
- ICYMI – In Case You Missed It
Pinterest board: ICYMI here are the best outfits from the Academy Awards 2015
- TL;DR – Too Long, Didn’t Read
TL;DR got in a fender bender, ambulance shows up, hospital visit, lengthy court battle, lots of money from settlement, margaritas on the beach
- SMH – Shaking My Head
- @fellowclassmate can’t believe you’ve been late to every class this semester smh
- FOMO – Fear of Missing Out
JaneKop32 tweeted: Major FOMO tonight cuz I can’t celebrate @HeatherChap01’s birthday downtown. Happy Birthday gurl
- FTFY – Fixed That For You
@sportstats21 the team actually holds the SECOND worst record in the league FTFY
- IRL – In Real Life
@carreviewsnet the new Model T looks great in commercials, but doesn’t drive nearly as well IRL
- ICYWW – In Case You Were Wondering
ICYWW at 11pm tonight there will be meteor shower visible in the northern hemisphere!
- AFAIK – As Far As I Know
AFAIK, @astronmerdude14 has no idea what he’s talking about. It’s not supposed to happen until next week!
- IDC – I Don’t Care
@gangstarapper_OG tweeted: yeah but IDC what all the haters say, still gonna make my music
- IDK – I Don’t Know
IDK the best way to cook a steak, but microwaving it probably isn’t the best idea
- TBH – To Be Honest
Everyone says that Lebron is the best in the game, but TBH he’s not looking great this season
- RN – Right Now
@currentnews1 RN Mayor de Blasio is addressing an audience outside city hall
- CX – Correction
CX – the conference will be held the 21st of April, not the 12th
- SO (or S/O) – Shout Out
@WalterWhite tweeted: Gotta make a S/O to my boy @JessiePinkman. Been with me since day one!
- #TBT – Throwback Thursday
@nostalgichighschoolfriend tweeted: look at this picture of how thin I used to be 15 years ago #TBT
- #FF – Follow Friday
Instagram Post: it’s #FBF so make sure you follow me back if I like your photos
- WBU – What About You?
I’ve been alright recently, just got a lot of work these days. WBU?
- #L4L – Like For Like
Instagram Post: omg look at all these awesome photos of the Annual Chili Cheese Dog festival #L4L
- #F4F – Follow For Follow
@bentoto10 tweeted: I want to be your friend, so follow me and I’ll follow back #F4F
- JJ – Just Joking
Can’t believe you got so upset by my comment earlier… You should know that I was JJ
- LMK – Let Me Know
Facebook post: looking to give away my collection of CD’s. LMK if you want over 300 new albums!
- OBO – Or Best Offer
Often used on Craigslist as: Selling a 1974 Chevy Camaro. New leather interior, 152,000 miles, and a new transmission. Looking for $12,500 OBO
- BTW – By the Way
Hey @stacymacy55, I ran by your apt today but u weren’t there. BTW I think ur dog chewed up a pillow in your room! #featherseverywhere
- DAE – Does Anyone Else?
@fastfoodfanatic tweeted: DAE feel a little lightheaded and bloated after eating 3 big macs and downing a large coke?
- ELI5 – Explain Like I’m 5
Often seen as a Reddit post: ELI5 – how and why have gas prices dropped so dramatically recently?
- FBO – Facebook Official
My relationship with @badrelationshipbarry is finally FBO! Now the whole world knows deeply in love we are.
- FTW – For The Win
Doritos FTW! Because everyone likes Doritos.
- ORLY – Oh Really?
@RandomJeff44 tweeted: ORLY @weatherguys? You said it was gonna rain today. Yeah right!
- _OTD – Of the Day
Examples: Quote of the Day (QOTD), Message of the Day (MOTD), Recipe of the Day (ROTD)
- WYCM – Will You Call Me?
LinkedIn post: Hey Sam, I tried calling you earlier about our meeting next week, but you didn’t answer. WYCM please asap!
- QQ – Crying
@HarryPotter03 tweeted: QQ because my favorite professor Dumbledore just died. So sad.
- TIL – Today I Learned…
Reddit Post: TIL I learned that there are more than 1000 internet abbreviations that are slowly destroying proper grammar and pronunciation
- RLRT – Real Life Retweet
Definition: when someone tweets a phrase or sentence from a real life conversation (i.e. @randomdiner tweeted: RLRT “a 76 on our health inspection isn’t great, but it still gets the job done” – our waiter tonight at dinner haha)
- FWIW – For What It’s Worth
He may be a terrible actor, but FWIW Nicolas Cage is still making more money than me and everyone else I know.
- MRW – My Reaction When…
@Embarassedgirl02 tweeted: this video perfectly shows MRW I’m supposed to do any kind of public speaking
- DYK – Did you Know?
On a popular forum or post: DYK that over 70% of citizens over age 18 are in favor of the legislation?
- TMB – Tweet Me Back
@famous_celeb I know you get hundreds of tweets every day, but I’m your biggest fan so please TMB
- Q4U – Question for You
Facebook Post: Hey quick Q4U – just noticed those awesome pictures from your hike last week. Where did you go?
- NVM – Never mind
NVM the message I sent you last week. We’re going to change the due date to next month anyways.
- WYD – What (Are) You Doing?
Google+ Post: I noticed you haven’t been publishing as much content over the past month. WYD these days?
- HMU – Hit Me Up
@baddogowner tweeted: Hey everyone, my dog just ran out the front door and is now sprinting through the neighborhood. HMU if you see him!
- OOTW – Outfit of the Week
Definition: a popular Instagram trend where fashion gurus pose with their favorite new outfits (sometimes changed to Outfit of the Day)
- ISO – In Search Of
Definition: mostly used on dating boards and websites (i.e. Male, 34 years old, computer technician ISO a blonde, adventurous woman)
- LTR – Long Term Relationship
@relationship_advice tweeted: if you’re in an LTR and need new date ideas, try a trip to the local farmer’s market and then cooking dinner. How romantic!
- BRB – Be Right Back
Gotta step away from the chat room real quick to use the bathroom, BRB.
- GTG – Got to Go
I know we’ve spent the last hour chatting about vacation plans for next summer, but I GTG right now. See ya!
- LOL – Laugh Out Loud
Definition: the classic, most famous acronym of all. Often used as a substitute for “haha” or “that’s funny.” Can sometimes be changed to “lulz” or “LOLZ”
- OP – Original Poster
Reddit Post: The OP clearly has no idea what he’s talking about. There are definitely more than 40 varieties of Italian wine!