But instead of giving you cookie-cutter definitions to broaden your social media horizons, I’m going to tell you what you really need to know about these so-called industry terms.–
12 Buzzwords Redefined
1. Viral – When you get the same email with the same link (either featuring cats doing funny things or an Oatmeal cartoon) from at least 5 of your friends, it’s gone viral. You will also see this link from 94% of your Twitter followers and shared on Facebook. You’ll know something’s gone viral when your computer-illiterate grandmother has forwarded it to you and her closest buddies from that cruise she took last year or the bingo hall.
2. Meme – That picture of cats that got passed around like the village… um… bicycle? Well, now you notice everyone on Twitter says thinks like, “I can haz [insert something they want – cheezeburger, nap, maid service]?” or generally spelling thingz lyke thiz tu seam funnie. A meme is pretty much just taking bits from something that’s gone viral and using it in everyday interactions. Know Your Meme is actually a pretty good database of what all the tweens are making fun of today.
3. ROI – Stands for Return On Investment and is used by social media doubters who hem and haw before making decisions because they want CONCRETE NUMBERS and proof that spending 5 hours a day tweeting out self-promotional links will “pay off.”
4. Engage – Holy crap, how tired are you of hearing the word “engage?” Lesson for those of you who live in a box and haven’t picked it up already: Engage = making conversation. For Twitter this means @replies. For Facebook it means posing questions and joining in on the conversation. For bloggers it means responding to comments. Any questions? Didn’t think so.
5. Influencers – People with butt loads of followers. Mostly an incestuous clique of bloggers who blog about a) social media, b) making money online, c) personal development or d) the gluten-free lifestyle.
6. Platform – Soapbox.
7. Organic Conversation – The idea is to get people talking about the things you want them to talk about… Organically. Oxymoron much? I understand the concept and have used the methods myself but calling it “organic” is what gets my blood boiling. It’s not organic, people. It’s called “leveraging.”
8. Leverage – lev-er-age, noun, meaning, “to take advantage of.”
9. Authentic Brand – While it’s supposed to mean being your “true self” – whether you’re a potty-mouth, a conservative feminist or shy bird-watcher – having an authentic brand actually means pretending you’re Gary Vaynerchuk.
10. Crowdsourcing – The act of being stingy and relying on a group of people to do your (bitch)work for free. Think user-generated websites. My all-time favorite definition of crowdsourcing is on Urban Dictionary.
11. Best Practice – What everyone else is doing.
12. Buzz – Emailing and DMing enough “friends” to retweet or like or share or whatever your idea/post/service so other people think it’s important enough to listen to/read/purchase. Buzz can also consist of that incestuous group of bloggers agreeing to share your stuff.
Alright guys, what have I missed?