Don't Kill Your Company's Buzz: Stop Using Outdated Buzzwords

Laura Sievert
Laura Sievert Digital Content Strategist, SyneCore Technologies

Posted on February 16th 2014

Don't Kill Your Company's Buzz: Stop Using Outdated Buzzwords

Dont Kill Your Company Buzz By Using Outdated Buzzwords Blog Image resized 600It starts as a single word or phrase casually written into a blog post, video, or social channel.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.

  1. Brand equity
  2. Crowdsourcing
  3. Organic
  4. Synergy
  5. Influential
  6. Engagement
  7. Dynamic
  8. Leverage
  9. Optimize
  10. User-generated

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:

  1. Content
  2. Transparency
  3. Real time
  4. Infographic
  5. Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  6. B2B
  7. Analytics
  8. Viral
  9. Cloud Technology
  10. Inbound Marketing

Takeaway

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. 

 

Laura Sievert

Laura Sievert

Digital Content Strategist, SyneCore Technologies

Laura is a long-time newspaper and magazine journalist turned Digital Content Manager for SyneCore Tech, an integrated digital marketing agency located in sometimes balmy, oft-times frigid, Minneapolis, Minnesota. She specializes in marketing blogs, but also churns out bodacious content for various other industries. Outside of her 9-5 life, she works as a freelance videographer, reads and rereads every Jane Austin novel out there, and actively advocates for the continued use of the Oxford comma. Feel free to follow her on Twitter or connect on LinkedIn.

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