Posting on social media has become a daily activity for many individuals and businesses across the globe. Often the goal is to engage or communicate with others. With this in mind, how do we know when to tag people or brands? And what’s the value of tagging others?
To get started we need to outline a quick definition. Tagging someone in social media posts is not the same as using a keyword hashtag When you tag a person, brand, or location, it’s like letting them know you are talking about them. You might just want them to see something or you could be asking them to respond. Oftentimes you will need to start with the @ symbol followed by their username to get them to pull up as an option to tag. We will share more about how to do this later in the post. (Note: This blog doesn’t address tagging on blog platforms).
Why should you tag people or brands?
Included in your social media strategy should be an understanding of who you are trying to reach, the type of persona your account holds, and your goals for engagement. This will not only help you create the correct content for your community, but also help you to determine when to tag others. Here are some positives to tagging others in your posts.
- They get notified – when you tag a person or a business in your social media post, they will likely receive a notification that you have mentioned them. This kind of direct alert increases the chances they will respond and engage with you in conversation online.
- Shows up on their profile – Often times when you tag others in a post, they have the option to add it to their profile so that it is also seen by their friends/connections. It will depend on the individual’s privacy settings.
- Increases engagement – Social media is meant to be social. If you are talking about someone or sharing an image of someone, they likely want to talk with you too. Be sure to tell them so they can respond or engage in the conversation.
- Gives credit where credit is due – If you are sharing an article written by someone else, it is right to give them credit. You can do this by saying something like “article from @name”.
- Humanizes a brand – Brands can show their involvement or care for their community by sharing information about people or businesses they interact with. The content put out by brands shouldn’t be only about themselves and the products/services they offer, but instead highlight the great work they do and the people behind that work.
When should you tag people or brands?
Not every post you put out there should have a tag. When you clearly understand the why and your goals for the content you are sharing, you can more easily determine what content should include tags. Here are a few situations where you may want to tag others.
- Compliments – Are you sharing a complement or good words about a person or brand? Why hide that from them? Tag them and let them know that they added value to your day or provided excellent service. If you don’t tag them, they may not ever see your kind words. And if you’re lucky, they may even share your post on their feed!
- Looking for help – If you are attempting to contact a company about a problem or question and you post that question on social media without a tag you can’t expect a reply. There is so much content going out every second that people can’t be expected to find each and every post. If you tag them, they know you are talking about them and are more likely to respond.
- Pictures – If you are sharing pictures of people in your community, speakers you are listening to, or business you visit tag them and let them know!
- Locations – When you are visiting a location, monument, event or business you often have the opportunity to tag that location and share with others the cool activity you are enjoying. Tagging locations can also build community by sharing with others who may have similar interest.
- Credit – Same as the why above. If you are sharing something that wasn’t created by you it is important to give credit where credit is due. Tell people where your original post came from or which organization did the study you are quoting.
Think about your content goal before you post and then determine if it is best to add a tag. When you think strategically, the answer should come to you fairly easily. What are some other benefits of tagging businesses or people in your posts?
Author: Jennifer Radke
Jennifer Radke, CEO of NISM, is a dedicated, passionate and strategic business leader with 15+ years in sales and recruitment management, leadership, coaching, development and training. Most recently, she was the owner and chief strategist at Socially Inspired, a social media training and consulting company. In addition, she is an NISM-certified Social Media Strategist (SMS), serves on the board for Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota and can be found speaking and presenting to job seekers and businesses alike, on how to better utilize social media in the workplace. Jennifer believes that lifelong learning is the key to continued growth and your networks are the best way to expose yourself to new opportunities.