Social media platforms are chock-full of buzzwords, phrases and hashtags, which often evolve into social movements. We’re sure that you’re #SBWL (eager) to know the new terms!

media update’s Nakedi Phala unveils the top social media terms PR pros should know. 

1. Stay woke 

Stay woke is used to build awareness of a particular political cause or social issue. For example, when a user is warning other users to be wary of an injustice that could hinder their plans, they use the term #Staywoke.

The term also has a double-meaning, translating to ‘be vigilant’ or ‘be aware’. In this context, many PR practitioners can use it in their content for their clients.

PR pros could, for instance, use this term to warn audiences against scams and false information. 

Here’s an example: 

2. #BlackTwitter community 

#BlackTwitter dominates in South Africa. In this community, you have to know your story and execute it with caution. Failure to do so might result in you receiving a “clap back”.

This is when you post something awkward and #BlackTwitter calls you out. A good example would be when Pick ‘n Pay tried to play it like Nandos and ended up getting grilled. 

With that said, approaching the #BlackTwitter community can help you navigate problems, learn new things and launch your PR work with ease. So, learn the lingo, study the behaviours of this community, adapt and then play!

Here are some brands that have taken up space and are engaging well in the #BlackTwitter community: 

3. DM for promo

‘Send a direct message for promotion’ or ‘DM for promo’ is a message that most social media influencers include in their bio to draw businesses in for endorsements.  

Once a user feels they have reached a prominent status, the DM for promo messages appears on their profile, simply stating that they’re open to promoting brands on their profiles. 

These accounts are ideal for PR professionals to approach, especially if they would like a brand promoted only on social media, and can’t afford traditional methods. 

So, if you come across a DM for promo, just know that it means to send a direct message for promotions of your brand.

4. It will end in tears 

It will end in tears is a common phrase on social media platforms, especially in SA.

This term is usually used in situations that are likely to end in an unpleasant way. For example, if you share your campaign content and most comments consist of “it will end in tears”, just know, there’s something wrong with your posts and you should look into it before it leads to a PR crisis. 

So before users start saying it ended in tears, just remember some situations are better to deal with before they spiral out of control. 

5. Clout 

This phrase is gaining momentum and means someone who does or says something for the purpose of becoming popular on social media. 

This term is important to acknowledge as a PR practitioner since someone could be chasing clout using your clients’ name or brand. Thus, it would be ideal to take a peek when this term makes waves.  

6. #Challenge 

This has become a global thing, from the #JerusalemaChallenge to the #DuduzaneChallenge. 

Social media challenges have seen big brands to small brands join the challenge. For the most part, it has been a great way for their brands to gain publicity. For example, the #JerusalemaChallenge saw prominent stars, healthcare practitioners and airlines take part. 

A piece of advice? Take some time to scroll through social media challenges to see which one you can use to be part of the trend. 

7. Family meeting 

Due to Covid-19, South Africans have gone through many meetings — from the president’s addresses and State of the Nations Address (#SONA), which are known as ‘family meetings’. 

As a PR professional, it’s important to learn that when you search for the hashtag #Cyril, #Ramaphosa and #SONA, you’ll find limited content. The phrase you should be searching for that carries the exclusive content for a client would be under #FamilyMeeting, which is a popular phrase South Africans are using on social media platforms. 

8. #SBWL 

#SBWL derives from isiXhosa and is formally written as ukubawela/sabaweli, which means “to crave something” or “be enticed by something”. 

In PR, you could use this term to ask your audience if they hungry for some great content by saying: Do you #SBWL great content? Click on our link to read on. 

PR pros need to keep their ear on the ground to learn about new social media terms and trends. Do you agree? Let us know in the comments section below. 

U lava mahungu aku hisa? Tsalela hina

Legal affairs have a heavy influence in public relations, helping both client and agency run things smoothly from start to finish. To learn more, check out these Three legal affairs that PR pros need to know about.