Tagging on Facebook has become common practice, but don’t you just hate it when people tag you on posts that you’d rather not be in?
What happens when we tag?
Tagging people on a comment thread only gives them a notification. On the other hand, tagging people on notes, videos, and photos gives them a notification and puts the tagged post on their walls or timelines. This means that these posts can be seen by people on their network, depending on their privacy settings. We’ll discuss how you can personalize your privacy settings later. But let’s first go to some acceptable and some unappreciated tagging practices:
1. Tag to promote
We can tag people or pages when we want to promote a site, video, product, idea, article, etc. However, if you’re tagging friends, you might want to do this sparingly, since you might flood or spam your friends’ walls or timelines with unwanted advertisements. Also, it’s wise to tag friends on posts you know they’d actually be interested in. Entertaining, informative, or inspiring posts would usually be appreciated.
Take note that Facebook has disabled this feature on Facebook pages; Page admins can’t tag their friends anymore when posting as their Page. In the past, Facebook Pages could tag your friends, so that these friends could be given credit or you can thank them. This could have led to your friends receiving unwanted friend requests, since people who visit your page could also see the friends you tag.
However, you can still tag other Facebook Pages on your Facebook page. Here’s a good example of how you can promote another page (in this case, Jamie Oliver’s Facebook page) plus a link:
2. Tag to appreciate
Some people use their Facebook to rant and piss other people off. Why not show a little love instead? Rule#2 is tag people or pages if you want to spread some love or say thank you. This is also a great way for businesses to make customers feel special.
3. Tag to give credit
Another good reason to tag is if you want to give credit to the source of post.
4. Tag to respond to comments
Your responses to Facebook post comments can go unread, especially if you get a lot of comments. Tagging people you reply to calls their attention to your response. Here’s an example from TechCrunch.
5. Tag to do a combination of any of the above.
Here’s a good example of a post on RingCentral’s Facebook page. It tags two Facebook pages and places two links, promoting and giving credit to Adam Lashinsky at the same time.
Now let’s go to the “DON’Ts” of tagging.
6. Don’t spam-tag
I’ve mentioned this in #1, but this deserves some emphasis. Have you ever visited a Facebook page that looks like it belongs to someone else? Don’t own another person’s page by spamming it. And this also goes for posting on their walls, not just tagging them.
7. Don’t tag people in a photo if they look ugly in it
Let me make it clear that this is not to discriminate against what the world generally perceives as ugly. But you have to admit that there are moments when you’d rather not let your network see that photo of yours where, to put it mildly, you weren’t exactly looking your best. You know how it goes—don’t do unto others what you don’t want others to do unto you. As an important side note, it would have been better if you didn’t upload the photo in the first place.
8. Don’t tag people on other potentially embarrassing posts
This includes tagging them on rude remarks you make and on videos that shouldn’t be shown to the general public.
9. Don’t tag people when they’re not on the photo
Unless it’s for purposes stated in nos. 1-5 or some other important reason, then this is self-explanatory.
10. Don’t tag when it’s better to send a message
Are there times when a private message or an email might have been better? Don’t tag unnecessarily.
To protect yourself against unwanted tags:
1) Group your Facebook friends into smart lists.
2) Go to privacy settings
3) Select profile and tagging
4) In “review posts friends tag you in before they appear on your profile,” select “ON.” This way, you can review tagged posts before they are shown on your wall.
In “Who can see posts you’ve been tagged in on your profile,” select Friends, Friends of Friends, Friends except Acquaintances, or Custom. My own settings are set to “Custom.”
5) If you also clicked on custom, choose your settings for “Make this Visible to” and “Hide This From.” I chose to hide my posts from friends in my “Work” smart list.
All in all, it’s always better to think before you tag.
Read more: Facebook Tagging – How it Works for Timelines and Pages