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Don't Kill Your Company's Buzz: Stop Using Outdated Buzzwords
Posted on February 16th 2014
It starts as a single word or phrase casually written into a blog post, video, or social channel. Someone sees that word and decides to include in their next upload. Then another. And another.
And then before you know it there is a new buzzword in town.
That social group has just turned that word into the norm for their Internet speak, and, just as likely, some other once-beloved jargon is now a conversational has-been.
Buzzwords, or as I like to call them “vocab fads,” give writers and marketers certain keywords and phrases to include in their content to make it more relevant so it shows up in more searches. The downside to buzzword-oriented marketing techniques is the same as in any fad; they may fall out of style by next week – or tomorrow – and you might not know it.
The bright side, though, is that using these specific terms creates a sense of community among those involved. And any marketer who comes into that community speaking the language and knowing the slang is going to experience success in that market.
As such, buzzwords create a certain high school effect in online media, forums, social channels, and public chats. The Internet is full of different social circles that follow their own trends, the way cliques work in high schools across the nation.
It is a very similar phenomenon to the “Bandwagon Effect,” which turns social media popularity into an art form, and takes a lot of monitoring of that community's social channels. To keep you and your business current on the best marketing buzzwords, here are the top ten best and worst buzzwords at the moment:
Words to Avoid
These are the ones that Heidi Klum, if she were here and coincidentally judging buzzwords with me right now, would loudly declare “You’re out! Auf wiedersehen, boring buzzwords” a la Project Runway.
- Brand equity
What’s Trending Now
While contemplating the synonyms listed on Thesaurus.com, these are the ones that will put your marketing team ahead of the curve – or at least on par with what other companies are doing in their marketing materials:
- Real time
- Social Media Optimization (SMO)
- Cloud Technology
- Inbound Marketing
In marketing, the key is to avoid outdated and overused corporate-sounding terms and clichés while still sounding professional and reaching your target audience. At any point these words can go from the forefront of marketing to being as hip as bell-bottoms.
The only way to truly stay on top of your social circle’s buzzwords is to keep up with social media, blogs, videos, and whatever else may be posted within that circle. Constant, regular monitoring and reading will keep your content – and the words that fill it – new.