With the landscape of social media becoming more crowded, it can be hard for brands to break through the noise to get their message heard. As a result, many social media managers look for new and different ways to engage their audience. Some experiment with videos and photos. Some try live broadcasts. And almost all try playing around with the wording of their posts.
Trying to get the attention of an audience has produced some language trends that range from silly to condescending and annoying. In this post, we’ll look at some of the most common groan-inducing social media phrases and why you shouldn’t use them—as well as alternatives for wording.
Best & Worst
“Best” and “worst” have become two words to describe anything good or bad. When you think about it, they’re really two extremes at the opposite ends of the quality spectrum. They’re used so much though that their meaning has become a little lost. Steer away from describing things by using best and worst.
What to say instead: Pull out your thesaurus, and look for more descriptive words, such as primo and unfavorable.
Thanks for the Feedback
This is often used in customer support-type interactions as a catch-all response for negative comments, sometimes paired with “I’ll pass it along.” On the surface, it sounds fine. You’re thanking someone for their opinions, right? Well, this phrase has been so overused that it can be seen as a brushoff, a way to get someone to stop complaining without actually listening to what they’re saying.
What to say instead: This will vary by situation, but generally, acknowledging what the person is suggesting and offering a more concrete resolution than “I’ll pass it along” can work wonders. Your social customer service strategy is critical to the words you choose.
It’s That Time of Year Again
This is a phrase that typically comes at the beginning of a post about a holiday or event that’s quickly approaching. While you may think it’s building excitement, it could actually be building anxiety with your audience. Stop reminding people that they’re running out of time to do X, Y or Z before the holidays, and instead get them to just focus on what you’re offering. You’ll differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack, and your audience will be less likely to tune you out.
What to say instead: Highlight the holiday with a hashtag, such as #NationalPicnicDay, and then talk about what you’re offering.
We Enlisted Our Experts
You have experts? Great! Who are they? This phrase is a great carrot to dangle in front of your audience, but it can get old fast, especially in a time where anyone can call themselves an “expert.” Don’t be afraid to name-drop! A little bragging can go a long way, and the experts you’re mentioning won’t mind a little extra publicity.
What to say instead: Read what John Smith, CEO of Anywhere Inc., among others, had to say on this subject.
Help Us Go Viral
This has become one of the most overused social media phrases. It’s used to refer to a post that’s become “Internet famous,” whether it’s a video of a panda playing in the snow that’s gotten 1 billion views or a photo of a dress that no one can agree on the color of. The thing is, you can’t predict what will have viral marketing potential; it just happens. So stop asking your fans and followers to help you make it happen.
What to say instead: Sure, ask your audience to like and share your content; just don’t make the point of the action to make your post go viral.
Bae, Fleek or YOLO
OK, so these aren’t really phrases, but they bear mentioning. Trying to use language you think a segment of your audience uses to make your brand relatable can fall flat. It’s like dad jokes of the social world—sometimes funny, usually cringe worthy and generally embarrassing. Stay away from “hip” lingo. It isn’t as cool as you think.
What to say instead: Anything. Anything but this.
Now you’re armed with six phrases your brand shouldn’t use on social. Get creative with your substitutions, and wow your audience with your wordsmanship.
Do you have a phrase that you wish brands would stop using? Tell us in the comments.
Mary Mallard: Mary Mallard is the Social Media and Community Specialist at Grasshopper, the virtual phone system for entrepreneurs. When she’s not Tweeting, Facebooking or Instagramming, she loves practicing yoga, trying new coffee shops and spending time at the beach.