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Do You Speak The Language Of Social Media? [Comic]

Some folks felt like I was speaking a foreign social media language

Working in social media in my day job and my night job, I spend a LOT of time around social media geeks. The other day, I overheard an entire conversation that was so full of social media lingo and jargon that it was like a whole new language. While I understood what the terms meant, I asked myself what I would think if I were an executive at a company that just didn’t understand social media. Would this whole new language irritate me? Frighten me? Would I be concerned that a new generation was talking in terms that I just didn’t understand?

So here’s a tip to all those who are working to educate their leaders and organizations on the value of social media. While helping them understand the terms is important, don’t make your conversations overly cryptic with a lot of jargon. Consider your audience and their understanding of the space and try to help them understand what specific terms mean and why they’re important. Use business terms and explain how social media works using stories and case studies. If you can show the value without all the jargon, you’ll have a much easier time selling it in and your execs won’t think they have to take a class in Klingon just to engage.

Have a funny story about social media jargon? I’d love to hear about it in a comment!



Sean R. Nicholson :Social Media Strategist, Tech Geek, Attorney, coffee addict. I connect people, enhance the workplace, & drive business. I blog at and I tweet at @socmedsean. You can also find me on Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+

View Comments (13)

  • Spot on Sean - but it's just as important for the C-Suite executives to get on board. If underlings hesitate to communicate in the new language that has become part of our new lexicon to their bosses - its says something about the upper strata and their unwillingness to keep up with the times.

  • Did you watch the 1st presidential debate? Coverage on PBS included one social media correspondent. It appeared to me that most of her commentary was met with glazed-over eyes by the other correspondents. It is very important to know your audience, but I suppose her audience was not the other correspondents. I chuckled about it.

  • LOL! Awesome comic! it is funny the unique language we all speak when we talk about social media.

  • When they like me they follow me like fans, they might pin some of my stuff and fav some of my tweets (that's when a w takes its importance). I have a lot of klout but could use more instagram. I msn but I don't digg. I rarely have time for my farm ville anymore. If you stumble upon me, it's cool; if not just xeeme, ok? Lately am on trust cloud.

  • Spot on Sean. I personally believe in taking it out of the clouds and using some down to earth examples. There are many correlations that can be drawn to help those not as involved in social as we truly understand it.
    If the entire point is actual communication ~ why create stumbling blocks to accomplishing that end?

    • I agree Phaedra! If folks don't understand the value behind social media, why make it harder for them by using a lot of jargon terms and phrases.

      Thanks for the comment!