Breaking the code of social media lingo

Recently I spoke with a businesswoman in her 50s who is new to social media marketing. She is stymied by social media — the terms (or lingo) in particular. So much so, it is impacting her self-concept.This woman is well educated, creative, a loving mother, and a competent businesswoman. She has generally made a success of her life, yet she was being brought low by social media.

We talked about some of the incomprehensible social media terms being thrown about – words like “URL”, “search bar”, “platform”, “links”, “menu”, “post” – words most of us in the field (or if you are under 30) live and breath every day.

She was carrying a heavy burden, knowing that she needed to get on board with social media for the sake of her business, but was not able to “break the code” of social media terms.  Looking up a word led to other words which were equally as confusing.

She was falling into a black hole …

I created this blog for just this purpose – hauling people out of the abyss of social media marketing and introducing them to the social media life – a life that can be fun (gasp), and that can enhance your business and personal life.

Let’s start with one of my favorite words – Platform.

The common dictionary definition of platform is:

“A horizontal surface or structure with a horizontal surface raised above the level of the surrounding area.”

Answers.com gives this definition for a social media platform:

“A social media platform is a type of software or technology that enables users to build, integrate or facilitate community, interaction and user-generated content.”

Now that we have the official definitions out of the way … here’s my personal  definition for a “social media platform”:

A social media platform is merely the flat, horizontal playing surface of the particular social media game you are playing at the time – be it the game of Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

There are rules and strategies for playing each of these, just as there are for the many and various board games we have played in our lives. You just have to play and learn (and maybe refer to the rules book every once in awhile.)

For one thing you have to stay on the board!

And it is assumed that playing these games are fun!

We all have experience with learning new things. We all have had the pleasure of mastering new things. There is a joy in this that as children we experienced every day. You really can recapture this by playing with social media.

It also helps to know that so many of the “new” cyberspace words can be traced back to their origin in our solid every-day world.

If nothing else, I am banking on social media learning to exercise my brain and avert an early case of memory-loss!

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