Tagging is Happening… and It Works

How often have you spotted a great article or meme online and instantly wanted to summon your friends to see it?

Welcome to tagging: a very effective alternative to sharing a post.

If you’ve seen the latest commercials for State Farm, you’ll grasp how tagging can work. Each time a person in those commercials gets in a snag, they simply repeat the State Farm jingle and instantly their representative is summoned to their location. Tagging functions as a summons to other users to come see where they were tagged and why.

Tagging is easy.

If you know another user’s name or handle on a social media platform, you can tag them in a post, comment or even a media image like photo or video. Most times you can just start typing in their name as you know it, and the site will auto-fill in the possibilities and give you a selection of who you want to tag. Other sites work best with the @ symbol typed in first to kick in the tagging feature (on Twitter, the @ is required).

Facebook allows you to tag images and videos (based on the permissions set by the person who posted the media). Once you click on the tag symbol, click on the person you know in the image and start typing in their user name to select them to be tagged.

Tagging gets it done.

I have yet to encounter a post or image that didn’t get exponentially more reach from tagging than those which weren’t tagged. Social media is about a network larger than you can see, and each person you connect to has a unique circle they connect to, and so on. Even on my personal Facebook profile, tagging a friend in one of my photos has often led to a vast number of strangers to see my content because they are so-many-degrees from the person I tagged. The same has held true for professional or brand profiles which I have managed.

Tagging should be taught.

If you manage social media for a brand and post images or updates referencing actual people, teach staff and your audience to tag the content. When you’re acting as the Facebook Page, as the brand you can only tag other Facebook Pages on your post or media; however, personal users can tag other personal Facebook profiles on the same post or media. Encourage them to do so! Social media users tend to want to see and be seen; bank on that desire by educating anyone who interacts with your profile to tag with gusto.

Is sharing better than tagging?

While having content shared has always been the supreme goal for social media managers, I’d content that tagging is sharing. Even better, if someone shares your content and tags their friends while they’re at it, your content has a better chance of gaining eyeballs. The more you can do to train your supporters and staff to tag content, the more broadly your content will be shared.

Share your experiences with tagging in your own comment below. Is tagging working for you?

Are You Really Ready to Duplicate Your Content?

Over the weekend, Hootsuite shared out their blog post, Why We Sent a Single Tweet 44 Times. (Great headline, right? My neck involuntarily pitched my head sideways when I spotted it.) Mission accomplished, because I clicked to read the blog.

Hootsuite discusses the practice of repeating (duplicating) content because “how people use social media, particularly Twitter, has changed. It has developed into a discovery channel where audiences come to find content.” They refer to Guy Kawasaki, a social media monolith who supports repetitive content sharing in his social practice. (I encourage you to read the Hootsuite blog, in spite of what I’m about to type; they have great tools and insights for social media marketers.)

Don’t Dupe Just Yet

I don’t think everyone should take to their social media plan and hone their Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V speeds – at least not yet. Here’s why: both Hootsuite and Guy Kawasaki have no shortage of followers: 6.73 million and 52.8 thousand, respectively – and that’s just on Twitter.

When you’ve got an enormous following you’ve already cultivated, resharing the same content can make sense because due to the sheer numbers of your followers, the statistical probability that most of them will see that one tweet posted just that one time is uber slim.

So what if you’re not Hootsuite or even Guy, and you’re still building your audience? This is where I stick with the notion that social media is still first and foremost a conversation at heart – especially if you’re still cultivating your followers.

Date A While Before You Dupe

Think about it: you meet a new person for coffee or lunch. The other person, for the most part, likes what you say and share, and so you make plans for a future date. If things go well, you create a regular relationship to where they feel you are credible and interesting. Even if they don’t adore 100% of what you share, they stick with you through the months and even years. At that point, once you’ve developed the relationship, you’re far more likely to be forgiven a repeated thought tossed in amidst the rest of your riveting material.