Don’t Be a Drive-By Tagger on Facebook!

One of the features of Facebook that is often misused is the tagging feature.  In theory, this is a wonderful tool.  If you upload a picture or video, you can tag it with someone’s name, and they’ll be notified that you’ve tagged them, so they can go see it.  If you write something to or about someone, they get a notification that you’ve done so.  However this also has potential for disaster.  Be aware of how this works, so you don’t inadvertently annoy or embarrass someone!

Where it Shows Up
When you tag someone, it shows up on the wall of their Profile.  This means that anyone that checks out that person’s profile (colleagues, potential employers, family members, church friends, etc.) can see it.  If it’s a picture or video, it also shows up under the “Pictures of me” or “Videos of me” link, which displays underneath someone’s picture.  While that person can remove the tag if they don’t like what you’ve tagged, it still has the potential to cause damage before they can get to Facebook to remove it.  So tag wisely, and be sure people want it seen.

How They’re Notified
Once a person has been tagged, they get a notification.  They ALSO get a notification every single time the tagged item is commented on.  This gets particularly annoying when in combination with the next point.

Tag Abuse
It is considered VERY BAD MANNERS to tag someone in a compromising photo or video, as well as in something they are not in.  Nothing is worse that sitting through an entire video, only to find out that the person has tagged you only to get you to watch it.  (Whatever happened to just sending a note saying, “I’d love for you to see this,” rather than deceiving me into thinking I’m in something?)

In Summary
Be wise in your use of tags.  If you are going to tag something, make sure you have that person’s permission, or you are extremely complimentary (such as giving them credit for something they have already shared.)  Every tag you make reflects on your business.  Use the tagging feature wisely to avoid losing friends!

What do you think?  Have you had bad tagging experiences? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

6 Responses to Don’t Be a Drive-By Tagger on Facebook!
  1. Siobh
    June 23, 2010 | 1:37 pm

    I am so glad you wrote this and I hope it is widely read by many! There is nothing more annoying to me to be tagged in a photo, and the photo is of a bouquet of flowers. My friends tag themselves in photos of our favorite singing group, when they photos are only of the singers. And so on. I went and untagged myself in all photos that were not of me, and since then it hasn’t been so rampant (guess people are reading you!). I still check out everything that comes through notifying me of a tag and delete delete delete.

    Thank you!

  2. Christine Casey
    May 28, 2010 | 1:26 pm

    Jen ~ thanks for clarifying a little bit more about what “tagging” someone is all about in Facebook, and especially the pros and cons of it, and how to do it correctly. I do agree with you that it is irritating to be tagged in a video that you are not in, or a part of. Like you stated, instead it would be better if the person attached a note about wanting you to watch, and perhaps why they think you’d be interested in it 😉

  3. Derek Lee
    April 21, 2010 | 11:20 am

    Excellent point Jen – I’ve certainly been annoyed when people do this to me, and now I have a better idea how the notification portion works.

    Same goes for older pictures – you may want to ask permission of your friend before you start posting old high-school pictures with poofy hair 🙂

    • Jennifer Fong
      April 21, 2010 | 11:26 am

      Very true Derek! 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  4. Heather Price
    April 21, 2010 | 11:05 am

    great points! I’m having computer trouble and decided to put up a facebook note about the issues so that anyone can see and respond but I tagged specific people I know have a lot of computer knowledge so that they’d be sure to see my note. so even in the non business world tagging can be particularly useful.

    I’m taking a course now with Kim DeYoung and she wanted those of us in the class to see a podcast she posted so she tagged us. I appreciated that a great deal not only because I now have access to the audio but I also saw names/faces for other folks in the class, and now we’re friending each other– another level of getting to know each other. It creates community among us.

    A couple of times I’ve posted promotions I was running and I tagged those of my customers I knew would be particularly interested. But of course I didn’t use my facebook friends as an opt in list by posting business stuff TOO often! 🙂

    I get tagged a lot in birthday and zodiac calendars— that’s truly annoying but I just go in and delete.

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