Social media can be an overwhelming place, especially when you feel like you don’t speak the language.
You’re scrolling through your social channels and you see a bunch of random letters tacked together — TIL, FWIW, IMHO — it can be hard to even know where to start.
So in this episode we cover a list of social media acronyms you should know. This list is neither meant to be exhaustive nor fully up-to-date (since internet language is constantly evolving!).
But in the meantime, you should probably know all of these acronyms if you want to keep up with your customers and your audience.
- HT or H/T
NOTE: This list was modified from a previous blog post I wrote which you can find here.
FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT
Social media can feel like an overwhelming place, especially if you feel like you don’t speak the language. You’re scrolling through your social channels and you see a bunch of random letters tacked together — TIL, FWIW, IMHO — it can be hard to even know where to start.
So I put together a list of social media acronyms you should know. This list is modified from a blog post I wrote a while back which you can find at bit.ly/suys-acronyms. This list is neither meant to be exhaustive nor fully up-to-date (since internet language is constantly evolving!). But in the meantime, you should probably know all of these acronyms if you want to keep up with your customers and your audience.
If you come across any others you aren’t sure about, Google can almost always provide an answer pretty quickly. But if you find yourself stumped, feel free to reach out on Twitter, Facebook (I’m at Reverbal Communications) or drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can’t offer an assist.
Without further ado, here are some social media acronyms that you should know:
- Let’s start with some obvious, but important ones that seem to confuse even pretty apt social media users: IG – Instagram, FB – Facebook, LI – LinkedIn and YT – YouTube
- AFAIK — As far as I know
- AMA — Ask Me Anything
Someone might say: “I work with celebrities. AMA.” The idea is that they know something—or do or have done something—interesting and they are ready to answer your questions. It’s an acronym mostly associated with reddit, but it pops up now and then on other platforms.
- BTW — By the way, also pronounced b-t-dubs
- DM — Direct Message
Also known as PM, primate message. A DM is more private than a tweet or a post. Although, like everything else on the internet, it’s not completely private! Remember Anthony Weiner and his privates? That story started because he thought he was DMing someone, but he was actually tweeting it. Just as important, even if he had in fact DMed it, someone else would still have had the pic and could have shared it. Which in fact wound up happening to Weiner as well. Here’s a good rule of the thumb: if you don’t want it to be public, don’t write it down (and for the love of god don’t take a picture of it!!!). But if you want to chat a bit more prviately, slide on over to those DMs.
- FF — Follow Friday
If you follow someone you really like, you can give them a nice shoutout using #FF and in the process tell your audience that they should also be following this person. For example: #FF @ReverbalC if you want to #StepUpYourSocial.
- FTW — For The Win
- FWIW — For What It’s Worth
- HT or H/T — Hat Tip (or Heard Through)
Find something interesting/funny/cool online and want to share it, but don’t want to retweet or share the original post? Instead you can create your own post to share it. But you still want to give credit to the person who shared it with you. Add an HT and then you are giving them their much deserved cred.
- IIRC — If I recall correctly
- IM(H)O — In My (Humble) Opinion
It’s always important to differentiate between facts and opinions. IMHO.
- ICYMI — In Case You Missed It
This one is important. Some news breaks and you post it online. A few days later, you want to make sure that as many people as possible saw it. Reposting it straight can feel a bit awkward though. But if you add ICYMI, you are letting people know that you are re-flagging the story as noteworthy. A great acronym for re-amplifying stories you think are important.
- IDK — I Don’t Know
- IRL — In Real Life
As opposed to, you know, on the internet.
- MT — Modified Tweet
This one is Twitter specific, and it’s waaay less relevant today now that Twitter has changed how we quote tweets. But sometimes you will still see it. Essentially, if you want to quote someone else’s tweet, but need to edit it for length or to fix a typo (NOT to change their meaning), you would add MT to your tweet. You are letting people know that you are sharing a modified version of someone else’s tweet.
- NSFW — Not Suitable For Work
Be on the look out for this one before clicking on any links at work, or in front of your kids.
- PT — Previous Tweet
Since Twitter added the ability to easily thread tweets, this is another acronym that’s all but irrelevant. But it’s still a good one to understand should you happen to come across it. When someone adds #PT to a tweet, they are letting you know that their current tweet is referring to their previous one.
- ROFL — Rolling On the Floor Laughing
A step up (or is it down?) from LOL (which of course is Laughing Out Loud).
- RT — Retweet
- SMH — Shaking My Head
Disappointment of the briefest variety.
- TBT — Throwback Thursday
Share a pic of yourself (or someone/something else) from back in the day on any Thursday and tag it #TBT and you have just joined in on Throwback Thursday. It’s a popular form of social media nostalgia. There’s also #FBF (Flash Back Friday). Same idea, different day.
- TL;DR — Too Long; Didn’t Read
Sometimes I’ll read an article and think it’s great. But I know that most people don’t have time to get through the whole thing. So I can share it online with a TL;DR and a brief summation. For those who want to read the whole thing, great! For those who don’t have time, they can quickly get the gist and move on.
- TFW — That Feeling When
I recently bought a copy of a Jay Baer book online. When it arrived, I opened it up and it turned out, he had autographed it. So I shared it online with a
TFW you open a book and find the author’s signature in it.” In other words, it’s a nice feeling that everyone knows and you are currently enjoying. Lean into it!
- TIL — Today I learned
As in, TIL a whole bunch of new social media acronyms. I’m now officially ready to Step Up My Social
- YMMV — Your mileage may vary
This one is a bit obscure, but I’ve seen it a lot especially in Facebook Groups where folks are there to learn and to teach. When you add a YMMV to your post you are clarifying that something worked for you but that you aren’t sure it will work for everyone else.
- TFTF — Thanks For The Follow
This is what I might say (or at the very least think ) after you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
Any that I missed? Share them on Facebook or Twitter using the #StepUpYourSocial. In the meantime, HTH (Hope This Helps)!