6 Social Media Buzzwords and Phrases that Absolutely Need to Die

These commonly-used phrases and buzzwords should be abolished from a professional’s vocabulary. Warning: This is a rant and you may be offended. 

If you’re not offended, go ahead and give it a share.



I’m absolutely sick and tired of everyone getting on their soapbox about how they cracked the nut on “social media influence.” Please. Everyone has at least some degree of influence on others and if they don’t, they certainly know how to get in touch with those who have a higher measure of connections and social credibility.

(While we’re on the topic, give me some influence on Klout. Gimme, gimme, gimme!)


This word is the epitome of marginalizing a promising social network and turning it into a “clever” word a fourth grader could be proud of. Whenever you say “Pinteresting,” it makes you look amateur and trendy. Stop it.


Just stop. Unless you’re referring to the speakers in your car that produce high-pitched frequencies, it is not a word and it makes you sound like a total newbie. Instead, say “Twitter user.” I shit you not … there are job postings that specifically include “Tweeter” in them.

4. “VIRAL”

With the exception of a bacteria or virus that is spreading and infecting people, saying “viral” in a sentence reads as a Web 2.0 buzzword and you are preaching your new findings to others. (Whether or not this is true remains to be seen.) Content on the web in inherently sharable and millions of people can consume it, but let’s keep “viral” out of your vocabulary unless you intend to look like an overpaid consultant.


Unless you provide spiritual instruction, are a person with skills derived from real-world expertise or are preaching on the merits of social media, you are neither. Anyone who calls themselves a social media expert, guru or evangelist should be kicked squarely in the groin.

(Full disclosure: I once referred to myself as a social media evangelist before all the other MLMers jumped on board, but I would effectually share the tenets and examples of social media to others.)


A crisis that occurs over social media is not a “social media crisis.” This is for the same reason one does not say a “Cable news crisis” when they get skewered by Anderson Cooper. A legitimate social media crisis is a grievance solely with the way one actually uses social media. An embarrassing customer service experience does not translate to a social media crisis. It means there is terrible customer service experience.