Facebook Tags – Subtle but Powerful Tools for Your Book PromotionBy Lynn Serafinn on July 11th, 2010
Spiritual author and book promotion coach Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors gives top tips on how, when and why to tag people, fan pages and groups on Facebook. As always, your comments and feedback are most welcome below!
I get some of the best ideas for blog posts from questions friends ask me on Facebook. Tonight, my one of my friends asked me how you “tag” people in Facebook. I realised in my written explanation to her that there was actually a lot of detail and subtlety involved, so I thought it would make a great blog post to share with other authors, and people who want to know more about developing their online platform.
“Tagging” is one of the most powerful tools on Facebook. A “tag” is basically a link you create to a person, page or group on Facebook that you place within your wall posts, photos or notes. When you “tag” a person in a wall post Facebook, your post will automatically appear on their wall as well as on your own. If you tag them in a photo or note, it will appear in their updates.
Here are some guidelines of HOW you put tags in a Facebook post:
- When you type an “@” sign into a wall post, Facebook recognises that as a signal you want to tag someone. Let’s say you wanted to tag me in your post. My first name is Lynn, so you would type “@Ly” (important: do not put a space after the @ sign) and then WAIT a second or two. Facebook will open up a window with everyone in your friends list whose names have “Ly” in them. When you see my name, CLICK on my picture, and I will be tagged. You will know the tag is activated because my name will turn blue, and it will turn into a link that takes you to my profile page.
- You can tag a maximum of 6 names in a single wall post.
- You can also tag PAGES or GROUPS. Just follow exactly the same steps as above.
- As mentioned above, when you tag a person, page or group in a post, your post will appear on THEIR wall automatically. This is a great way to spread messages virally and it also means that the parties you are talking to or about will see your message without checking their updates.
- The other advantage to tagging is that NEW people will see you who might not have seen you before, especially if you are tagging to a page or a group. Anyone who checks out the group or fan page will see your post.
- You can also tag people in a note or a photo. There is a section on the right side of the note that lets you create tags exactly the same way as above. You can tag more people in a note or photo than in a wall post (the current limit is 30).
- NOTE: You cannot put a tag in a comment. You can, however, put a web link in a comment.
Now here’s the obvious question: WHY would you want to tag someone?
One way to use tagging is to tag people, groups or fan pages to say something nice about them or to help spread some news that would be of interest to the people (or members of the page/group) being tagged. Here are a couple of examples of when you might use tagging to a page or group:
- If you want to share some news about the page or group to you profile page (such as a new blog post, event, book, video, radio show or other news item THEY have posted). In this case, you might post the news to your personal Facebook profile, but tag the page/group in the post. That way, it will appear on their wall, and they will see you are helping to spread the word about their good work.
- If you see or create a news item, tip, video, event, etc., you think would be of interest to the members of the group or fans of the page, but you also want your own friends to see it, you might post the news to your wall, and then tag the page or group. For instance, if I wanted to bring a post to the attention of Spirit Authors, I might say, “Spirit Authors, you might find this useful” (Spirit Authors would be tagged).
Below is an example of a post I made on Facebook recently about a new page I had found by one of my networking friends. I “shared” the page use the “share” link, and then I wrote this tagged post to accompany it:
Just discovered my good friend Dana Lynn Smith‘s new page The Savvy Book Marketer. She is a wealth of information. Spirit Authors and Next Top Author folks, check her out and “Like” her page for great tips. Dana is also a member of the Virtual Faculty at the Spirit Authors membership site, btw. :-))
Note there are four tags in the post: 1) Dana Lynn Smith’s personal page, 2) Dana’s business page “The Savvy Book Marketer”, 3) the “Spirit Authors” business page and 4) the “Next Top Author” group. That means that, altogether, this single post was (on the day I posted it) visible to over 5000 people, just about all of them authors. I noticed that within a few minutes of posting this, Dana’s fan page increased by 5 members, and if people start “liking” or commenting on the post, it is likely to generate more interest. Not bad for a post that took a few seconds to compose.
In this post, I am not only helping Dana Lynn by sharing her page and saying something nice about her, but I am also helping the people I have tagged in the post (Spirit Authors page and Next Top Author group), because they are a targeted group of authors, all hungry for new information about book promotion. Furthermore, as I “shared” The Savvy Book Marketer page, people will see the logo and description of the page, which makes the post far more visible and attractive, and makes people far more likely to check it out than if it were a simple link.
But the beauty of this is that I am also gaining from this. How?
Because I am being seen as someone who likes to give value to others. And because of this, people enjoy staying connected to me. Furthermore, because the tags make the post appear on Dana’s pages, new people might see me on either Dana’s personal page or on her business page. If they perceive me as being someone who can offer good value to them, they are likely to seek me out as a connection. They also might see the Spirit Authors link and check that out too. Believe, me, I have more Facebook invitations these days than I can keep up with.
IMPORTANT TAGGING NETIQUETTE:
- NEVER abuse tagging to SPAM your Facebook friends or Facebook pages. Spamming means that you just tag people for the sake of them paying attention to a promotion you are doing. Do NOT do this. If you want to invite people to a promotion, create an event, business page or group and invite them to join voluntarily. If you are running a promotion, go ahead and post it in your updates, but don’t tag people in the updates unless they have something to do with the promotion OR you know them very well personally, and they would wish to know what’s happening (e.g., if you are launching your book, and close friends and family would like to be informed).
- Don’t be a Facebook “squatter” or “poacher” on other people’s pages. By “squatter” I mean someone who uses tags or hangs out on someone else’s business page ONLY to promote themselves. By “poacher” I mean someone who joins pages solely to find people to invite to their own pages. For instance, if I had gone to Dana Lynn’s page and said, “Hey all you Savvy Book Marketers! I’m the best thing since sliced bread. Come on over to my page,” that would be pretty tacky. Now, if DANA said such a thing about me to her own group, that would be completely different.
What I am showing you here are some of the fundamentals of social networking, and indeed what I call “spirit-based” marketing. Social networking is the cornerstone of my business and of all the promotional platforms I help authors create for their books. But even though it is a powerful tool for your book promotion, always remember that the key to spirit-based social networking is to help others, and to gain a reputation as someone who willingly and joyfully helps others, trusting that there is enough business and prosperity in the world for all of us.
Tags in Facebook are very powerful if you use them correctly. Use them with sincerity, creativity and generosity, and over time you will see your network grow and your business flourish. Besides… I think they’re FUN.
About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors
Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced two #1-selling book campaigns, and another #2-selling campaign, in just the past 4 months. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring.
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