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Top 10 Social Media Acronyms for Business

Social media has changed the way that we work in many ways – both in our personal and business worlds. What was once identified as “teen talk” or “teen slang,” is now a major part of the business terminology. We went from “IDK, my bff Jill” to hearing similar types of acronyms in our business meetings – ROI, CPC, SaaS, KPI, etc. Keeping track of all of these acronyms, their meanings, and their relevance can be quite daunting at first, even for those with long, storied marketing careers.

In a world where many important conversations take place in 140 characters or less, it’s necessary to understand what these acronyms mean. If not, you may feel like you’ve wandered into Babel and everyone around is talking in a language you don’t understand. Here are the top 10(ish) social media acronyms that businesses professionals must know – and not just those in marketing.

  1. ROI: Return on Investment. This is a major term for anyone in business to understand. All decisions, from marketing to engineering to sales, are made with ROI in mind – what is the return on investment that these efforts or initiatives bring in? Increasing the bottom line is the goal of every business, so identifying the ROI for different efforts is necessary. If a particular decision or campaign has a high ROI, you keep it going. If it has a low ROI, you analyze the results and head back to the drawing board.
  2. UX/UI: User Experience/User Interface. It’s important to understand how the user sees and uses your product or service, whether it’s a technical tool or the way they navigate your website. A difficult UI/UX is a horrible thing – customers will get frustrated and leave your site or service (both of which result in losses you don’t want to have). When planning out the brand’s UI/UX, make sure you take a step away and look at it from the eyes of the user or consumer, not from the eyes of the designer or employee.
  3. B2B/B2C: Business-to-Business/Business-to-Consumer. These are basic terms that define who your business sells to. Do you provide a product or service for other businesses (ex: social media management software like Viralheat) or do you sell to consumers (ex: retail stores like Macys)? Determining whether your brand is B2B or B2C is important because identifying your target audience will define how you market, build, or make your product or service.
  4. CTA/CTR: Call to Action/Click Through Rate. These two terms are bundled together because they are often used together. Your marketing efforts (from email to website) all should have a CTA – what do you want the receiver to do? Some examples of common CTAs are: sign up today, buy now, register today, etc. All CTAs represent an action that you want the receiver to take and the way you measure the success of your CTAs is by looking at the CTR. Did your audience sigh up, buy, or register? High CTRs show that your CTAs are successful in moving the audience to act. If you have low CTRs you may want to reconsider the verbiage, placement, or action.
  5. PPC/CPC: Pay Per Click/Cost Per Click. When you need to drive traffic to your websites, you often invest in internet or social media advertising. This means that you take out real estate or space on a site to advertise your brand (ex: banner ads). The PPC or CPC is what the advertisers pay the publishers – the amount spent to get one to click on the advertisement. If you want to calculate your PPC, take the advertising cost and divide it by the number of times the ad was clicked. You want a low PPC rate as it means that many people clicked on your ad.
  6. SMM: Social Media Management. This term was created specifically because of the social media boom. As social media’s popularity continued to grow in personal and business use, the need to strategically manage social media arose. Social media managers, social strategists, SMM tools, etc. became necessary roles in business strategies. And because Twitter is a major part of the social world, the acronym SMM became necessary to keep this valuable idea within the 140 character limit.
  7. WOM: Word of Mouth. Everyone knows what word of mouth is… but social media made it necessary for the term to get shortened into the acronym WOM. Review sites such as Yelp, Amazon reviews, etc. all play a major role in how consumers choose a particular product or service. WOM is now the most trusted form of advertisement and because companies are ramping up their social presence, it’s important to emphasize a positive WOM reputation.
  8. SaaS: Service as a Software. Chances are you know and use a SaaS company even though you might not know what the acronym stands for. Companies that provide services through software programs (either programs you need to install or programs you can access through the web) are SaaS companies. Salesforce is a SaaS product that you likely use in your business to manage your CRM (customer relation management)
  9. KPI: Key Performance Indicators. KPIs are important for any business and across multiple departments. These are the benchmarks set or the indicators that show how well your initiatives are going. If you’re running a social campaign, some important KPIs include the amount of engagement or shares your campaign generated. If you’re pushing a sales campaign, KPIs include interested queries, qualified leads, conversion rates. If you’ve sent out an email campaign, the KPIs you look at include CTRs, open rates, replies, etc. Each department and campaign will have different KPIs so make sure they are relevant and you identify them prior to launching any initiatives.
  10. SEO/SEM: Search Engine Optimization/Search Engine Marketing. When you need or want to know something, chances are you turn to Google (or other search engines) first. Do you ever wonder how the results come up or are ranked? Studies show that users often do not go past the first page and almost never go past the second page. SEO and SEM refer to the tactics used to get those search results ranked higher and often include experts in doing so as it’s not as easy as it sounds. There is a lot of competition for page rankings so make sure you carefully consider these avenues in your marketing plans.

There are many, many more business acronyms out there that you should know with many more that will pop up, but these are some of the main ones that will come into any marketing conversation. If you come across an acronym you don’t know, do what you normally do… Google it! Just don’t try to brush it off because chances are you will see it time and again.

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