Did you realize tagging on social media was complex?
Why is social media tagging helpful for us?
Tagging on social media is a powerful practice.
Social media tagging has many benefits for you.
When you tag, you get the attention of influencers who
- Might link to you and improve your SEO
- Might let you guest post and increase your subscribers
- Might reshare your posts and extend your reach
- Make you look good and boost your credibility
This post will explain how tags work on 5 social media sites: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn.
What is Tagging in Social Media?
Social media tagging allows social media users to engage an individual, business, or any person or company with a social media account when they mention them in a post or comment. Social media tagging notifies the recipient and links to the tagged profile.
Difference between tag and hashtag
There is a difference between a tag and a hashtag.
What does the @ symbol mean in social media?
When you tag someone on a social media site, you use the @ symbol. The person will be notified you tagged them and be able to read the information you posted on the social media site.
When you use a hashtag, you use the # sign. This allows people looking for information on your topic to find it. All they have to do is type the hashtag symbol (#) and the keyword they want information on.
Using hashtags on sites like Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn is important if you want people to find your content.
Note: It’s been reported that hashtags actually turn people off on Facebook.
There are many free tools that will provide social media hashtags. For instance, All-Hashtag.com will show you both Top and Random hashtags for your keyword. Just plug it into the Search bar.
The Preview App offers you hashtags.
Here you will find social media hashtags generators.
Tagging on Social Media: Etiquette
Did you know there is actually a protocol for tagging on social media? There is. If you don’t follow these rules, you will anger people who you want to impress.
How tags work:
Tagging on social media has two results: The person you tagged is notified about what you wrote on social media. Also, the tag creates a hyperlink to the person’s account.
You need a reason for tagging.
I can not stress this enough.
If you just randomly tag, you will annoy the person you tagged. Tagging notifies the person. They’ll wonder why they needed to take their time to read your social media promotion.
I, myself, have been tagged often but to my confusion, I had no idea why. I often read and reread the social media content assuming I was mentioned there somewhere.
If you just randomly tag without reason, you will look like you just want a share from the person you tagged. Instead of being beneficial to you, you will look spammy.
Tag within your niche
Don’t go overboard tagging on social media. Stay within your niche.
For instance, Moss Clement is in my niche. Therefore, when he and I tagged each other, on Instagram, people in our niche saw our accounts. If I tagged someone in a different niche, there’s be less chance they’d follow me back and my account would grow if they’re not interested in my content niche.
Tagging on Social Media: Instagram
The screenshot shows two of my Stories. In both, I tagged organizations in the school where I teach.
This way they’d be notified the school yearbook was available and that I wished them well upon graduation.
You might wonder how I knew the tags. After all, you haven’t memorized the Instagram handles of everyone you might want to tag.
How to tag in an Instagram Story:
Make your Story like you usually would.
To tag, click the Sticker icon. Then click @Mention.
When you start typing their name into the search bar, their name, also called a handle, comes up.
Instagram is intuitive which is extremely helpful. For instance, I tend to tag my business partner, Peter Nyiri, when I want him to see how I promote our Blogging Academy.
When I type @PeterNyiri, his Instagram handle, “@FunnelXpert,” appears. I click on it, and he will be tagged and shown my Instagram Story. Even though Peter Nyiri and Funnel Xpert aren’t similar, Instagram knows which tag to offer me to click.
Instagram allows you to tag up to 10 people in a Story.
The advantages of tagging on social media when you use Instagram:
Names aren’t the only tags you can choose from in Instagram Stories. For instance, you can tag your location which is called a Geolocation tag.
There are advantages to tagging. Clearly, when you tag a person, they are notified. If they choose to share your content that you tagged them in, you extend your reach by including the tag, and your account could potentially grow as their followers follow you and possibly share your work.
The same rules apply for the Geo Location Sticker.
Start your Story. Click the Sticker icon. Click the word Location. Your location and your nearby locations populate. Click your location.
When you include this in your Instagram Story, people in that location who follow that tag will be notified and again, your reach could spread.
Instagram Posts: Tag in Instagram Captions
This is a caption promoting a new course at the Mostly Blogging Academy. I wanted the instructor, Peter Nyiri, to know I promoted the course, so I tagged him in the caption.
In 2018, you could include 20 tags in an Instagram caption. Now, in 2020, you can tag up to 30 people.
Before we leave a discussion of tagging on Instagram, we should examine how tags are used in Instagram contests.
One powerful way to grow on Instagram is through contests. You offer something for free in exchange for people sharing your posts. People who share are entered.
The question becomes, “How will you know if someone shared your post?” It’s vital in the instructions for the contest that you tell people to “tag us on social media.”
The tags enable you to know who entered. Write in your caption where you advertise the contest, “Tag us on social media.”
Will they tag your account? Tell them to use the @ symbol. Will they use a unique hashtag you invented for the contest? Make sure you give them the instruction. That way you can choose from the people who entered by sharing your content in order to give away your freebie.
Tagging on Social Media: Twitter
What is tagging in Twitter?
Tagging on Twitter is called a Twitter Mention.
Do you remember in the Tagging on Social Media Etiquette section, I warned you people get angry if you waste their time tagging them for no reason other than you want them to promote you?
Therefore, when you tag, tell them why you are tagging them.
Let’s look at an example:
Blogger Hugh Roberts won my linky party. When I promoted the party on Twitter, I wanted him to know, so I tagged him.
Again, I used the @ sign. However, look at what I put before it: “feat.” This stands for “featured.” In other words, I am telling Hugh he is featured in the post I’m promoting.
What if you are not including them in the article? What if you believe there is information in the article you believe they will be interested in?
Use this abbreviation “FYI” which, of course, stands for “For Your Information.”
In the past, I’ve also written out in the tweet, “Thought you might be interested.”
You can tag up to 10 people in a Twitter tweet.
Social Media Tagging: Facebook
Amit Garg also won my linky party. Excited, he shared the information on Facebook. When he tagged me, he typed my Facebook name, @janicewald. Can you tell when he tagged me my name turned blue? This tells you it’s a live link to my account.
There seems to be a new social media trend promoting website content in Facebook DMs.
That’s fine if there’s a reason to share your content with the person you are Direct Messaging.
People tag me on their Facebook wall when I’m included in the post they are promoting. I’m thrilled! I thank them on their wall under the post and then I share their content on my Facebook page.
However, people have sent me their posts in my Direct Message section of Facebook inexplicably.
Once, before discovering this was a social media trend, I told the blogger I thought he tagged me because I was in the post, but I wasn’t.
I wasted my time reading the article looking for my name, and things got awkward when I questioned him about it.
Tagging on Facebook has even become automated. People pay good money to have chatbots contact people on Facebook Messenger.
You can tag people on Facebook anywhere: On your wall, on your Facebook Business Page, or in DM’s. You can also have group discussions in Direct Messages where everyone in the conversation will get tagged.
You can also tag people in photos you post. The photos will appear on their wall, and they will get notified. If they don’t want the photos to appear on their feeds, they can remove the tag.
Social Media Tagging: LinkedIn
Look what happened when Martin Lindeskog tagged me on LinkedIn:
My name became a live link so my account could grow through the exposure he gave me. Also, my branding grew due to his “hat tip” (compliment) seen by his followers that generated 5 thumb-ups and 11 comments.
Look what happens when I add a tag:
As soon as I used the @ sign and started typing in Peter Nyiri’s name, he came up, so I could click on him and tag him in this post. He will receive a notification that I promoted our course.
Go to your LinkedIn homepage. Here you can make a post and tag someone.
Tagging on Social Media: Quora
Quora.com is a popular Question and Answer site, and isn’t commonly thought of as a mainstream social media site.
Since you can network at Quora, I am including the site in this article about tagging on social media.
A Quora user asked me a question about Twitter. I didn’t know the answer. Wanting to help him, I referred the question to a Twitter expert I know, Lisa Sicard.
Notice how I did it. I used the @ sign. I started typing her name, and the Lisa I wanted to tag came up which enabled me to click on her.
Once I tagged her, Lisa’s name became a live link so the person could click on her account. Because I tagged her, Lisa will get notified about the tag in her Quora notifications.
The difference in tagging on social media sites often comes down to whether you use the space between the person’s first and last name. On Quora, you use the space.
Tagging on Social Media FAQ
What is the difference between tagging and hashtagging?
When you tag on social media, you use the @ sign. When you use a hashtag, you use the pound sign #. You tag to make sure a person sees your post, you use a hashtag to make sure interested people see your content.
Is it better to tag or mention on Instagram?
You mention someone by tagging, so it’s the same.
What does tagging someone mean?
Tagging someone means you use the @ symbol to make sure someone sees your content. Use @ + their social media handle.
Wrapping Up: Tagging on Social Media
In closing, I recommend you save this guide to tagging on social media. This way, when you are ready to tag, you can reference the protocol this article shared and these instructions.
This post explained
- the four benefits of tagging on social media.
- the difference between a tag and a hashtag.
- the general etiquette for social media tagging.
- how to tag people on Instagram Stories, Instagram posts, Twitter, Facebook, Quora, and LinkedIn.
- how to tag locations on Instagram.
How to tag on Pinterest:
A notable omission in this post was social media tagging on Pinterest. It’s easy to tag on Pinterest using the @ sign. When you add your hashtags, add a @ sign. This will enable you to tag Pinterest users.
Readers, please share so social media users wishing to learn social media tagging read this guide.
I look forward to your views in the comments section. Do you have any suggestions for tagging on social media sites? Do you agree tagging on social media sites is spammy unless you state your reason for tagging?
Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2021 and 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.