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.
It went something like “If we post the blog should we tweet about it in the same hour? Or should we wait so we can attribute it to the RSS feed and email list who receives the new post notification?”
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?
This question was a pretty straight-forward one if you are somewhat involved in marketing or technology.
But, what if I threw a few more social media terms in there like “pin, post, share, like, gram, snap, and chat”? I could literally make a cohesive sentence that sound something like this:
If we post the tweet and then pin the image, we can also gram and snap it in the same hour. If we do that, we can measure the likes, favs, and shares to see if the blog is performing as we expected. Later, we can embed a video to see if subscribes increase.”
If you’re into social media, that entire sentence probably made sense. If you aren’t into social, it probably sounded like Klingon.
Think about it for a second. From an age perspective, a lot of company executives still fall in the “Boomer” generation. For them, the following terms had completely different meanings:
To you – A message that you sent on Twitter.
To them – A noise that a bird makes.
To you – The post you just shared on Instagram.
To them – The measurement of weight using the metrics system.
To you – Your latest blog article or Facebook message.
To them – Could mean mail, could mean a newspaper.
To you – A good thing because your content is being share rapidly.
To them – A bad thing because they are going to need a shot.
…and I could go on.How does this sentence make you feel --> If we post the tweet and pin the image, we can also gram and snap it in the same hour. Then, we can measure the likes, favs, and shares to see if the blog is performing. Click To Tweet
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. Heck, take some time to learn some of the marketing terms they are used to and translate those into modern-day activities.
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? Have a tip for helping your company leadership understand it? I’d love to hear about it in a comment!