The buzzword. Sounds unsavory, doesn’t it? Jargon has been around, well, since we’ve had language, I imagine. And buzzwords, in proper context, serve a useful purpose – they are known by peers, they shorten communications, make us easily understood, and build intimacy. Kind of a ‘in with the crowd’ feeling.

Then how has being ‘in with the crowd’ become taboo? It’s interesting that we express disdain for the use of buzzwords, and yet they are still pervasive in the social media lexicon. For example, isn’t it a double-standard that we might be flattered to be described as a ‘guru’ or a ‘thought leader’, we disdain the use of the terms by anyone describing themselves that way?

A very common example of buzzword abuse occurs in how social media practitioners describe their own expertise in plying the trade. But buzzwords abound that cross-over into common business language too. ROI, KPI, 360, agile. Sometimes it seems that the  common usage of these terms doesn’t even consider their formal definition. And maybe that’s the point. A term that ignites a trend and transcends its original definition – the buzzword.

Q1) What motivation is behind the use of buzzwords?

Q2) What social media/marketing buzzwords evoke a negative connotation for you?

Q3) Which commonly used buzzwords reflect positively on an individual or brand?

Q4) Does using trendy buzzwords have consequences for a business/brand?

Q5) How do buzzwords gain acceptance in the social media/business world?

Q6) What buzzword is your greatest pet peeve?

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