Speaking in Acronyms

July 29, 2015

by Connie Gonzalez

In the wave of new technology, most people like to use shortcuts to text or direct message, e.g., LOL, TTYL or OMG.  This is understandable for certain reasons – if you’re running late and don’t have time to chat, if you’re tweeting, if you are a teenager and don’t want your parents to figure out what you’re saying, or if you’re just plain lazy.  I’m guilty of at least one of these.  But what about social media?  Is it OK to speak in acronyms?  I was just reading an article by Robert Lane Greene about something very similar.  Greene asks a very good question.  “When, in fact, did we start talking in acronyms, and why?”

I constantly see people use acronyms to get their message across.  The only problem with that is I can’t understand what they’re saying.  You can call me old or uncool, but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who’s scratching their head.  My question is:  What if companies started using corporate acronym jargon to sell their product?  Would we be able to understand what they are saying or selling?  Probably not.  No one would “like,” “share,” or “tweet” that company’s product.

Keep in mind, when taking to social media keep your message clear and concise or you’ll miss your target audience, even if you are just talking about nonsense.


Why Teens are Leaving Facebook

January 24, 2014

hkeroes by Heather Keroes

Before Facebook and MySpace, there was CollegeClub.  CollegeClub was my first foray into using social media.  It predated MySpace by at least seven years and, as I recall, had a very similar formula.  I, like millions of other kids in their late teens, registered with CollegeClub right before going to college.  It was a great way to keep in touch with friends and meet new people at your school.

While there’s a lot of speculation as to why CollegeClub failed – from poor management to the high cost of running such a website at that time – it was easy to take the leap to MySpace and then later to Facebook as the next “new things.”  While shiny new objects aren’t the leading factor for changing social media allegiances (just look at Google+), when combined with teen angst, you have a powerful formula.

It was recently reported that there are 25 percent fewer teens using Facebook than there were in 2011.  While I may have started using social media in my late teens, I can’t imagine having it play a role in my life since birth.  Baby photos, graduations, prom dates … almost nothing is sacred when your parents are hanging out in the same place.  And the last thing most teens want is to hang out with their parents.

So, should we stop using Facebook to target teens?  A study shared in this Business Insider article suggests otherwise, reporting that most millennials prefer that brands communicate with them on Facebook over other platforms.  But as teens leap elsewhere, I suppose that marketers will take their own leap and follow.

The New Minority

March 28, 2011

by Roger Pynn

Those of us who worry first in the PR planning process about who we want to communicate with are going to be challenged more and more in the future not to leave out those who refuse to adopt new media.

There will always be holdouts, those who cling to tools and media that are rapidly declining and they will – like all minorities – be critical to communication success.

The release of Pew Internet & American Life Project findings on social media habits is one more indicator that we will be faced with fewer opportunities to reach those minorities as their mediums of choice disappear, and they likely resist new ways to stay informed and connected to their world.

Pew reported that 73 percent of teens are actively engaged in social media while slightly more than a quarter of adults over 30 visit social media sites. As their parents and grandparents age, these kids will control the media market with buying power and threaten the existence of traditional channels.

If there’s a silver lining, the challenges to create ways of reaching the new minority present a tremendous opportunity for communicators.

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