A Fan of Brand Photo-Tagging?

As you may have heard, Facebook’s photo tagging has gained some attention over the past week, which gives users the ability to tag pages, including celebs, businesses and brands. So, what’s the dealio? Facebook announced … “a Page can be tagged anywhere that someone can view a photo in the photo viewer. These photos will appear on the Photos tab on the Page, and not on the Wall. In addition, a Page can be tagged by anyone on Facebook, not just people who have Liked your Page.” But, what does this mean for you?

Many brands have voiced their excitement for this functionality, calling it free advertising. Starbucks and Zappos are among the few that have shared user-generated images of their brands. To be honest, I like the new feature. Brands now have the chance to engage with some of their most loyal customers, recruit and identify new advocates (especially if users can tag you regardless of whether or not they like you) and identify the products/services that are most popular! With this update comes many opportunities; however, I do caution those of us who get overly excited, and pause to be a little Debbie Downer. There are disadvantages and risks as well. Before you get out the champagne (to tag), here a few things to think about …

So, what about privacy? Well, Facebook says they will maintain all privacy functionality for the user, meaning that not everyone on Starbuck’s page will be able to view my picture. But as a page, I reserve the right to un-tag myself from any pictures. Remember to check and set your posting ability settings in the Admin console. If you allow users to post pictures, you’ll also see these pictures in your photo reel. Question is, do you want a not-so-brand-friendly picture featured on your reel? I wouldn’t.

What do we need to do? Well, moderation is now, more than ever, absolutely essential. Someone needs to watch what pictures are tagged, one comments are shared, and how those comments can be addressed. Additionally, if Facebook truly does roll out (again) user comments on a Page’s wall – especially for regulated industries like Pharma – monitoring and moderation aren’t just a nice-to-have, they are an absolute must.

What do we need to re-assess? Terms of use and moderation guidelines will be an important for brands to adjust, revise or even create. Now, more than ever, users must understand the rules of engagement, especially for those in regulated industries. Furthermore, take a look at your Social Media Guidelines, both internally and externally. How do you want employees engaging with your brand/their employer on Facebook? Can pictures taken within your offices be shared? What can’t be shared?

What do you think of the new Page taking capability? Fan? Not so much? Why, why not?


Posted on May 15, 2011, in Marketing, Public Relations, social media. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I agree that this isn’t something to celebrate without clearly understanding the impact to your organization or brand. The last thing a brand wants is for their product to be featured in photos that don’t align with the intended use or image.

    I’d also suggest that now is a good time to revisit (or create) that crisis management plan, just in case one arises due a tagged photo.

    Great post 🙂


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