Acronyms are an abbreviation formed from the initial letters of other words and often pronounced as a word itself — naturally, social media acronyms are identical, except they’re commonly used on social sites. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and BOGO (Buy one, get one) are two wildly popular examples of acronyms and how they can become more popular than the actual saying themselves.
Texting, social media and the internet as a whole have especially popularized acronyms, making them something that users see and use almost constantly. While acronyms are commonplace in casual social media usage, it’s not always obvious what they mean or if brands should use them in their own content.
In this article, we unpack:
As much as we would like to provide a simple yes or no answer, it’s not that easy. Acronyms are everywhere on social media, but should you use them on your brand account? First, your team should consider if acronyms fit with your brand voice. Acronyms can sometimes lead to a more casual appearance on social media — is that how you want your brand to be perceived?
Possibly the most important question to ask when using acronyms is, will your target market understand? It goes without saying that Gen Alpha and Gen Z are more likely to understand acronyms as they spend much more time on social media and often create the acronyms themselves. Established generations that don’t spend as much time dissecting social media might be left scratching their heads or having to Google what they mean.
If you’re unsure if your audience and community will understand the acronym or need a deeper explanation, it’s best to go without it and either use the whole saying or replace it altogether.
To give a clear understanding of what acronyms (especially on social media) are, we gathered some of the most popular examples that users are likely to be familiar with and see almost daily.
GRWM, which stands for ‘Get Ready With Me,’ is one of the most used acronyms on social media. These videos feature the creator getting ready for their day in the form of skincare, makeup and outfits, where they usually talk through the products they’re using or wearing, give recommendations and even give followers an update on their day.
GRWM is also a great example of how acronyms can be misunderstood as many users over the years have instead thought it stood for ‘Grown Woman’ and are only learning the real meaning behind the acronym now.
OOTD stands for ‘Outfit of the Day.’ These videos are extremely popular, especially with fashion creators, because they don’t require a ton of filming or editing. Most creators will just stand in front of the camera and either talk through their outfit details, put them on the screen or even list them in the caption. This type of video or post can also be used to show inspiration and incorporate trending sounds or songs.
These videos are a straightforward way to create regular content that users love and engage with.
‘Point of View’ or POV content is a trendy type of content on TikTok. This type of content puts the viewer in the shoes of someone who would experience this point of view. These videos can be serious or funny, long or short and even promotional if done right.
The great thing about POV content is that, unlike GRWM or OOTD, it isn’t limited to what you can create. The options are endless.
While we’ve covered some of the most popular acronyms on social media above, that isn’t even close to scratching the surface. From social platform acronyms to social media slang, here are the most essential acronyms for brands to know and understand.
Some of the most popular acronyms on social media are for and related to the platforms themselves.
FYP: For you page
These acronyms are the most widely used and understood on social media. This type of social media slang has become extremely popular because it allows users to get their point across way faster without having to use entire words or sentences.
AFAIK: As far as I know
AKA: Also known as
AMA: Ask me anything
BRB: Be right back
BTS: Behind the scenes
BTW: By the way
CSL: Can’t stop laughing
DM/PM: Direct message or private message
DYK: Did you know?
EOD: End of day
EOW: End of week
ETA: Estimated time of arrival
F2F: Face to face
FBF: Flashback Friday
FOMO: Fear of missing out
FR: For real
FTW: For the win
FYI: For your information
G2G/GTG: Got to go
GOAT: Greatest of all time
HBD: Happy birthday
HMU: Hit me up
ICYMI: In case you missed it
IDC: I don’t care
IDK: I don’t know
IKR: I know right?
ILY: I love you
IMO: In my opinion
IRL: In real life
IYKYK: If you know you know
ISO: In search of
JK: Just kidding
LMAO: Laugh/laughing my a** off
LMK: Let me know
LOL: Laugh/laughing out loud
NBD: No big deal
NM: Not much
NP: No problem
NSFW: Not safe for work
OFC: Of f&$%ing course
OMG: Oh my god
OMW: On my way
OP: Original poster
OTP: One true pair
OOO: Out of office
PSA: Public service announcement
RN: Right now
ROFL: Roll on the floor laughing
SFW: Safe for work
SMH: Shake my head
TBD: To be determined
TBH: To be honest
TBT: Throwback Thursday
TFW: That feeling when
TGIF: Thank god it’s Friday
TL;DR: Too long, didn’t read
TMI: Too much information
TTYL: Talk to your later
WBU: What about you?
WFH: Work from home
Acronyms on social are not just limited to platforms or conversational. There are plenty of times business acronyms work their way into public conversation — especially on platforms like LinkedIn — and aren’t as intuitive or easy to understand as more casual acronyms.
API (Application Programming Interface): API relates to a contract between two software or applications.
B2B (Business to Business): B2B refers to a transaction between two businesses.
B2C (Business to Consumer): B2C refers to a transaction between a business and a consumer.
CMS (Content Management System): CMS is software that is used to create, modify and manage digital content. With a CMS, you can build a website without having in-depth technical knowledge.
CPC (Cost Per Click): CPC is a metric that calculates and measures the overall cost per click for your advertising efforts.
CR (Conversion Rate): CR measures the amount of users who converted as a percentage of the total number of users that visited your website.
CTR (Click Through Rate): CTR is a metric that is used to gauge how well your various marketing efforts perform. CTR is calculated by the amount of clicks divided by the amount of times shown.
CTA (Call-to-Action): A CTA is a prompt on a website, social channel or specific post that tells a user what action to take next, like signing up for a newsletter.
CX (Customer Experience): CX relates to the impression customers have of a brand based on the interactions they have had with said brand.
EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust): EEAT is an acronym created by Google, that is used as a benchmark to determine whether your website and content provide value through one of these traits and ranks your content in the SERP accordingly.
EMV (Earned Media Value): EMV is a metric used to determine the value of branded content created by your community.
FTP (File Transport Protocol): FTP is a network protocol that transfers files from one host to another, usually on the Internet.
HTML (Hyper Text Markup Language): HTML is a system for tagging files to achieve different font, color, link and more on webpages.
KPI (Key Performance Indicators): KPIs are set by brands to measure and define the success of certain business or marketing objectives.
MoM (Month over Month): MoM is a metric that is used to compare data and numbers from the current month to the previous month.
OS (Operating System): The OS manages all software and hardware on a computer.
PLG (Product Led Growth): PLG is a strategy that relies on the product and usage of that product as the main driver of conversion and expansion.
PPC (Pay Per Click): PPC is a pricing model for advertisers where they pay a fee each time someone clicks on their advertisement.
ROI (Return on Investment): ROI is a metric that determines the return on investment of certain marketing endeavors, directly tying effort to results.
RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication): RSS is a technology that provides users with new content from frequently updated websites.
SaaS (Software as a Service): SaaS is a distribution model where a provider hosts applications or tools and makes them available to users on the internet.
SEM (Search Engine Marketing): SEM is a marketing tactic related to promotion and advertising to help a brand’s content rank high on the SERP.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization): SEO is the process of optimizing and refining a website's technical elements, content, links and more to become more easily accessible to users and rank higher in search. SEO for social media involves optimizing your profile with the right keywords, hashtags, alt text and more; to be easy to discover on native channels and search engines themselves.
SERP (Search Engine Results Page): The SERP is the page and results that appear when a user searches a query on a search engine like Google.
SMART Goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely): The SMART Goals framework allows brands to identify and ensure goals are realistic and attainable within a certain timeframe.
SMB (Small and Midsize Sized Business): SMB refers to small and medium-sized businesses and is usually determined by the number of employees the company has.
SMM (Social Media Marketing/Management/Manager): SMM stands for many things relating to social media, though it is most commonly used to refer to social media marketing or management to describe strategies and objectives for social media.
SOV (Share of Voice): SOV is a metric that represents a brand’s share of a category’s total media spend and is typically used to determine competitive spend and inform future spending.
SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats): SWOT Analysis’ are frameworks used to evaluate a brand's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats compared to competitors.
TOS (Terms of Service): TOS is a document that highlights service provider responsibility as well as user obligations that must be met in order not to be terminated.
UI (User Interface): UI is anything a user interacts with when using a digital product or service.
UGC (User Generated Content): UGC is community-created content or earned media featuring or showcasing a brand, such as a photo or video with said brand tagged.
URL (Uniform Resource Locator): URL is the unique address given to a webpage or resource online.
UTM (Urchin Tracking Module): UTMs are parameters marketers use to track the overall effectiveness of online marketing efforts like advertisements or campaigns.
UX (User Experience): UX relates to the specific experience users have when using a product or service.
VPN (Virtual Private Network): A VPN establishes a digital connection between a computer and a remote server that encrypts personal data, masks the IP address and allows sidestepping of firewalls and other blockers.
WOM (Word of Mouth): WOM is when a consumer’s opinion of a brand’s product or service is reflected in conversations with other potential customers.
YoY (Year over Year): YoY is a metric used to compare data and numbers from the current year to the previous year.
ICYMI, there is one important thing to be learned about acronyms and their use on brand accounts: understanding your audience and how they speak is key.
DYK Dash Hudson offers a suite of tools that helps brands understand and communicate with their social media community? No more FOMO here. These community-based tools can help you get a feel for what type of content your followers like, dislike and even understand, so you aren’t missing a thing.
BTW, if you’re looking to take it a step further, brands can tune into how their target users talk outside of their community with social listening. TBH, social listening is one of the most essential tools a brand can have in its arsenal. It will help you truly understand whether acronyms should be a part of your 2024 strategy or not.
Yes, your business can use acronyms on social media. Just be sure to define any acronyms that aren’t overly obvious and that the acronyms you are using resonate with your target audience.
SNS stands for social networking service, which is essentially a fancier name for a social media platform or channel. Social networking service refers to platforms like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and more.
Social media slang makes its way into the dictionary the same way any other word does. Once a word starts gaining traction, researchers look into how often this word is being used and where it’s being used to determine whether it deserves a formal definition.
Slang used to take longer to get into the dictionary, but with the change in pace of the internet and social media, it’s become faster (and easier) than ever before to define these terms for users who are looking to learn what they mean.