Quit Telling Me What Words I Can’t Use in Social Business

social media buzzwords

Dear social media and blogging community,

This is an open letter to the social media and blogging ecosystem.  The purpose of this blog post is to kindly ask you to please quit telling me that words such as strategy, integration, culture, authenticity, content, rock star, transparency, framework, architecture, ROI, influence, engagement, earned media, thought leader, KPI, infographic, buckets are bad or even voodoo.

Please quit writing, complaining, crafting blog titles to get clicks that only focus on what buzzword of the week is in or out.  Please quit telling me what I should or should not say, tweet, pin, post, photograph or write about.


You're Focusing on the Wrong Things!

There are only so many words that can describe what these things are. What other word should we use in replacement of strategy? Culture? Integration? How on earth can a business integrate social media into the DNA of their business without using some of these words?

The even bigger question is why do you care if the words are used or not?  Why can't we focus on the actions of these words, the benefits to the business, people and broader ecosystem as a whole?

Why isn't the focus on the needs of our clients, audience, community? What happened to helping them understand and connect with their audience, or simply solving real business problems?

We must focus on helping our readers, clients, audience, and community. We must get in the trenches and teach them what these things mean. Teach them how to mitigate risk, eliminate random acts of marketing, achieve business goals.

We need to help them figure these things out so they can have a life. Maybe then they can attempt to figure out how to get off of Twitter on the weekends or turn off those annoying auto tweets that repeat every day multiple times a day.

Some of you are teaching business leaders to focus on the wrong things. We know because these business leaders call us for help. Many are more worried about using the right or wrong word vs getting in the head of their audience, determining their own business goals and delivering value to their audiences using the social networks.

Stop The War of Words, Please

I saw a blog post today that stated we should not use the word “content.” Seriously? Content marketing is not a new shiny object invented via Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook or Twitter. Smart marketers have been developing, writing, and serving up good content for decades.

I am blatantly going to tell you I am 100% over being told what I can say and not say, what word is in, out, good or bad.

As an example, I love using the word “rock star” to tell somebody they kicked butt at doing something or maybe just because they simply rock.

Yet, I've had people tell me publicly via the social networks that I shouldn't use the word “rock star.”Why? Is there a certified social business bible that tells me I can't? Will my client be offended? Usually when I tell my clients or colleagues that they are a rock star they usually scream a big “woot” and give me a high five.

 Focus on Value and Relationships 

At the end of the day we must focus on value to our clients, partners, audience, community and broader ecosystem as a whole. Is a blog post or tweet confusing people about what they should say or not say adding value?

Is it building relationships or it is giving you a title that will get clicks and more opt-ins? What's in it for the person or brand on the other end?

social media buzz words Rock On! 

I hope that some of you will read this post and think about my words. I am going to use the words that I see fit to help my audience. I will use words I know they understand or I believe they need to learn.

If you don't like them or they bother you because they are a “buzzword” you've decided is voodoo, then I am sorry. Guess you'll have to deal with it. As for the rest of us who aren't afraid of what the word monster bosses tell us to do, we will be rockin' out authentically, transparently, and getting good ROI on having fun and helping our clients see real business results! 😉


Heartbeat of Social Media Series

heartbeat of social media

This blog post is part of a series titled “The Heartbeat of Social Media.”  It includes a deep look at how communities work, what people are doing within them and how businesses can better understand how they can fit in, provide value and derive benefit as both a business as well as individual people.

Subscribe to the series for updates and access to special videos, webinar training, podcasts and more. Would love to hear your input and have you participate in discussions and debates as we challenge each other to be part of what makes the social network heartbeat healthy and alive!



About the Author:

CEO / Founder Marketing Nutz, full service social media, digital marketing, experiential brand, conversion optimization agency. Ranked by Forbes as Top 10 Social Media Women and 10 Social Media Power Influencer. Keynote speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. Helps businesses of all sizes integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups.


  1. Ian Cleary August 29, 2013 at 5:33 am

    Hey Pam, you’re right about us all getting caught up with buzz words. What amazes me is that ‘social media’ has been talked about for many years and if you ask 10 people to explain it they will each give a different answer. Why do we need a buzz term for being social! If we’re not social our businesses won’t survive because we won’t build relationships. Ian

    • PamMktgNut September 3, 2013 at 3:54 pm

      Amen @iancleary:disqus. You speak words of truth. I some marketers/ bloggers get caught up on the words and buzzwords because it’s easier to talk about/ complain about than it is to provide real content and value to actually help businesses and the people in them.

  2. Brian Gomski September 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    I didn’t really read this article yet but I cant stand when people use “rock star” (i.e. we have a rockstar team! blah blah blah marketing jargon.) It is so overused that I will stop reading. But then again, I am in digital marketing so I see it way more than the average joe.

    • PamMktgNut September 3, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      I hear ya’ @briangomski:disqus . Suggest you do read the article though so you can maybe see where I am coming from on this? 😉

  3. Lynn Abate-Johnson September 17, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    Pam, another great perspective and post about what is really at the core of helping businesses grow. You are SO dialed in on the basic principles of building successful businesses!
    I think that many so-called social media “professionals” feel they have to focus on minutia because they don’t have a strong foothold on what really matters, as you put it: “At the end of the day we must focus on value to our clients, partners, audience, community and broader ecosystem as a whole.”
    Getting tripped up on semantics and buzz words is more often about diverting and filling space (“smoke and mirrors”) than really digging in to see how a business can move to the next level, and beyond, using social as one tool, and not a quick-fix band-aid on an already suffering business model (with little or no real plan or strategy).
    I see this with SMBs and at the enterprise level as well. I think that often, it’s a matter of education – and I appreciate you for your messages to that end.
    Bravo, you rock star!! 😉 (i love it too, when someone refers to me that way)

  4. Mike Ward | Vivnium September 23, 2013 at 4:02 pm

    This is a great article @PamMktgNut:disqus ! It’s like a company that does not want to call a sales person a sales person. Let’s call them… a business development specialist. Yeah, that sounds less “sales-y.”

    I’ll share this for sure.

  5. […] There is a focus on things that shouldn’t matter so much and not enough focus on things that should matter. Check out this article for my thoughts on this topic-> “Quit Telling me What Words I Can’t Use in Social Business” […]

  6. […] There is a focus on things that shouldn’t matter so much and not enough focus on things that should matter. Check out this article for my thoughts on this topic-> “Quit Telling me What Words I Can’t Use in Social Business” […]

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