The Ultimate List of Social Media Acronyms and Abbreviations
Our comprehensive list of the latest social media acronyms will help you become fluent in internet language and keep you in the know.
Real talk: With all the social media acronyms being used right now, it can be hard to understand what’s going on. For anyone not in the know, they’re basically a different language.
But if your brand is using social media for business, properly using social media acronyms and social media abbreviations might be part of an effective social strategy. In fact, it’s one of the many social media trends your brand will want to understand.
So don’t worry if you thought YOLO was a frozen dessert. Or GOAT was literally, well, just a goat.
To help you crack the social media acronym code, we’ve collected the top social media acronyms, initialisms, and abbreviations every marketer should know. They’re broken into five categories:
Network specific abbreviations
Business specific social media acronyms and abbreviations
Technical acronyms and abbreviations used on social media
Gen Z social media acronyms and abbreviations
Social media acronyms for emotions
Okay — it’s time to level up your social vocabulary RN (right now).
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 certain and aren’t an expert, after all.
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.
FWIW, you shouldn't ever use "Facts don't care about your feelings" — even if you're a US Senator — if you can't answer the question "Who lost the 2020 presidential race?" without a lot of stammering, mumbling or "Squirrel!"
This social media acronym is an informative abbreviation, sometimes delivered with a hint of sass.
"I'm a big girl who did a smoothie detox. Every big girl should do whatever they want with their bodies." Lizzo responded to critics that say she's promoting "diet culture" with her smoothie cleanse. FYI, she's doing what SHE wants. https://t.co/mtFZpz6H0t
This one is literally not safe for work. Think twice before using it — and sharing any NSFW content — on a corporate account.
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
Probably the social media acronym of 2020. Often used in online chats with colleagues, but this can be useful for social media as well.
SMH: Shaking My Head
For the times when it’s necessary people know that you’re unimpressed or incredulous, and quite possibly, literally shaking your head behind that screen.
TBH: To Be Honest
Much like IMO, this social media abbreviation is used as a humble flex, to share an opinion or show you agree or disagree with something.
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.
TLDR: I went out for a 100 miler and earned 65 TRAIL miles with a PR for time on my feet! 🏃🏼♀️💪🏼 My motto for 2020…
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.
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, travelling 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).
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
Also known as pay per click (PPC), this abbreviation refers to 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 14.3, 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.
URL: Uniform Resource Locator
A URL is the global web address of a website or page.
UV: Unique Views
Unique views is 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.
Used before providing too much information (i.e. “this may be TMI, but…”). Or to tell someone they have: “That’s gross! TMI!”
TTKU: Try To Keep Up
Often used in a sassy way to call someone out when they’re not quite fast enough to understand a joke or a fact.
TY: Thank You
WBU: What About You
“I’m doing great, WBU?”
WDYM: What Do You Mean
An abbreviation to show you don’t totally get what’s going on right now. You need someone to clarify for you.
WTF: What The F–––
YOLO: You Only Live Once
Only a few years ago, YOLO was used a lot to show that you’re living your best life. Now, in true Gen Z style, it’s mostly used in an ironic way.
YW: You’re Welcome
Don’t mention it, using only as many letters as necessary.
The social media managers out there know that social media acronyms is basically another language. (Especially when you add in all those social media definitions you need to know too!)
But it isn’t one that’s hard to master. In fact, you can consider this list your English-to-social media abbreviation cheat sheet. Bookmarked alongside our Social Media Dictionary, you’ll be fluent in no time.
DYK Hootsuite makes SMM easier and quicker? Schedule, compose, and publish posts to FB, IG, LI, TW, and YT all from one dashboard. Srsly! Try it free rn.