If you’re a Facebook page administrator, you’ve probably tried tagging other pages in your posts. This method is often referred to as @ tagging, and it involves using the @ symbol in a Facebook status update, which triggers a drop down menu from which you can select another Facebook page name.
Many page admins use @ tagging in an attempt to increase the reach and/or visibility of the post. They hope that by @ tagging another brand’s page (typically a larger brand), the brand will be notified about their post and share it, make a comment or just realize that they exist.
But recently I realized that this strategy is unreliable, for this reason:
Pages are not consistently notified when they are tagged by other pages.
My own Facebook business page is never notified of tags. Perhaps Facebook doesn’t deem my page worthy of this feature? I figured this out when I was scrolling through the timeline of a friend’s brand page and saw that she had tagged my page in one of her posts. But I had received no notification of this. Nothing on my timeline in Recent Posts by Others, nothing in my page’s Activity Log, no email, nothing. And my page settings are completely open to other posts and tags. I scrolled down and saw that she had tagged my page in several posts over the past few months. I never would have known.
However, on other pages, I’ve noticed inconsistencies. I manage some client pages where we will @ tag a page but it never appears on the tagged page. But at the same time, I’ve observed pages where their Recent Posts by Others sections are full of tagged posts from other pages. I posted a question about this phenomenon to a group of blogger friends who manage Facebook pages and only one of them could find an example of where their page had been notified of an @ tag. I’d love to hear about your own experience with this in the comments.
Here’s the takeaway: Your page post doesn’t always get increased visibility when you tag another page. Because the other page often is not notified of the tag.
Second takeaway: Facebook is annoyingly inconsistent.
Of course, there are plenty of other reasons to use @ tagging. Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith wrote an excellent post on tagging etiquette back in 2011. She says some appropriate uses for @ tagging include acknowledgement, attribution or appreciation for other pages, and to help promote other pages (since the tag creates an easy click through for fans).
[Note that in the post she mentions "give careful consideration as to a) how your post will come across on someone else’s profile or page wall" (emphasis mine) which seems to imply that at one time, Facebook did consistently display tagged posts on page walls.]
I’d love to hear about your experience with your own Facebook page. Are you notified when your page is tagged by other pages? Have posts where you use @ tagging appear on other pages’ walls?