Facebook tagging is a feature that enables the "tagging" of a Facebook personal profile or brand page. When a tag is added to a post or content such as a text Facebook status update, photo or video, it will then be published on the timeline of the person or brand being tagged. That is, if they have set their privacy settings to enable such.
What many don't realize is that you can change the privacy settings to require approval before these tags appear on your timeline. Check out this video for specifics on how to control Facebook tags and how the tagged posts get published (or don't get published) to your personal Facebook profile. Remember brands can only tag other brand pages. It's likely people (your Facebook friends) who are spamming your personal profile.
The purpose of this post is not to provide you an intensive training session on how Facebook tags work. Instead I want you to think about WHY you tag a person or a brand.
As with anything in social media, business and life, you should think about the people you are impacting with any action. What is in it for the person on the other end?
I have seen numerous agencies and consultants encouraging people to tag other people on their Facebook posts so they can get the content seen by more people.
STOP this thinking. Spamming the timeline of your Facebook friends should not be your core objective. Instead think about creating and enhancing a conversation.
Who is Over-Tagging?
I understand there are some business leaders who are new to social media. They may very well be using the tag feature not knowing it may not be appreciated by others. If this is you, no worries. My goal is to educate and help you. I hope you read this post and it makes you at least think before you tag the next time.
On the other hand, there is another camp of people who are blatantly abusing the tag feature. Often times these people are the folks addicted to increasing their social influence scores. For some reason they seem to believe that if they can get an uber high social influence score, the planets are going to align and the business development and sales magic dust is going to fall on them and they are going to be rich and famous.
Often times these influence, Facebook edgerank hungry people have a hard time controlling themselves when tagging. They repeatedly (daily or multiple times a day) tag many people in silly nonsense posts. Their primary goal is to increase their influence scores.
By tagging you on the post, it now appears on your Facebook timeline and there is a chance your community will see it. If you like the post you may even share it with your community.
When people click, share, comment, and like the post, it increases their Facebook edgerank. An increase in Facebook edgerank increases the chance their content will be seen in the Facebook newsfeed of people they are friends with on Facebook or people who like their business page (if it is a Facebook brand that is doing the tagging.)
What's In It For the Person Being Tagged?
This is the number one question you must ask yourself when tagging any brand or human being on Facebook...
What's in it for the person being tagged?
Next ask yourself the following questions:
- How well do I know the person? If you just met them, avoid the urge to tag unless it's 100% relevant and valuable!
- Will they appreciate the fact I am involuntarily bringing them into the conversation?
- Will they see the tag as a benefit? Or will they think it is spam?
- Do I know the person well enough to tag them?
- Does the content have anything to do with them?
- What are my objectives of the tag?
- Does the content resonate with them?
- Will they be interested in joining the conversation?
- Will their friends be interested in joining the conversation?
- Will the content add value to them and their community, friends?
- Is the tag really worth risking losing the relationship or making a bad first impression if they don't like it?
- Would I share the same information with them offline?
- Will they be interested in sharing the content? Often times this is a good test if it's something of real interest.
What to do if you are the victim of bad tagging:
- Remove the tag/ post.
- Communicate with the person who tagged you. Let them know you didn't appreciate the tag. If they do it again it's up to you if you want to remain friends with them.
- Choose good friends. Be selective with who you friend on Facebook and this by default will help cut down on the spam tagging.
- Watch this video to learn how to control how tagged posts appear on your Facebook timeline.
- Develop a policy for how you will handle future posts you are tagged in. If you feel comfortable, communicate such policy to your friends. Honest and open communication is often the best solution!
Moral of the story:
Social media can help you build amazing, authentic and life long relationships. Spamming someone's Facebook wall and community is not a great way to kickoff a new relationship.
We are all big boys and girls. You know when you are spamming and when you are adding value. If it's spam, don't do it.
Create good content. Start quality conversations that add value to the lives and businesses of your friends. When you create good content that people want to talk about, they will tag themselves in your post. They will share your post for you. They will comment. Your Facebook edgerank will likely increase as a result.
Don't make this harder than it has to be. Do what you know is right. Focus where you need to focus and the results will come in the right way.
You can never go wrong by genuinely investing in building real relationships with real people. Abusive Facebook tagging is the lazy marketers way of building relationships. Don't be that person. Don't be that brand, please.
What Do You Say?
What are your thoughts? Do you appreciate when people tag you with content that is completely unrelated to your life, business or interests? How do you handle it? What is your policy for tagging other people and brands in your posts and Facebook status updates?