How To Tag With Tact

How To Tag With Tact

We need to talk – you know the conversation is about to get serious when you hear those words. It’s time for a Shop Talk about tagging, or more specifically about how to tag with tact.

What is a tag, you might ask?

A tag is when you upload an image to Facebook or Instagram and you click the tag button to tag someone else in the image. Sounds simple right? What could go wrong?

Trust me, a lot could go wrong…

So how do you tag with tact?

The proper way to use tagging is if we have a picture of us taken together, I would tag you in that picture so that it shows up on both your profile and on my profile. But unfortunately, that’s not the only way it’s used.

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Some marketers have decided that tagging is a really great way for them to spread their marketing message and to get your attention or the attention of your audience. They essentially hijack your profile or your feed by tagging you on their photograph or marketing materials. That way anyone who follows you will also see their post. Your name tagged on that image may imply support or approval of the image or its subject matter, with your followers. There are simple ways to promote your Facebook page that are much less annoying.

#SocialMediaManners: Don’t be a hijacker - How To Tag With Tact Share on X

When you go look at your profile you might see images there and wonder how on earth they got there.

You know you didn’t upload the image, and it’s often very clear that it has nothing to do with you. Someone who does not know how to tag with tact has put you in that position.

Of course, you can remove the tag – all you need to do is click on the picture on Facebook and choose to remove the tag. The same is true for Instagram, you can click on the picture then click those 3 little dots and it will take it off of being visible on your profile.

But you wouldn’t have to do that if people practiced good social media manners and knew how to tag with tact.

You shouldn’t have to do that because you shouldn’t have been tagged in the first place.

If you want to tag somebody they should be in the picture itself, or have some clear, direct connection to the image that you’re sharing, or have provided their permission or public support of whatever is in the picture. If you’re going to tag someone in your marketing material ASK them first. You never know, they might support your efforts, but at least give them a choice.

Tagging without tact is not nice. It’s inappropriate and it’s time for it to stop. There are much better ways to tackle an online marketing quick start than to tag people without tact on social media!

An added bit of social media good manners – if you are going to post a picture of someone else and tag them in it, it should at least be a good picture.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this Shop Talk public service announcement on how to tag with tact, leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts on whether you agree or disagree. Maybe I’m missing something, maybe there’s a valid reason why someone would want to be tagged. If you know that reason, tell me what it is! The only reason I can think of is if it’s some type of a celebratory, congratulatory message that makes me feel good. If it’s all about you, or it’s self-promotion for you, that doesn’t make me feel good. That makes me feel used. That, to me, is inappropriate and if we all use our good social media manners it can stop right now.


18 thoughts on “How To Tag With Tact”

  1. Hi Lisa. Thanks for a great shop talk again. I just watched the shop talk about tag with tact. I just need to be sure; If i wright on my Facebook that i’m all busy in participating in the pilot to profit programme and the adhd the link to your web sigtht. That is not what You mean? You mean IF i try to market myself on somenoe elses Facebook and post some kind of pic there? Just feel the need to be clear about this.

    1. Sophia, you tagging me regarding something to do with the Pilot to Profit program is great because it makes sense. If you were marketing MindBody and you tagged me in your promotion, it’s not so great because that post shows up on my profile and I may not want it there. When you tag, it should make sense for the person you are tagging. So yes, I am talking about marketing with the intention to have your stuff show up on someone else’s Facebook!

  2. I really admire your videos and enjoy watching them but this one sounds like a whining person complaining, get over it and move on without telling the whole world how upset you are !

    1. Interesting, you say you enjoy watching my videos Paul but this is the first comment you’ve ever made on my blog and it attacks me personally as a “Whining complaining person”. Clearly you don’t see the value in what I do to help others every week or you wouldn’t have made that judgement. The POINT of this video is to educate on proper tagging etiquette.

      1. My point is that I watch your videos for positive uplifting inspiration but your video today has put me off. You have obviously taken offense to constructive criticism so I’ll leave it there. You don’t know me but I sort of know your video personality and complaining wasn’t something I expected from you! You could have chosen to turn a negative into a positive but, I’m my opinion, you came across as negative too. Chill, carry on and ignore these people – it’d be water off a ducks back to me

        1. Fair enough, that’s your perception. It wasn’t my intention to be a complainer, and I am definitely not stressing over it, but it is annoying when it happens to you a lot.

  3. Your point on insuring that you never post a bad picture of someone has me totally cracking up.
    I have had a couple of people that over took me with tagging. I spent a lot of time untagging me. In the end, she unfriended me…not sure if this is related but I found it interesting.
    Personally I tag people at times to bring them to attention to an article or something I think they may find interesting. Other times I will send it as a private message.
    I think there is the odd person, who may not have a clue that it may be taken as trespassing.. .even maybe the person who owned my timeline for months. I tend to think, that most marketers would not be doing it if they new that it was kind of spamming.

    1. I’ve had some of those photos tagged for me too, ugh! Lol. Tagging someone on something that makes sense is perfectly cool – it’s a great way to share. Tagging for self promotion, not so much.

  4. Makes sense to me. Unfortunately too many people try to use strategies that are self-promoting without being professional about it. In the end, it works against them. If they abuse the potential connection in this way, they miss any bigger opportunity of ever partnering with the person in question and even getting themselves a negative reputation that’s much harder to dig out of. Be respectful. Be smart. Be professional.

    1. Totally – I think some people don’t really REALIZE what they are doing, and as someone else said to me today in a private message, at the time, it felt wrong but I did it anyway, now I know what it felt off.

  5. I have tagged you in the past when sharing your words, and some time ago as I had highlighted you and a few others as top scopers in an Instagram post. The tag was a courtesy to let you know I shared something about/from you and by no means a marketing ploy. That’s something I consider rude. I don’t believe quote posts (when the words are yours) and appreciation posts are what you refer, but I do agree that tagging anyone in an image that has no relationship to them is flat out wrong. In fact, that was considered faux pas years ago, so I can’t believe people are still doing that.

  6. AMEN, SISTA!! OMG … It drives me bonkers sometimes when I’m being tagged over anything and everything … Thanks for sharing!

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Lisa Larter

Founder and CEO of the Lisa Larter Group, master strategist, author, speaker, podcast host, social media expert, consultant, and business coach. Lisa inspires entrepreneurs and business owners to see the possibilities for their organizations when it comes to strategy. She uncomplicates modern marketing and creates (and implements) strategies for businesses that are guaranteed to increase visibility, inbound leads, and revenue.

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