What’s an RT? Social Media’s Lingo

I recently conducted another social media session for a group of executives that focused on using Twitter as an effective part of their sales strategy. As a big fan of Hootsuite, I also shared tips for using Hootsuite to manage and schedule their messages. During the discussion, one gal asked me, “What the heck does RT mean?”  I couldn’t help but laugh, and her question reminded me that the lingo of social media can be a little frustrating and intimidating to the newbie.

In no particular order, here’s a list of many of the common terms used in social media and in texting. There are probably loads more, so weigh in with any you feel that I’ve missed.

Peeps: Peeps started on Twitter, but I find myself using it as part of my language referring to the folks in my network. As in…”I’ll alert my peeps to the news.”

BTW: By the way.

FB: Facebook

FP: Fan Page. People are often confused about fan pages. Think of this as your business page. On Facebook, you have your personal profile and you can set up a fan page. I have a fan page for Talent Builders and for The New Handshake.

Blog: Web log. Think of it as a personal or professional diary on the web. You share your musings about things that interest you.

Tweets: Messages sent via Twitter

RT: Retweet. Think of this as “forwarding” a Twitter message on to others.  When your messages are being re-tweeted, you know people liked the information enough to share it with their network. Gives you more visibility too.

FWIW: For what it’s worth.

LOL: Laugh out loud.

LMAO: Laugh my a** off.

LMK: Let me know.

FF: Follow Friday. This has become a tradition on Twitter. Every Friday, people tweet about the people they like or follow using the hastag (we’ll get to that one in a second) #FF.

Hashtag: it is a fancy, schmancy term for putting a “#” symbol in front of a topic that you want to not only track but have your messages included in the hashtag stream. For example, I use #newhandshake in many of my Tweets. It is a term that supports the work I’m doing to get the word out about my book. It makes it easy for me to track conversations by searching on #newhandshake. The cool thing is that when people re-tweet or use your hashtag in their messages, you gain even more visibility. Conferences use this all the time.

LI: LinkedIn Also uses the hashtag #in on Twitter.

DM: Direct Message. Via Twitter people can send you direct messages. These are messages that only you see. By the way, you need to be following each other in order to use this function.

Auto DM: To take the DM thing a bit further, you will find that many people – I’m not one of them – have an automatic DM set to go out the moment that you follow them on Twitter. The reason that I don’t like it is because many folks use this as a way to send you a sales pitch with a link back to their website, fan page, blog, whatever. I don’t believe your first interaction with someone should be a sales pitch so this approach gets on my nerves.

SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Using keywords on your website, blog or social profiles garners you greater visibility and traction when people do searches. I mention social profiles, because you want to use keywords in your LinkedIn headline and throughout your summary also to increase the likelihood that your profile pops up when someone searches on those terms.


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