What social media words do you want to retire?

Overused phrases that should be thrown in the trash bin.


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I caught a conversation on Twitter built around the Twitter hashtag #buzzwordbingo that made me smile wryly.

It looked at some of the most overused phrases in social media, including “It’s all about the conversation” and “Pain points and point of need.”

These terms are used so often and yet even 12 months ago (or more) they were being looked at as overkill. It could be a sign of many things: social media has a lot of growing up to do, there’s a dearth of originality in the medium, or the industry simply has a stream of new players and existing terms.

Either way, it made me think of some phrases that could be put into the social media retirement home.

1. It’s not about me. The amount of times this little gem is used means that even if the user is sincere, they’re questioned as to the authenticity of the statement. Of course, it doesn’t help if the user then goes on to make it exactly all about them with self-promotional hits at every turn.

2. Fish where the fish are. Social media must be full of anglers if this phrase has anything to do with it. Either that or I should start looking for a boat, stat.

3. Transparency is key. Unless it’s okay for us to lie about ourselves and make us sound more interesting than we are with tall tales and over-hyped statistics, then isn’t this a given in everything we do, and not just restricted to social media?

4. Your customers are in control. Sorry, they’re not. They do have a huge impact on how you do business, but you control your business. Get that right and you get your customers right.

5. You can’t measure social media ROI. Come on guys, this is still doing the rounds? There are many ways you can analyze, measure, budget and report social media campaigns. Anyone that says you can’t is possibly only doing so to keep your account with them on their terms. Next time someone tells you social media ROI can’t be measured, ask them why. Then change agencies or consultants.

6. Social media automation is bad. Really? So you have the man hours and financial resources to be online 24/7 across the globe? If that’s the case, great, but if you’re a one-man (or woman!) band or a small business, automating tweets and blog posts to share news is not the equivalent to selling your first-born. Get serious.

7. Google Me. If you’re so lazy that you can’t tell us something about you when we ask you it, why don’t you Google the word “douchebag”? You’ll probably find a picture of you next to the definition.

What phrases would you like to eliminate?

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