Should You Use Acronyms and Emoticons On Social Media? A Brief Guide | Express Writers

Should You Use Acronyms and Emoticons On Social Media? A Brief Guide

by | Mar 2, 2015 | Social Media | 0 comments

Acronyms and emoticons are a vital part of the Internet and many have been around for a really long time! There are quite a bit more now than the basic A/S/L (age, sex, location), TTYL (talk to you later), and BRB (be right back).

It seems each and every day a new one (for instance, most recently BAE) makes its way to Internet-land. What does BAE mean and should you use acronyms on social media? What about emoticons?

All of your questions will be answered in this blog. Let’s take a fun little adventure through Internet-land and learn a bit about popular acronyms and emoticons.

Are Acronyms Really That Important?

The importance of acronyms is completely up to the business, social site, and followers. They can be very useful if you want to say a lot with as little characters as possible, but you need to make sure you use them correctly. You can always use regular, trendy acronyms for your posts or use some business-specific ones. However, if you use business acronyms, make sure your followers know what they mean. You don’t want to give them a lot of jargon and confuse them! Acronyms are a great way to not only save on character length, but can help your followers read through posts quicker, which many people love. They are also a great way to connect with an audience by using lingo they are used to.

How Can You Use Them?

You can use acronyms in a variety of ways. When it comes to social media, you should lean more towards using common and trendy acronyms instead of business ones. However, you don’t have to shy away from using business acronyms like CTA (call to action) in your posts. Just make sure your audience knows your business acronyms! You should also make sure your audience knows the others, as well. As you’ll see later in this blog, not everyone knows the most popular acronyms such as BAE.

What Are Some Acronyms You Should Know?

Now that you know that acronyms are totally cool to use on social media, you might be wondering about a few of the more popular ones out there. I’m compiling a list just for you, and also came across an amazing acronym list from Buffer. If you see something online and just can’t figure out what it means, head on over the Buffer’s guide and search! Let’s take a look at some of the top acronyms you are likely to come across on social media.

  1. IG – Instagram. This is pretty basic and something that you definitely need to know if you use or plan on using Instagram. When you refer to people following your Instagram account, just simply use IG instead! Easy, right?
  1. MT – Modified Tweet. Have you seen a few of these floating around and are a little confused? It simply means the tweet has been modified from what it originally said. This is important because if you retweet a client, and then make changes, you need to make sure people know. People can get pretty upset if you change their tweet and don’t include MT.
  1. AMA – Ask Me Anything. AMAs are trending right now. It is simply where you hold an online question and answer session and have people ask anything. This is really hot with popular celebrities and authors, and is usually held over on Reddit. 
  1. SMH – Shake My Head. You might see this if someone is upset or confused. An example is when Benedict Cumberbatch was announced as Dr. Strange – many fans tweeted their displeasure followed by SMH. If someone says this to you about your service or product, it’s time to do some reputation management! 
  1. IMO or IMHO – In My Opinion or In My Humble Opinion. If you’re stating an opinion online, simply add IMO or IMHO to your update! Sometimes this is used in a sassy manner, but other times, it is a great way to ensure people know it is your opinion, but not a solid fact.
  1. HBD – Happy Birthday. Are you planning on saying, “Happy Birthday” to your clients online? A quick, easy way to do this is simply to tweet “HBD” their way! It doesn’t seem super personal, but is rather common to see whether a business is saying it or a friend.
  1. BAE – Before Anything Else. I have to admit, I didn’t know what this meant when it first became popular. If you’re seeing people referring to someone or something as bae (or BAE), this is what it means. But don’t worry, you aren’t the only one who is behind on the acronym times, Johnny Depp is too!
  1. DFTBA – Don’t Forget to be Awesome. Thanks to the Green brothers, we have an awesome acronym and phrase that is sure to make people smile. DFTBA means “Don’t Forget to Be Awesome,” reminding people that they should, well, always be awesome This is a great reminder, IMO (see what I did there?). Add this to your tweets to connect with a younger audience, and, of course, remind people that they shouldn’t forget to be awesome!
  1. F2F – Face to Face. This is not only an acronym that is popular on social media, but within businesses as well. This simply refers to having a meeting or seeing another person face to face instead of talking through emails, chats, or texts.
  1. FTW – For the Win. Did your company do something awesome? Then tweet about it and add FTW! This adds a fun little twist to exciting posts and sends a mental image of you doing a Mario leap in celebration. 

An Emoticon Can Say More Than You Think

Now that we’ve discussed a few of the trendy acronyms online let’s look at another super trendy thing – emoticons! Emoticons started “way” back in 1982 when someone stated that “:-)” become a joke marker. From there we’ve moved on to a wide variety of emoticons from the rock star m/*_*m/ to creating cats (=^. .^=) and a shrug  ¯_(ツ)_/¯. Emoticons are a great way to get your point across if you feel people aren’t going to understand what you are saying. They can also add a fun air to updates, and we know that social media should be fun!


Why Should You Use Emoticons on Social Media?

You might be asking if you should use emoticons, and the answer is yes. Let’s take a look at why as well as a few ways you can use awesome emoticons no matter if they are text-based or from Emoji.

  1. It Can Boost Your Popularity. In a recent analysis, it was shown that, out of over 31 million Facebook interactions, people responded positively to updates that involved some sort of emoticon. If you use positive emoticons on social media, you are likely to have even more social power than you previously had. People react to an emoticon differently than just seeing a written status. I will discuss this in my next point, but with this in mind, you should realize that an emoticon will only boost your engagement, not hinder it. In fact, people might just start responding to your updates with their own emoticons!
  1. People React to Emoticons Like They React to Actual Faces. Something that is amazing and absolutely fascinating is that people react to emoticons like they would when seeing an actual face. Very interesting! How does this happen exactly? Short answer: science! Long answer: scientists uncovered that when we see a smiley emoticon, the parts of our brain that react to a real smile fire up and react to that emoticon. However, this only works for left to right emoticons :-), not the right to left (-:. If you want to make the right impact, use the typical left to right or use an image-based emoticon such as Emoji brand emoticons.
  1. It Adds a Fun, Personal Touch to Updates. Emoticons are more than just faces, however, and they add a great personal touch to updates. When you update Facebook, you can now say how you’re feeling, what you’re watching, what you’re listening to, and much more. Each update you add with that feature gives you a little icon that represents whatever it is you selected. Are you watching Doctor Who? You get a tiny TARDIS! How can this help your business website though? It helps to add that personal touch that people really enjoy from businesses. You can update saying the business is excited about some news or is listening to the latest album. Basically, you can just make it super fun for your readers and engage with them. 

Now, Go Spruce Up Your Social Media Posts!

Acronyms and emoticons can be awesome to use in your social media posts. Start to consider if you want to use acronyms, and begin switching up your social media schedule to include some fun, trendy things! Remember, always do some research to make sure you understand an acronym, and various, awesome emoticons that can spruce up your posts. You don’t have to stick to the generic smiley face; add some unique emoticons to the mix, too! Do you have a favorite acronym or emoticon? Let me know in the comments!