Talk & Tag Online: The Legendary @ Symbol (Part III)

Last Thursday and Friday, we talked about the origins of the @ symbol and the power of tagging on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+. We were happy to see that on Thursday, LinkedIn announced they, too, were going to harness the power of tagging. They have unique tag innovations the other channels don’t possess at the moment. We’ll dive in promptly after this brief paragraph on some tagging history.

The power of tagging online is about name dropping to get positive attention. You can dialogue with others simply by using one little symbol. It doesn’t have a determined name in any language, and though its origins are mysterious, it has left its mark on merchants, monks, and the French. You can call it @. @ is the tool for tags. When you say someone’s name or “tag” them, it is much like creating backlinks. If that someone mentions your name on Twitter, Google+, or other sites, it’s as if they shared a direct link to your website. Look for tags or “mentions” of your brand and engage; use tags on all of your channels to get the attention of your local business colleagues and customers.

Let’s hop into the last leg, Part III, and how to tag on LinkedIn. Keep in mind that this feature is less than a week old, so your account may not have it yet. They’re currently rolling it out to all English speakers, and then will move on to foreign countries.

LinkedIn

There are two ways to tag other users on LinkedIn, with no restrictions when it comes to whom you may tag. This allows you to “mention” any of your friends or colleagues you may want to speak with.

In order to tag others on LinkedIn, you actually won’t need the @ sign. This will not only alert that user that they have been mentioned by someone, but it will draw them to your profile to see who it is that’s speaking with them or about them.

Status Update Tags – When you post a new status, simply begin typing the name of the colleague you wish to mention. You will see that a small drop down menu emerges, which allows you to select the user’s name you want to mention. It will then be inserted into your status. You can see an example below.

Comment Tags – If you want to comment on someone’s post and you desire to get either their attention or the attention of another LinkedIn user, you can just type your colleague’s name to begin your tag. You can see an example of a comment tag below.

LinkedIn is breaking new ground for tags in two ways. First, they’re eliminating the need for a sign. While Google+ uses the + symbol, and Twitter and the rest use the beloved @ symbol, LinkedIn has no need for an additional character of any kind. This makes tagging another user more memorable, more natural, and less cumbersome.

They’re also revolutionizing “mention” compatibility between LinkedIn and Twitter. On your LinkedIn account, it is possible to attach your Twitter account. With the union of the two services comes cross-posting. You can share an update on LinkedIn, and it goes straight to Twitter as a “tweet”. LinkedIn has chosen to take tags in posts and turn them into Twitter username tags when the post becomes a tweet. You can see an example below of the seamless integration of the two services.

We look forward to seeing what mentions and tags become in the future. Backlinks are ever-evolving. Yet tagging others on social media sites is still a necessary element when it comes to online dialogue. If you are not there to participate in the conversation online, you will miss out on visibility in front of millions of potential customers. You will also miss the conversation that is happening in local social media, so be sure to remember this. The more that you mention (or “tag”) other companies and fans, the more visibility you create around your brand. 

You will find that others will tag you back when they want your attention. Remember, you are making a digital connection that may seem tentative at first, but it will grow into a personal, local relationship with new customers or business partners.

This article was written by Corissa Poley – Online Marketing Strategist at Dream Local Digital. Corissa lives in Portland, Maine and believes Maine is the best state in the U.S. She brings her can-do attitude from the busy pace of her former residence in the New York/New Jersey Area. Her professional experience with the Portland Public Library, green construction publishing, Apple Inc., and the Information Technology Group at University of Nebraska-Lincoln gives her a diverse outlook to feed her ever-curious and creative mind. You can reach Corissa at [email protected] or connect with her on Twitter.

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