To tag or not to tag

Picture for a moment that you’re hosting a fabulous party. You’re standing in a group of friends, chatting and swapping tales. You start to share the one about your good friend Steve (who’s across the room) who fell into the sea on a boating holiday.

You have a choice to make. Do you say, privately, “See that man over there? That’s Steve, and one time when we were on a boating holiday…” or do you announce as you’re waving him over, “Steve, come here. We’re talking about your incredible boating escapade…”?

In the virtual party of social networking, you encounter this particular decision every day. When you talk about another person, do you write their username, which acts as a tag and a link, or do you simply mention them by their name? Both have their place…

If you’ve previously used Twitter, you will know how to name-tag somebody making use of the “@” symbol before his or her username. Less of us are aware that Facebook has a similar element.

On Facebook, when keying in a status or comment, enter the “@” symbol before you begin typing the person’s name and you will notice a dropdown list of matching friends and pages from which to choose. You can delete their surname by back spacing to make your post more reader friendly.

There are a few reasons why you might want to tag someone…

  •  To notify that individual/page that their name has been mentioned, in the hope that they may reply or engage with the message.
  • To draw someone’s attention to a post – like an email “cc”.
  • To make it easy for followers to click on through to that person’s profile.
  • To make it obvious to your followers whom you’re referring to.

On the flip-side, if you don’t wish the person to know that his name has been mentioned, maybe to save them from numerous email notifications, then don’t tag them, just use their name.

 On the whole, though, it’s good to remember that social networks are about interacting. You’re there to connect with people, and to connect them with each other, so I’m all for tagging people and opening up opportunities for engagement.

If you’re wondering how this relates to your business, call me on 01462 615821 or email me for more information.

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