130+ Social Media Acronyms Every Marketer Should Know
Our comprehensive list of the latest social media acronyms will help you become fluent in internet language and keep you in the know.
Learning a new language isn’t easy, and there is unfortunately no Duolingo Owl for social media acronyms (Duo, if you’re reading this, I’m totally going to practice my Japanese later, please stop texting me). But proper, clever use of internet abbreviations is part of a successful social media strategy — so if your brand is using social media for business, you’re going to want to study up.
Improper use of acronyms online can be confusing at best and embarrassing at worst. You don’t want your company to sound like someone’s great aunt Margy:
Shoutout to my great aunt Margy, who thinks that "lol" means "lots of love" and has just managed to thoroughly confuse a whole bunch of bereaved relatives.
Bonus: Get a free social media strategy templateto quickly and easily plan your own strategy. Also use it to track results and present the plan to your boss, teammates, and clients.
G+: Google +
DM: Direct message
This is a private form of communication, seen only between the sender and the recipient. On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, users can “slide into” someone’s DMs by sending a private message.
MT: Modified Tweet
Tweets that begin with MT indicate that the Tweeter has edited the content they’re retweeting for brevity or other reasons. This is also called a Quote Tweet.
PM: Private message
Private messages are the same as direct messages. If someone asks you to PM them, they’re essentially asking to move a public conversation into the private realm.
PRT: Partial Retweet
This is very similar to a RT, but is used to show that you’re only quoting part of what the other Twitter user said originally. Maybe you’re condensing to save space for your own commentary, for example.
Instead of hitting the retweet button, or retweeting with a comment, some Twitter users repost a tweet and use “RT” plus the user’s handle for attribution.
Popular social media acronyms and abbreviations
AFAIK: As far as I know
Used when sharing facts or stating something that you believe to be true, but typing AFAIK shows that you aren’t completely sure. You’re not an expert, after all.
AKA: Also known as
This is a useful abbreviation when referring to folks who literally go by two names (Stefani Germanotta AKA Lady Gaga) or referencing a common nickname (Simone Biles aka the GOAT). Also, see “GOAT.”
'Afro Art' is a series of portraits celebrating the beauty and versatility of Black hair inspired by Baroque period artworks, by Kahran Bethencourt (and partner Regis) aka Creative Soul #WomensArtpic.twitter.com/WY1seCRvqn
AMAs are social question-and-answer sessions. Companies, influencers, brand representatives and everyday folks might post AMAs on Twitter, Reddit, or in a Facebook or Instagram live stream.
ASAP: As soon as possible
For when you need something, right now.
BRB: Be right back
This is one of the original social media abbreviations, first used in the late 1980s or early 1990s. It’s from the chat forum era, but finds its way back on social when the right occasion calls for it.
BTS: Behind the scenes
Nope, not the Korean boy band. This abbreviation is used to offer followers a behind-the-scenes look at your brand.
This social media acronym is used to add extra info, go on a tangent, or throw some shade.
CMV: Change my view
You’re sharing an opinion, but are aware that your opinion might be flawed. You’re open to having a civil conversation. In fact, there’s an entire subreddit dedicated to CMV discussions.
DYK: Did you know
Did you know the DYK abbreviation is a great way to share a fun fact with your social media audience? Write in your social media caption or include it as a hashtag.
Today is Day 5 of #SeaTurtleWeek and it's all about the loggerhead turtle! #DYK that loggerheads are the most common nesting turtle that we document in Broward County? Each year, our team with the @BrowardCTurtles marks over 2,000 loggerhead nests on our beaches!
A sometimes sincere, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes full-of-genuine-excitement acclamation. (And on the other side of the coin, FTL means for the loss.)
FWIW: For what it’s worth
This social media acronym is commonly used to express one’s opinion, but in a way that isn’t rude or overbearing. It shows you’re not intentionally trying to call someone out if they share something you don’t think is correct. You’ll most often find this on Twitter or message boards.
FYI: For your information
This social media acronym is an informative abbreviation, sometimes delivered with a hint of sass.
When someone uses this social media abbreviation, they’re waiting for feedback or information. Creators will often add “LMK if this helps!” after sharing advice.
MFW: My face when
This acronym is always accompanied with an image that represents a facial expression. It’s used both positively and negatively (for example, “MFW I find $50 in my old pants” or “MFW my sister finds $50 in the old pants I just gave her).
NBD: No big deal
Often used as a humble brag for something that is actually a big deal for the writer of the social post.
NP: No problem
A very chill response (regardless of whether it was actually a problem).
NSFW: Not safe for work
This one is literally not safe for work. Think twice before using it — and sharing any NSFW content — on a corporate account.
NYT: Name your trade
Used in groups and forums where exchanges are made. Has misled many to assume The New York Times is in very high demand.
OC: Original content
Another way of showing that you are sharing your own content, not someone else’s ideas or words. Basically the opposite of RT. For example, sharing a photo over Twitter that you took would be OC. Sharing someone else’s photo wouldn’t.
WFH: Working from home
Unsurprisingly, this acronym gained a lot of traction during the COVID-19 pandemic. Often used in online chats with colleagues, but this can be useful for social media as well.
For the times when it’s necessary people know that you’re unimpressed or incredulous, and possibly literally shaking your head behind that screen.
TBH: To be honest
Much like IMO, this social media abbreviation is used to show vulnerability, as a humble flex, to share an opinion or show you agree or disagree with something.
TBT: Throwback Thursday
Like FBF, this is another social media-designated day of nostalgia.
TFTF: Thanks for the follow
Twitter slang. This social media abbreviation is a way to interact in a positive way with someone who recently started following you on social.
TFW: That feeling when
Precedes an often relatable experience, and is usually accompanied by a meme.
TGIF: Thank God it’s Friday
Because everybody’s working for the weekend.
TL;DR: Too long; Didn’t read
Usually used to offer a pithy summary on something too lengthy for Internet attention spans. Or it’s the summary typed out before or after the long explanation, kind of like the Coles Notes version of a social media caption.
WBW: Wayback Wednesday
Wayback Wednesday takes a trip down memory lane on hump day.
WCW: Woman crush Wednesday
A day of the week to celebrate a self-identifying woman, usually on Instagram, for whatever reason! There’s also MCM: Man Crush Monday. WCW can be used in a caption or as a hashtag.
Today’s #WCW is the immensely talented @Khosi_Ngema_ . She plays Fikile Bhele on Netflix’s series Blood & Water (if you haven’t watched season 1, RUN DON’T WALK! Season 2 just started, and we are already deep). Khosi is only 21 years old and is already killing the game. pic.twitter.com/QjGgWPBUXa
Used to show growth or quantitative changes happening each four weeks. Commonly used for changes in revenue, active users, page views or sign ups. There’s also YoY: Year over year. This measures the same quantitative metrics, but comparing data over 12 months instead of 4 weeks.
OOO: Out of office
Usually included in an automated email, scheduled to be sent when someone knows they will be away from the office on holiday, traveling for work, or in an extended workshop. For example, “I will try to get back to you by Monday as I will be OOO for the next three days on vacation.”
P/E: Price to earnings
A ratio or metric often used by investors and business analysts to determine the value of a company.
ROI: Return on investment
ROI measures how much profit is delivered for given corporate initiatives. ROI is one of the most common ways businesses assess the success of campaigns and ventures.
Small businesses are businesses with less than 50 employees. Midsize (or medium-sized) businesses typically have less than 250. They also are sometimes referred to as small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).
Use this acronym when the information you need isn’t known yet, as in “Cake for Alyssa’s birthday on Thursday! Flavour TBD.”
TOS: Terms of service
Terms of service are the legal rules users agree to follow to use a social platform.
UGC: User-generated content
User-generated content refers to any content, including posts, images, or videos, created by users of a platform rather than a brand.
WOM: Word of mouth
Word-of-mouth marketing refers to the viral passing of brand conversation online through the active encouragement of a company.
Technical acronyms used on social media
API: Application programming interface
An API is a set of tools, definitions, and protocols that allows software developers to backend one system with another. For instance, Google Maps has APIs available for web browser and app integration so that different companies can integrate map technology.
CMS: Content management system
A content management system is a platform that hosts the creation and management of digital content. Popular content management systems include WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
CPC: Cost per click
The price an advertiser pays for each click earned on a campaign.
CR: Conversion rate
The conversion rate measures the percentage of people who have taken an action on your campaign such as views, registrations, downloads, purchases. Conversions are a key metric when it comes to calculating ROI.
CRO: Conversion rate optimization
Measures taken to improve conversions.
CTR: Click-through rate
A click-through rate represents the percentage of people who click on a link after being presented with the option.
CX: Customer experience
Customer experience refers to the relationship a customer has with a company through various interactions and touchpoints. Mapping out the customer journey is a good way to ensure a customer will have a good experience with your company.
ESP: Email service provider
In simple terms, an ESP is a third-party company that offers email services, such as newsletter deployment or marketing campaigns. Popular companies include MailChimp, Constant Contact, and Drip.
FTP: File transport protocol
A way of transferring files or copying files between computers. Often used for file transfer between a server on a network and a client’s computer. This is one of the easiest ways of transferring files — and also the oldest, since it was taking place in the pre-internet era.
GA: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is an analytics platform for websites. It allows marketers to track website visitors, referrals, bounce rates, and more.
Sending a typed message to someone else’s computer immediately. For example, you can send an IM over Slack, Google’s Hangout Conversations or Skype chat.
OS: Operating system
The software that runs a computer, tablet or smartphone. For example, when you get a notification on your iPhone to update to iOS 16, you’re updating the OS that runs your phone.
PV: Page views
Page views is a tally of how many visitors have landed on a given web page. Overall page views stats often tracked alongside unique page views.
RSS: Rich site summary
RSS, sometimes known as Really Simple Syndication, is a format for syndicating web content. (That means content from one website is made available for another website.) Podcasts, blogs, and publishers rely on RSS feeds to share their content with a wide audience.
Software as a service refers to cloud-based applications that are available to customers over the Internet. It’s sometimes also known as “on-demand software” or software plus services.” Examples include email and calendar apps, and Hootsuite.
SOV: Share of voice
Share of voice measures the amount of exposure a company owns compared to its competitors. Social share of voice, on the other hand, measures brand exposure based on social conversation about a company.
UI: User interface
The visual part of a system that’s been designed for end users. Basically, it’s where humans and machines meet.
Unique views are the number of individual viewers of a page, video, or image. For example, if a single user reads a story on a website 10 times, it will register as 10 page views and one unique view.
UX: User experience
In digital design, user experience examines how effectively people interface with systems such as websites or applications. Good UX aims to understand users’ values, needs, abilities, and barriers.
VPN: Virtual private network
A private network that gives the user anonymity when using the internet by offering an encrypted connection, as opposed to being on a public network. A VPN might be used to protect the user from hackers or spyware.
Gen Z social media acronyms
Gen Z has a spending power estimated at over $143 billion — that’s a lot of money. And Gen Z’ers are known for aligning their spending with their values, so now’s the time to be #relatable. Here’s the abbreviations Gen Z is using right now.