Destination Digital

How To Tag & Why Tagging Helps on Instagram

If you are trying to get attention for your brand on Instagram, you might have found it difficult to have your voice heard amongst the noise on this fast-paced social media platform. Working the Instagram platform through a range of techniques is key, and tagging on Instagram is one of these methods. Read on to learn how to best leverage tagging for your brand.

Tagging other accounts on Instagram can help with increasing your account’s reach and engagement. It’s a great (and free!) way to advertise your business to a new audience by hopping onto someone else’s timelines. It’s also a great way to show collaboration and appreciation to others to both thank them (and… heh-heh hijack their tagged timelines whilst you are doing it!).  Sounds great right? And it is, but there is an etiquette involved in tagging other accounts to read on so that you don’t end up putting your foot in it.


What are the different ways of tagging on Instagram?

There are a number of ways you can tag on posts, Reels and Stories.

  • You can tag other businesses and individual people’s account in two ways and you can do one, or the other, or both. You can tag:
    • In the descriptive comment on your post, Reel or Story by @mentioning someone
    • On the image or video by selecting them by Instagram handle
  • You can tag products that are sold online if that brand has an Instagram Shop set up
  • You can tag locations on your posts to come up in a map view for that particular place – this is different to tagging that business’ handle.
  • You can collaborate with other businesses – called Collabs – where you co-author posts and Reels with others


How to tag other accounts on Instagram timeline posts

There are several different ways to tag another account on Instagram. The first way is to include the tag in the caption below the image, and the second is to include the tag on the image itself. To include a tag in the caption, simply type the ‘@’ symbol followed by the name of the account you want to tag, which will bring up a menu of names from which you can make your selection. Alternatively, you can tag another account or product in the image itself. When creating the Instagram post, directly under the section for entering the caption there is a menu with the option ‘Tag people’. Selecting this option will bring up the image, and you can then tap the image where you would like to place the tag (this can come in handy when sharing a photo of multiple people, as you can place the tag for their account directly on their image).

If you have already published your post and then realise that you forgot to add a tag, you can easily remedy this. To add a tag after the post has been published, click on the three vertical dots at the top right of the post. This will bring up a menu; halfway down the menu will be an option to edit the post. Clicking ‘Edit’ will bring up the post to be edited. From, here all you need to do is click ‘Tag’ at the bottom left of the photo, which will bring up the option to tag people or products. Here you can select which type of tag you’d like to add – to tag another account, tap on the image to bring up the search bar, where you can type in the name of the account you’d like to tag.


How to tag other accounts on Instagram Reels and Stories using stickers

The process to tag another account in an Instagram Reel is the same as tagging in a grid post. Simply type the account name with the ‘@’ symbol and the account name you wish to tag will pop up in a menu. Select the account name to add a tag to your reel.

Instagram Stories also include the option of adding a tag with a sticker. To do this, tap the sticker icon while creating your Story after the background image is already in place, and select the ‘@Mention’ sticker. This will pop the sticker on top of your Story, where you can type the account name that you want to tag.


How to Collab with another account on Instagram

Instagram offers the option to collaborate with other profiles on posts. Collab posts and Reels take things a step further than a simple tag and are displayed as being co-authored by both profiles and feature on both profiles’ main Instagram grids or Reels pages, thus reaching both profiles’ audiences. Collabs are a great way to expand your brand’s reach to new audiences on Instagram, as all the comments and engagement on collab posts and Reels are shared between both accounts. This increased engagement give your profile a boost, as the algorithm will simply see that your post or Reel has high engagement without differentiating that the increased engagement is coming from two profiles’ audiences.

Typically, collabs are used by brands that have worked on a product or project together, such as a special flavour of food or drink or a guest designer on a clothing item. Collabs can also be used by brands when working with influencers, in which case they can be presented as a paid partnership.

To create a collab post or Reel on Instagram, you’ll need to invite the other profile when authoring the post – you won’t be able to add a collaborator after the fact. On the new post creation page, select “Tag people” and then select the tab on the right of the “Edit tags” page that says “Invite Collaborator”. From here you’ll be able to search for the account that you’d like to collaborate with, which will send them an invitation.

Collab posts and Reels are ultimately owned by the original creator, who then adds the second account. The original account maintains ownership of the content should the second account be removed for any reason, and the original account also dictates the privacy settings of the post. Insights will be shared by both profiles, unless the original profile removes the collaborator, which revokes access to any insights.


How to tag products

The ability to tag products is a feature that can come in very handy for brands. This feature allows you to link to a product in your brand’s shopping page in the Instagram post. For business accounts, there will be an option to tag products below the section for writing the post caption. Selecting this option will bring up a menu where you can search for the product name and add it as a tag to the post. On a grid post, a product tag will look like a shopping bag icon on the bottom left of the image, and the name of the product will pop up if you tap the image. On Reels, product tags are displayed as a banner across the bottom of the Reel that says ‘View products’, which redirect to your brand’s shopping page if clicked on.

You can also request to add a tag for your products on another account’s post. For example, if someone shares a post featuring one of your products, you can click the three dots at the top right of the post and select ‘Request to tag’ and then select the product you wish to tag. This will send the other account your request to add a tag for your product to their post. However, your account won’t receive any notification if they decide to decline the tag.


How to tag locations

Instagram also offers the option to tag a location in a post. Tagging a location can be used to allow your brand to be found by users searching a specific geographic area on Instagram. For example, if your brand is a restaurant or retail shop, tagging your business location on your posts will help make your brand discoverable through the location tag by Instagram users who are in the area or are planning to visit.

To add a location tag to a post, simply select “Add location” in the New Post window. This will bring up a menu of locations near you (if your device has location enabled), as well as a search bar. If the location you are looking for isn’t on the auto populated list, you can use the search bar to find and select it. Locations on Instagram can be as broad as the country you are based in, or as specific as the building your business is located in. Location tags are also useful when attending events – you will be able to tag the event space or city in the post, and your post will be displayed to Instagram users who view that location.


How to untag yourself from a post

Some accounts spam tags on their posts, and if you find yourself or your brand tagged in a post that has nothing to do with you or is offensive, there is the option to remove the tag. To remove a tag from a post you have been tagged in, click the three vertical dots at the top right of the post in question and select “Tagging options”. This will bring up a menu with the option to remove the tag from the post, as well as the option to hide the post from your profile. Hiding the post from your profile can be useful if you don’t want to cause offense by removing the tag, but at the same time don’t want to display the post you have been tagged in (in the case of being tagged in an unflattering photo, for example.)

To restrict who can tag your profile in Instagram posts, navigate to the settings menu and select “Privacy”. Scroll down and select “Posts”, which will bring up a new menu. From here you have the option to allow tags from everyone, only people you follow, or no one. You also have the ability to turn on or off product tags and to enable “Manually approve tags”. This is a useful feature if you find your account is being spam tagged frequently. If you opt to manually approve tags, you’ll need to regularly visit this section as pending tags will be held here for approval.

Why should you tag other accounts on Instagram?

As an individual or a brand, tagging other businesses on Instagram when you are posting is a good way of reaching out to those other businesses, and it essentially provides you with free advertising for yourself!

Another element of tagging is to show appreciation and a shout out to another business or individual. You might have seen long lists of tag credits on some posts – very commonly seen in garden design, interior design, weddings and events posts. This is essentially crediting a long list of people who contributed to a post.

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When an account is tagged via the image or video on Instagram, the tagged account will get a notification, and the post will also be visible in their account’s tagged posts page.

Reciprocal tagging and sharing gives your brand access to the other brand’s audience, and increases reach for both brands. Collabs take this one step further in demonstrating to both your audiences that you partnered up and consider each other to be equals in the collaboration.

When you tag another business in a post, you tap into their established audience and raise awareness for your own brand. They in turn, if your brand is related in some way to theirs and you aren’t a competitor, are more likely to tag your brand in the future and give you a boost. Tagging and interacting on social media is a great way to build brand relationships.


What should I do with tags of my business by my customers on Instagram?

UGC is the holy grail of social media! UGC is short for User Generated Content, and this basically means content that has been produce by people who are posting about you (tagged or otherwise). They are spreading the word about you with no additional effort from you, a little like old-fashioned word-of-mouth marketing, except digitised. It’s pretty powerful stuff if you can encourage people to produce UGC, which is something that happens quite naturally if you have a ‘cool’ brand, or your products have some ‘bragging factor’ to them.

It’s also pretty damaging if is being done because you are on the receiving end of a boycott or a flaming by customers for some reason. We wrote a blog about dealing with negativity on social that you might want to read, if that’s the reason you have found this blog. But the subject of this blog is positive, so we’ll park the topic of negativity for now!

The first thing to do is to find posts you have been tagged in, as it’s something you should be checking in on frequently to keep on top of any UGC about your brand. To find posts that your account has been tagged in, navigate to the third tab on your profile. This tab features the posts that your account has been tagged in. it’s best practise to frequently check this tab for tagged posts, which will allow you to quickly jump into any discussion that might be occurring there in a timely fashion. When there are competitors tagged in the same post, it’s preferable to be proactive and be the first brand to leave a comment and lead the conversation.

To search for mentions of your brand on Instagram, navigate to the search bar and type in your brand name with the ‘#’ symbol to bring up posts where your brand has been included in the hashtags. This can be useful, as Instagram users don’t always tag brands in their posts but may frequently utilise hashtags instead.

Tagging of your brand by your customers is being done as a mark of appreciation. You should never ignore people who approach you in this way if you are trying to cultivate an account that is a happy place to hang out. So when customers tag you, you need to reciprocate.

We’ve worked with brands that have very high standards of photographic production when depicting their brand online. It would be fair to say that UGC is not always the most flattering of ways to depict your brand if the photography or lighting is off, or the picture isn’t in tune with your grid’s aesthetic.

However, we have also worked with other brands where we ‘welcome all’ and even low-production value photos or videos are welcomed with open arms. There is, as a backlash to high-production value grids, a new trend in ‘authentic content’ where brands are accepting more UGC-style content into their timelines with less air-brushing, less colour correction and curation. So, your brand’s standpoint could be one extreme or the other, or sit somewhere in between and that will help you decide what to do with tagged UGC posts and Stories.


Sharing onto Stories

Sharing posts your brand is tagged in onto Stories is a great way to share the post with your followers and acknowledge the creator at the same time. Stories are time-limited and disappear after 24 hours, so it’s a good idea to create a Story Highlight for featured posts, which will enable you to keep these pinned at the top of your profile. Stories are a great way to reach your followers, as many Instagram users will view Stories every day, while a static grid post may end up buried in their feed and be missed.

You can also share other creator’s Stories that you are tagged in onto your Stories. When you are tagged in a Story, you will be alerted in our DMs, From the DM, you can select “Share to my Stories” to add it to your own stories. This is a great way to acknowledge and flatter accounts that tag you. At the moment, it’s only possible to share Stories that you are tagged in to your own Stories, but you can always share normal grid posts and reels to your Stories.

Stories come with the option to add embellishments like tags and comments and other add-ons including links, polls, mentions, hashtags, music, and more. Adding tags and hashtags to your stories helps to enhance their reach, while also acknowledging any other accounts featured in your story. When sharing a story from another profile, adding stickers or emojis can add a bit of your own personality and commentary and make it seem less like you are simply recycling another account’s content.


Commenting on original posts

Interacting with customers who have reached out to you with their posts makes them feel seen and appreciated – everyone likes to be acknowledged by their favourite brands. Commenting and interacting on posts will help to build an active community around your brand, which is great for engagement. Showing that you take interest in your followers and share their content will encourage them to post UGC, which you can then share to your own profile and Stories.


Reposting to your own grid

If your brand is happy with reposting your customer’s content ‘as is’ regardless of cosmetics to your main grid, you can use this as a great technique for building an online community around your brand. Resharing your customers’ posts and crediting them back helps to increase your brand’s credibility, as prospective customers will see satisfied customer’s posts as a testimonial to the quality of your products or services. After all, who is going to take to social media and sing the praises of a brand they don’t love?

Namechecking and resharing UGC posts in this way provides an opening for a conversation to develop, which can help display your brand’s personality to other possible customers or clients. This will encourage other users to tag you in their posts in the future, because who doesn’t get a little rush from getting a public shoutout?


Is there an etiquette to tagging on Instagram?

Absolutely! Resharing another account’s post is a prime opportunity to tag the original account, and in fact it would be seen as rude not to tag them. When you tag the original account, you are giving them credit for their content and showing that you think it’s worth sharing with your own followers. Resharing a post without tagging the creator looks an awful lot like stealing their content, so this should always be avoided.

It should go without saying that you shouldn’t just tag brands randomly to reach their audience – it wouldn’t make sense to tag Nike in a post about candles! Make sure the tag makes sense and isn’t shoehorned in to the post, or it will look like you are just spamming accounts.

As a consumer, tagging is an excellent way to get a brand or user’s attention, because they will be more compelled to quickly respond to a public post they are tagged in than they would be to a private DM. This goes doubly so for getting a brand’s attention when you have a customer service issue – most brands will quickly jump into action to address a problem when they know the world is watching.


Bonus etiquette tip for people looking for attention from a brand!

A tip for customers and influencers who hope to have their content reshared by a brand – don’t tag the competition in the same post! Most brands won’t be inclined to provide free advertising for their competition by sharing a post that sings their arch-rival’s praises.


Read more

We hope that you found this article useful. Take a look at the other social media help articles we’ve put together:

We’re sure there will be additions to this list, so maybe bookmark this page if you found it helpful.


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