Slang can be difficult to decode in day-to-day speech, but let’s talk about text! If you’re active on social media platforms or talk to friends, family, or co-workers via text – yeah, that’s pretty much everyone – you’ve likely encountered these shorthand acronyms that are code for a phrase or modern terminology. There’s an endlessly growing list of social media abbreviations and acronyms in the digital world that can leave you wondering, “WTH” – oh, that’s “what the heck”!

Seeing a mysterious string of letters for the first time can really make you feel uncomfortable if it’s not easily deciphered – and some aren’t obvious at all. How do you keep up with “text-speak,” so you aren’t left scratching your head the next time you see new text and social media acronyms?

Bookmark this ultimate guide to social media abbreviations! We’ll keep the ever-growing list of social media acronyms and strange shorthand text terms up-to-date, so you can avoid awkward interactions online. Keep your conversations flowing and grow your social media following organically, by staying in-the-know with modern lingo.

Social Media Abbreviations for Platforms

Let’s start with the basics. It’s common for people to use social media abbreviations when referring to popular social networks. Instead of typing out, “Instagram” or “Facebook” in a text, some people find it easier to refer to the platform by its acronym. Review these shorthand phrases for popular social media platforms:

Call-to-Action Acronyms

You might also come across abbreviations that refer to features within those networks. These are especially important on Twitter and TikTok, as both platforms have limited character counts in comment sections and status updates.

  • DM – Direct Message. Businesses or users that are promoting or selling a product or service often include “DM for inquiries” in their bio or in comment sections. This is a call-to-action that tells users to send a message to the account owner to initiate a conversation.
  • PM – Private Message. Similar to “DM,” this is a more generic term for one-on-one messages.
  • RT – Retweet. This is seen only on Twitter. When you share someone’s Tweet to your own feed, you are “Retweeting” them. Influencers, musicians, businesses, and brands often ask their followers to RT a post for more exposure.
  • AMA – Ask Me Anything. These requests are popular on influencer accounts or survey posts. It’s a more colloquial request that invites your audience to connect with you in a Q&A format

Illustration of a person interacting online, deciding which social media abbreviations to use on a business platform.

Social Media Abbreviations for Expressions

Using acronyms in your social media status updates or comments can be a fun way to engage with your following. On platforms that have limited character counts, you can even get a longer message out with abbreviations. These are some of the most common acronyms that people use to either share a reaction or to shorten a phrase.

  • 411 – Information. This is a more casual way of saying, “If you’ve got it, you know what’s up.”
  • AF – As F***…You fill in the blanks.
  • AFK – Away From Keyboard. Used to let others know there might be a slight delay in responding to messages because you’ve stepped away.
  • AFAIK – As Far As I Know. A way to chip in your two cents, while still admitting you might also have misinformation.
  • BC – Because. Why abbreviate one word? BC it’s faster.
  • BRB – Be Right Back. This is one of the first social media and text abbreviations that originated in chat forums – remember those? Similar to AFK, this lets people know that you’ve stepped away from your screen.
  • BTW – By The Way. Commonly used to give more information, go on a tangent, or add a little snap to a comment.
  • BTS – Behind The Scenes. This is often used by influencers, celebrities, musicians, or businesses when giving followers a look into the making of a certain product or process. It can give your audience the feeling of being more involved with or connected to your persona or brand.
  • DAE – Does Anyone Else? This can be either a literal or rhetorical question posed to the general public.
  • DYK – Did You Know. Often used to offer a quick tip or fun fact with your following.
  • ELI5 – Explain it Like I’m 5. This is a popular phrase used on Reddit. Use this when you’re introducing a complex topic in a simple way.
  • FBF – Flashback Friday. This is a popular term used by all users. It’s a fun way to share old content on Fridays.
  • FF – Follow Friday. A trend that started on Twitter, FF lets users make suggestions to their followers of other accounts worth following. You follow?
  • FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. Don’t miss out on this engaging way to share information about upcoming events, or interesting information about your company.
  • FR – For Real. Some social media abbreviations feel a bit pointless – FR. But, when there are character count restrictions, this one might fit just right.
  • FTFY – Fixed That For You. This is used when correcting someone’s error on a post. It can be used in a friendly or helpful way, or when wanting to be a bit saucy to another user – check the context!
  • FTW – For The Win. A way to express success, or sarcasm – it’s all about context.
  • FWIW – For What It’s Worth. This is a way to express an opinion or correct someone that is sharing misinformation, without being rude or condescending.
  • FYI – For Your Information. Alternatively, this is a way to share information – often with a hint of shade or sass.

Colorful illustration that shows social media abbreviations written out in thought bubbles.

  • G2G – Got To Go. Pretty straightforward; this person needs to end the conversation. Often seen as GTG.
  • GTR – Got To Run. This, too, means the person wishes to end the conversation.
  • GOAT – Greatest Of All Time.
  • GRWM – Get Ready With Me. These social media abbreviations are used by makeup artists, influencers, bands, or celebrities that want to show their followers a personal look at their day-to-day or get-ready routine. These are often video posts that are filmed live so the account owner can chat with the followers that are actively watching in real-time.
  • HIFW – How I Feel When. Sometimes a feeling or mood can’t be summed up accurately through text. So, HIFW is usually posted with a funny meme or GIF to express emotion.
  • HMU – Hit Me Up. This acronym is a way to let a friend, follower, or coworker know to contact you directly. Sometimes used as HMB, or “Hit Me Back”.
  • HTH – Happy To Help. Customer service alert! If you’re in charge of a business’ social media account and you have the OK to use social media abbreviations, keep this cute customer satisfaction reply ready for use. This is a way to quaintly and politely express that your company is happy to be of service.
  • ICYMI – In Case You Missed It. Use this to re-share old posts or content that may have been looked over on your social channels. This is a popular acronym on posts that just didn’t generate enough buzz the first time around.
  • IDC – I Don’t Care.
  • IDK – I Don’t Know.
  • IMO – In My Opinion. A disclaimer that someone is sharing their opinion.
  • IMHO – In My Honest Opinion. See above – although, this can be used to either seem more genuine, or rude given the context.
  • IKR – I Know, Right?
  • IRL – In Real Life. This is used when distinguishing something that happened online vs in the real world. It’s also a way of reinforcing a shocking fact that happened to someone offline.
  • IYKYK – If You Know, You Know. Some social media posts are more subtle and insinuate something with a deeper or hidden meaning. The IYKYK social media abbreviations often cause users to double-take and read the post through a second time – if the subtlety was lost on them the first read-through.
  • JIC – Just In Case.
  • JK – Just Kidding.
  • LMAO – Laughing My A** Off. Some social media abbreviations just don’t need to be explained.
  • LMK – Let Me Know. Used when someone is expecting feedback or more information.
  • LMS – Like My Status. Not advisable for businesses to use this social media acronym… unless you’re shameless and a playful or blunt personality is built into your brand.
  • LOL – Laughing Out Loud.
  • NIL – Next In Line. A dry way to express humor, often over a rude customer or even a breakup.
  • NMU – Not Much, You?
  • MCM – Man Crush Monday. Every Monday, you can celebrate a man you admire. From Neil DeGrasse Tyson to Paul Rudd, this is an excuse to share a more playful side of your personality. MCM can be used in the caption or as a hashtag. These posts are more common on Instagram or Facebook.
  • MRW – My Reaction When. This social media acronym is often paired with a funny meme or GIF to express how you would react to something.
  • NBD – No Big Deal. Often used as a humble brag when posting about something that actually is a big deal.
  • NSFW – Not Safe For Work. This is a disclaimer that lets people know to wait to open until after work hours and in a private location.
  • NVM – Nevermind. Forget about it.

Illustration of two people looking at a laptop, deciding which social media abbreviations to use in their posts.

  • OC – Original Content. With sharing, Retweeting, paraphrasing, and outright copying content, this is a social media acronym that lets readers know that this is your original joke, picture, pitch, or story.
  • OG – Original Gangster. This is a phrase that originated in rap and hip hop culture, but worked its way into internet and text speak.
  • OMW – On My Way. Someone is announcing their departure and that they’re in route to a destination.
  • PSA – Public Service Announcement. A way to broadcast an important and useful message.
  • POTD – Photo Of The Day. Popular on Instagram, this is a way for users to show off their best images.
  • QOTD – Quote Of The Day. Used for sharing inspirational or funny quotes.
  • RN – Right Now. A real-time expression. Example: OMW RN. Translation: On my way right now.
  • ROFL – Rolling On The Floor Laughing. A step past LOL or LMAO.
  • RT – Retweet. Threw this one in the list again ICYMI before. These social media abbreviations are used as either a request for other followers to share your post, or to designate that you are sharing, or Retweeting, someone else’s post.
  • SMH – Shaking My Head. In times you feel a cringe moment, you may want to use this to express playful distaste or disbelief.
  • SRSLY – Seriously. Use this to express true incredulity or frustrated disbelief.
  • TBH – To Be Honest. Much like “IMO,” “NBD,” or “FWIW,” this social media acronym can be used as a humble brag or as a way to disagree with someone online.
  • TBT – Throwback Thursday. Like “FBF,” this is a popular term used by all users as a way to share old pictures, videos, or other content on Thursdays.
  • TFTF – Thanks For The Follow. When you get a new follower, an instant way to engage with them is to comment on one of their posts or to send a DM with a quick message that expresses your excitement to have them as a follower!
  • TFW – That Feeling When. This social media acronym precedes a relatable experience and is usually shared with a funny photo or meme.
  • TGIF – Thank God It’s Friday. Not everybody’s working for the weekend… but most of us are. This is one of the OG social media abbreviations that found its way into social media lingo.
  • TIL – Today I Learned. Can be used to share a fun fact with your followers, or to express playful embarrassment when something should have been obvious. Example: “TIL about social media abbreviations!”
  • TL;DR – Too Long; Didn’t Read. This is used as a preface to highlight the important parts of a lengthy social media post in one or two sentences.
  • TMI – Too Much Information.
  • TTKU – Try To Keep Up.
  • TY – Thank You.
  • WBW – Wayback Wednesday. Yet another excuse to share nostalgic content every hump day.
  • WCW – Woman Crush Wednesday. Every Wednesday, you can celebrate a woman you admire for any reason. WCW can be used in the caption or as a hashtag. These posts are more common on Instagram or Facebook.
  • WFH – Working From Home. Probably one of the most used social media abbreviations of 2020, this is most often used in chats with coworkers to let them know if they will be working in- or- out-of-office.
  • WTH – What The Heck?
  • YOLO – You Only Live Once.
  • YSK – You Should Know.
  • YW – You’re Welcome.

 

Illustration of two business representatives analyzing social media data and deciding when and if they should use social media abbreviations.

Social Media Abbreviations for Business

It can feel a bit strange to work social media abbreviations into a professional setting – but it’s more common than you might think. Businesses and social media specialists need to know when and how exactly to use acronyms in order to confidently tread the fine line between casual and professional interactions.

  • API – Application Programming Interface. A set of tools and protocols that allow developers to connect one system with another for better integration and tracking.
  • B2B – Business to Business. Refers to companies that cater to the needs of other businesses.
  • B2C – Business to Consumer. Businesses that directly caters to the needs of the customer.
  • CMGR – Community Manager. Community managers are responsible for managing a brand’s relationship with the community. They work closely with social media managers and public relations officers.
  • CMS – Content Management System. This is a tool or platform used for editing, scheduling, and posting content to the web.
  • CPC – Cost Per Click. In digital advertising, this is the amount of money spent every time a user clicks on your ad.
  • CR – Conversion Rate. This is a measurement of the number of people that performed a desired action, divided by the number of people that could have. Example: You have a “Call Now” button in the header of your website. If you set up an event for every time a user clicks that button, your CR would be the number of clicks on that button, divided by the number of website visitors.
  • CTA – Call to Action. A statement that encourages users to take action.
  • CTR – Click-Through-Rate. The percentage of people that clicked a link on an ad per number of impressions. So, if an ad is seen by 10 people and 1 person clicks on it, you have a click-through-rate of 10%.
  • CX – Customer Experience. More holistic than customer service, customer experience maps the customer journey and takes inventory of every touchpoint a user has with a brand.
  • EOD – End of Day. This acronym expresses that something is expected or should be completed by the end of the day.
  • EM – Email Me. Well, this one’s a bit obvious once it’s spelled out. This person needs you to email them!
  • ETA – Estimated Time of Arrival. This is used when sharing an expected arrival or delivery date.
  • F2F – Face to Face. Again, pretty explanatory when it’s spelled out.
  • FTP – File Transfer Protocol. A way of transferring files between computers directly through a server or host.
  • GA – Google Analytics. This is a free tool created by Google that empowers businesses to understand the actions being taken on their website.
  • GMB – Google My Business. This is another free tool offered by Google which allows businesses to claim their space in the digital realm. It’s particularly useful for small businesses that are looking to optimize their local SEO position.
  • GSC – Google Search Console. You guessed it – this is another free tool provided by Google that lets business owners and digital marketing professionals understand how their content and keywords are performing in searches.

Illustration of person holding a megaphone that’s blasting out icons of communication topics, indicating proper use of social media abbreviations and engagement with their following.

  • IAM – In A Meeting.
  • KPI – Key Performance Indicator. A measurable value set by your team that demonstrates how effectively your efforts are achieving your business objectives.
  • MoM – Month Over Month.
  • OOO – Out Of Office. No, nobody is saying “Oooh” at your day off – well, maybe. This abbreviation is used when someone cannot make it into work and will not be available.
  • OS – Operating System. The software that runs a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
  • POS – Point Of Sale. While this one may seem obvious, users should be aware of context when using this business social media acronym. In the wrong setting, POS can be used as an aggressive way to call someone a piece of s…something rude.
  • ROI – Return On Investment. This is a measure of how much you earned or saved, vs how much you spent to achieve those earnings. This can be measured in time or dollar amount.
  • RSS – Rich Site Summary. Sometimes known as Really Simple Syndication, this is a format for instantly sharing content with a following across multiple platforms. Podcasts and blogs often rely on RSS feeds to share their content with their subscribers.
  • SaaS – Software as a Service.
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing. Search engine marketing refers to paid placement in search engine results pages. Landing a higher search placement on relevant results pages often leads to increased CTR and CR.
  • SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization is the act of creating and organizing content that is ideal for both users and search engine crawlers to understand.
  • SERP – Search Engine Results Page. Search engine results pages are the list of linked results that you get after typing a query into a search engine such as Google.
  • SMB – Small and Midsize Businesses. Small business are those with less than 50 employees. Midsize businesses typically have between 50-250 employees. They are also referred to as small and midsize enterprises (SMEs).
  • SMM – Social Media Marketing. The act of increasing brand awareness and engagement on social media platforms, with the intent of building relationships and generating business.
  • SMO – Social Media Optimization. Actions users can take to boost their posts in searches. This includes sharing and geo-tagging content, using appropriate keywords, hashtags, and social media abbreviations, all while engaging with an active follower-base.
  • TOS – Terms Of Service. This is a disclaimer page on a website that is a must-have for all businesses in order to protect themselves from unintentional liabilities. It is a statement of agreement that users follow to use a site. For extra protection, all websites should also include a Privacy Policy, Accessibility Statement, and a Refund Policy, if applicable.
  • UGC – User-Generated Content. Any content that is created by users of a social network.
  • UI – User Interface. The platform and functionality in which a user and digital application interact. A poor user interface, or user interaction, can lead to a decrease in trust, sales, branding! (Hence why keeping your website up-to-date is a key component in digital marketing!)
  • UX – User Experience.
  • VPN – Virtual Private Network. A private network that uses an encrypted connection, which gives users anonymity when accessing information. VPNs are commonly used to protect the user or network from ransomware, cyberattacks, or malware.
  • WOM – Word of Mouth. Word-of-mouth marketing refers to the sharing of information about a brand or service through online conversations – in comments, posts, or messages.

Illustration that shows icons of a laptop and other social media messaging graphics. A small graphic of a social media specialist is seen inside the laptop facing outward with a megaphone near the person’s mouth.

When to Use Social Media Abbreviations

Sure, knowing about social media acronyms gives you a leg up when interacting with your following – but how do you know when, or if, to use them? Use these quick tips when debating whether or not to use social media abbreviations.

Know your brand.

Almost every business can find a way to work in social media acronyms without it feeling forced or out-of-character – but should they? Businesses should only use slang or social media abbreviations if it fits the brand’s voice.

Use your website and other core marketing materials as a benchmark for tone.

If your company is on Twitter, you may need to use shorthand terminology to fit within the character limit. However, that doesn’t mean you have to use that same phrasing in your LinkedIn or Facebook posts if it clashes with your brand’s identity.

Stay true to your voice. When using social media abbreviations or slang that does not fit within the business’ persona, it will not only look out-of-character and disorienting, but could appear cheap or desperate. No one likes the person that tries too hard to be something they’re not – that also applies to branding.

Know your audience.

Your entire following has one important thing in common: they chose to follow your account. Get to know your audience by paying attention to what age groups tend to follow you, what their interests are, what types of posts they like, what other accounts they follow, and check in on their comments to see how they interact online. It may feel odd at first, but this way of gathering information will help you create more effective posts and better interactions with your audience.

For example, if you manage a law firm’s social media account and you attempt to use “IRL” on a post, your audience might be thrown off and view your brand in a different light and even hurt credibility. However, if you manage a company that throws wild events and your following is mostly 21 – 30 year olds, you’ll be able to get away with using more social media abbreviations to appeal to your audience.

Social Media Marketing

The way in which you present your business on social media platforms is an important aspect of SEO and building your brand. If you would like guidance or help managing your social media or digital presence, contact Next Horizon digital marketing. We are HTH build and grow your brand’s presence online.

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