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Tips on ‘The Art of Tagging’: Facebook’s Most Powerful Concept

Lucas Shaffer - December 6, 2010 - 0 comments

We’ve all seen them yet only a few of us have tackled the ‘art’ of tagging others (including businesses) in our status updates.  I call it an art form because it requires much more knowledge than you may think.  Slamming statuses with tags using brute force is sure to get you blocked/reported so a skillful approach can change your ability to elegantly share and allow you to focus on relationships instead of plain ol’ marketing.  For it is with the cultivation of relationships that we can build a strong funnel around your idea, your favorite book and more importantly….your business.   After all, your business has a new store front and whether you know it or not you need to keep it as clean and well organized as you would your front window.

To catch everyone up, tagging is when you include your friend or favorite fan page in your status update using the ‘@’ symbol to initiate the tag inside the text area.  In many cases, we are ALL familiar with the photo tagging that you may have already done yourself.  If you upload a picture of you and your friend then you simple use the ‘tag’ feature.  Well, this is the same thing.  Instead of a mouse click to create the tag you must use the ‘@’ in the status update.  Try it now.  Once you type ‘@’ type the first letter of your best friend (Example ‘@w’) and you will see a roll down of all your friends and pages that have the start with a ‘w’.  Very simple concept yet so powerful.

Inserting a status update including tag of Mark Lupo
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Inserting a status update including tag of Mark Lupo

Why is tagging important?  Tagging is powerful.  Follow me here…  When you tag a friend or a page, you are posting your status update to wall of the tagged people or businesses that you mention.  For example (and most common), if my wife and I went to the movies with some friends at a local theater and I wanted to share this I would use tagging I would start by saying something to the tune of “I really enjoyed hanging out with @John Smith and @Jane Doe at @Carmike Theaters tonight”.  For your personal life, you have just posted your status to John Smiths wall, Jane Does wall and even Carmike Theaters business page wall.  This is a big deal because in one fail swoop you have essentially posted 4 times in one post and anyone visiting The Smiths or Carmike Theaters will see that you are sharing your information allowing people to connect to the Smiths and to Carmike, if they like.  It’s a part of building a better community.  Of course, in business you would want to say “Just joined @John Kirk and @Patty Neilson about possibly working with @Kirk and Neilson Lawfirm”.  At this point, you have alerted your network including John Kirks, Patty Neilsons and also the business page of ‘Kirk and Neilson Lawfirm’ that you are participating in some activity and it will be awesome.  This is the art of tagging.

Tammy Pierce and I exchanged updates linking both us of to our networks creating community.
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Tammy Pierce and I exchanged status update tagging to link us to each our networks creating community.

Here are several tips to get your started on gaining composure as a social savvy person (or business):

  1. ‘Like’ and ‘Friend’ your favorites. It is important that you have already ‘liked’ or ‘friended’ the people or pages you want to tag in your post.  If you haven’t, when you type the ‘@’ in the status they will not appear.  Most cases require you to refresh the page once you have liked a page.
  2. Make the content relevant and interesting. You can over do this concept and that’s why I have explained it as an art form.  Simple and concise wins this race.  Facebook provides so many ways to block, report, mark as spam and a function to ‘untag’  (similar to photo tagging/untagging) that with this new tool comes responsibility.
  3. Try a few posts between you and your friends first. Don’t jump out and tag your workplace if you are not prepared to present the status update with a well-formed update including any link-removals and correct image selection for thumbnail.
  4. You can tag from your fan page. This feature is not limited to your personal status update.  You can tag from your personal page.  For example, if Michael Scott came to visit your business and you have an existing fan page on Facebook you can use this to your advantage.  Go to your page and say, “Thanks for @Michael Scott for visiting us today.  Now we are heading to @Locos Grill And Pub for lunch.  Anyone want to join?”.  You have now linked your business with Michael Scotts network of friends and Locos community as visitors will see you are doing business at Locos and Michael Scott is someone of importance to you.

As you can tell, this has a lot of potential if done correctly.  As a business, you want OTHER people tagging your business in their updates so you should focus on this.  It is a powerful tool for fan page growth but keep in mind the more aggressive you are at tagging your own likes and marketing strategies, the more likely you are to be hidden or blocked from those fans.

Of course, there are people who do this well and those who torture their network with horrendous spammy updates that can be quite a hassle to maneuver around.   Fortunately, Facebook has made it easy to hide, block and report.  Knowing that you could potentially be hidden or blocked should be enough to keep your sharing side a bit under wraps.  Make sure your tagged updates are relevant and interesting and you will always win the battle for everyone’s eye line in the Facebook world.

Once you learn the ‘art’ of tagging you will find empowerment in engaging your community of customers, reviewers, advocates and other businesses.

Thanks for reading!

Do you include status tagging in your social media strategy?  If not, call me.  You should start today.  706.225.9235

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