Social Media: Learning the Language

Have you ever been to a restaurant in another country, looking at all the great offerings other diners chose … and wished you knew how to speak the language so you could get the same great results?

For more than a few people, social media can be much the same. You hear colleagues discussing a great article they read on LinkedIn, a page they like or how they favourited a tweet by someone they’re following … and you may be interested in learning more, but don’t know the lingo.

Here’s where our panel, featuring some of Exceptional EA’s Real Careers alumni and and freelance Executive Assistant/Virtual Assistant Karen Johnson, comes in. This is the fourth in our series on social media, and today a couple of the panel weigh in with a bit of help on the terminology.

Corcoran, JenniferJennifer Corcoran of London, England: You don’t need a degree in order to successfully create social networking accounts. You can teach yourself with the aid of a good book or a YouTube “How To” clip.

Having said that, like many others I was curious about the various privacy and security settings attached to specific platforms and in 2014 I completed an online Pitman qualification which covered Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+ and Blogging. It was a personal goal as I wanted to drag myself into the 21st century, feel comfortable and informed and be aware of any pitfalls.  

LinkedIn classifies contacts within your network as a 1st, 2nd or 3rd connection. DM is Twitter terminology and relates to direct messages which you receive privately as mail. RT is also Twitter speak and stands for a retweet, which is basically a re-posting of someone else’s tweet. Social plugins are widgets which can be added to a website. One example of a plugin is the group of “sharing” buttons you can see at the end of a blog, which help to boost circulation and reach.


Want, MatthewMatthew Want of Staines, England: There are several terminologies used in the world of social media, some a lot easier to understand than others. For example, connections are people you connect with, whether you may know them already or not. DMs are direct messages, also sometimes known as PMs (private messages).

DMs are on most platforms of social media and are a great way to connect with others , especially if the conversation may be personal. There are several more abbreviations used throughout social media. A great guide I would recommend from Hootsuite can be found at

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