Facebook Tag Bombing is the new telemarketing

facebook tag bomb

This is a post that is probably going to piss some people off, but it must be said.

I am increasingly being tagged in stupid Facebook posts like this one:

What’s your favorite flavor of lollipop? Go!

Now, when I get an alert that I have been tagged in a post (or photo), I always take a look to see what’s going on. I think that is just polite and usually the content is something relevant and interesting. However, in cases like this, I sincerely doubt anybody actually cares about my favorite flavor of lollipop. I don’t typically consume many lollipops. Perhaps that surprises you?

This practice of tag-bombing people to artificially drive engagement is simply the new version of telemarketing. You know, those annoying sales people who interrupt you with a call you to sell you insurance or something? Even if you hang up right away, it has distracted you from your day and wasted your time.

I have also noticed that family and true friends don’t ever tag bomb. Why would they? It seems to be coming from the social media gurus and demi-gurus. To what end? The only possible explanation is that they need to drive the engagement numbers up that fuel a Klout score or other metric. Shudder.

C’mon folks. Stop this silliness. If you want engagement, do the work.

So far, I have been trying to provide gentle return comments like “It is not cool to tag me in a post that has nothing to do with me.” But maybe I should give them a taste of their own medicine and start tag bombing them too?

What’s your favorite Disney character? Go!

All posts

  • As much as I enjoy Tootsie Roll Pops, mass targeters deserve all the licks you can give them as when you get to their artificial center it is serves only to contribute to the sickening decay of social media.

  • MaureenMonte

    As our trusted adviser, the great Will Rogers once said, “You can’t legislate intelligence and common sense (or cents) into people (or companies).” Your blog reminds us that Social Media has placed a public magnifying glass on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. It also reminds me of when we used to receive digital assaults by eternally forwarded emails saying, “forward this to 10 people you know and your dreams will come true.” What a waste of talent and bytes. I never once forwarded them and didn’t enjoy receiving them, even if the content did have something interesting in it. However, I also did not reply to my “friends” with, “Please don’t send these to me, I don’t like them.” I didn’t write that out of fear of being seen as mean-spirited. So I am curious as to how those replied to you (if they did) when you politely asked them to refrain.

  • I couldn’t agree more (and I have shared and commented on Google+ to say so). I haven’t gotten to the point to let people know to stop doing it because I first want to see how to handle these issues on my end (privacy settings in Facebook, etc. and to build the technical knowledge to advise others as well before potentially alienating myself. Since I rarely have true “engagement” on Facebook (besides with my real family) I am letting the tags go right now.

    Thanks for the post. You are my “pet peeve” of the day.

  • RandyBowden

    Agreed Mark, it “is simply the new version of telemarketing.” My intial reaction is to untag, second time block!

  • Holy cow, that has not happened to me yet. {shudder} I can’t imagine how annoying that would be. Mostly I get tagged for author memes that require you to answer questions then tag some other authors who have to answer questions and tag to infinity and beyond. Or until the supply of authors runs out. It feels too much like homework so I just pretend I didn’t see it. So far the world has gone on turning… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • billy delaney

    Well said indeed

  • billy delaney

    Thanks for this public warning alert. Now if it had been Chocolate…

  • Pingback: Facebook Tag Bombing is the new telemarketing |...()

  • Well now can just leave the link to this article in the comments of the tagbomber’s photo in question.

    Thank you for saying this! People have tagbombed me many times and then you can tell they are a bit off because if you somehow don’t interact they (thank the lord) stop tagging you in their Happy Weekend posts.

    By the way, NO, I don’t want your photo on my personal timeline. I hardly know you and our “relationship” is all about you.

    The best is when someone who you hardly know tags you in their comments on other people’s posts or tags you on Twitter reminding you to check out their new project or article that has nothing to do with you…especially when the only form of interaction with you is about them.

    Thanks Mark, for letting me have a good rant! I hope you feel better after having pressed PUBLISH on this baby.

    Oh, I do love Ariel, as in the mermaid.

  • My tooth hurts now! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Actually, I feel like tweeting this and tagging a few tagbombers! lol I can’t, I can’t.

  • Gustan. No, I don’t tagbomb and I don’t author page posts that say “Tag your friends who love the Letter A”. A recent post with a sunrise got over 40% organic reach and plenty of engagement. I’ve always hated stupid engagement tricks. Of course, post a sunrise or a bear and they are putty in my hands LOL

  • Pingback: Facebook Tag Bombing is the new telemarketing |...()

  • Awesome comment : )

  • So, far, they have said, “sorry, I wont do that again.” I have also written friends privately asking them to stop!

  • I’ll take that as a compliment. It has been a long time since somebody called me a pet peeve. Wait. No it hasn’t. : )

  • Amen.

  • I can’t believe you haven’t seen this yet. I am getting it 2-3 times a week. I need a better group of friends I guess!

  • : )

  • Do it!!! : )

  • Ariel rocks. Sassy chick.

    You’re right. This would be a good thing to leave as a link!

  • Amazing the pull of a sunrise! So true.

  • MaureenMonte

    Thank you, Billy!

  • MaureenMonte

    So it was effective. That’s good to know.

  • Well, I do have great friends, but you’re so much higher profile than I am… I guess there are benefits to the “little time.” LOL

  • The biggest problem I see with this is famous people like you not seeing tags at all anymore.
    I tag you (and others) if I tag you or your book in shares of quotes or related posts.
    Thanks for being still so diligent!

  • Whoa. Maybe FB has changed their settings, but I thought you could only tag people who were confirmed FB friends with you. But I just tried it and I totally could have tag-bombed you on a photo of some organic beer I drank the other night! It was good beer, but I totally agree with you. The FB tagging “feature” is being used in a really awkward way.

  • Ive seen this alot with my family being tagged in shoe advertising. Dont ask me why shoes, but I see it alot. Now I dont know about you, but I HATE seeing “So and So you are following is tagged in a photo” and it just being a cheap pair of Nikes. Its actually the best way to ensure that anyone associated with those people will NEVER engage with the brand. Shame to see such lazy content marketing at play.

  • Ooops…fast fingers. The Facebook tagging (pet peeve)…not you dear.

  • RogierNoort

    I have yet to be tag-bombed (this is no invite people)… But, I can imagine how annoying this is.

  • If I see certain names in my pending tag field, I’m bout to be bombed lol….or if I see 25 other people being tagged. I just block folks now; they should know and if they don’t I’ll teach them a most compassionate lesson ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Louisa Bacio

    Get tagged in various stories … most often, I know the peeps. And I tag-bombed some friends in this post, just for the irony.

  • I have “unfriended” lots of folks who tag me in erroneously in pictures and other posts. This is nothing new. I talked about this on my podcast back in April of 2012 and in this post “5 Ways to Avoid Looking Desperate or Selfish on Social Media” http://basicblogtips.com/social-media-no-nos.html

  • Oh my goodness – I’ve learned a new word today: “demi-gurus.” LOVE IT… it fits most of the people better than the Guru tag I was previously slapping on them.

    I’ve been culling my FB friend list for the past year for the sake of my experience… if anyone tagged me like this they’d be gone.

  • Love that : )

  • You had me at beer.

  • That is a weird thing!

  • Wonder why some get it and some don’t. Maybe you cull your friends more carefully. I accept blog readers as friends I don;t know well, or at all.

  • The aggressive approach!

  • Thanks for taking the time to comment Amy : )

  • Very true!

  • Well I don’t consider myself famous but I still look at things when I’m tagged so no worries there!

  • Okay, I just tag-bombed you with (hopefully) a BETTER use of this feature. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Sandra Isaac

    Dont be Goofy! Mass-Tag-Bombing just leads to many social casualties.
    Its just….Pooh!
    You interrupt my dinner to sell me a product will just lead me to NOT buying your product, even if i need it. You tag bomb me…and you’ll get the same results. (and I wish they would stop inviting me to play those games too!)

  • RogierNoort

    You have 2,306 ‘friends’, I have 129, all of whom I know personally. Guess that explains a lot. ๐Ÿ™‚

    The price you pay for being you, Mark. You have to pay the ferryman…

  • This is true. I honestly had no idea how many friends I had on Facebook.

  • Ha! Great comment Sandra!

  • When I see the message ended with Go! I ignore it.

    Unfortunately a couple of friends of mine have used that language and I do not respond to being commanded like a dog.

    Should I be amazed no one has had the nerve to do this tag thing with me yet?

    I ask Mark because friends have told me “you have one of the best behaved streams.” Then they follow up that comment with because they think folks are afraid to misbehave in my stream, chuckle.

  • I think my stream is well-behaved but it also has some people I don;t know well and they tend to take advantage of things sometimes .. but count yourself lucky!

  • This hasn’t happened to me, but I have been tagged in posts that are obviously promoting or selling a product when there’s no reason for the tagger to believe that I’m at all interested. That’s even more annoying. It happens on Twitter too.

  • lalitha

    Wow , i love this bombing ,

    your idea is awesome.I will upload this blog to my profile.your blog always gives me some information which is helpful to the users. thanks for your information.

  • Another reason not to use Facebook. Is this not something that you can block in the settings (only allow friends to tag)?

    I would check myself bit it’s been a while since I accessed Facebook so there’s probably loads of notifications about being tagged in images! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • lalitha

    This is very interesting. Thanks for the post.

  • oh man, i couldn’t agree more. my notifications become a nightmare when i am tagged in irrelevant crap such as that. luckily, it does not happen often, but i’m sure it’s because i’m not seen as one of the kool kids that has a huge number of friends compared to many of my smarty pants peeps. #justsayin What is your favorite Tootsie Pop anyway, Mark?

  • Dave Kerpen

    Princess Jasmin ๐Ÿ™‚

  • That scares me. : )

  • Thanks for joining the conversation Ciara.

  • Seems like an easy fix for Facebook. Can’t think of why they would not address this.

  • Cherry. No wait. Grape. This is just too hard of a question Lynn.

  • Glen Gilmore #Biz

    Thanks, Mark, for always saying what needs to be said!

  • Ravi Shukle

    Couldn’t agree more and have said this many times as well. If the post is relevant or includes me in it then I don’t mind. But i’ve known others to un-friend as soon as they have been tagged. Same goes for DJ’s who invite you to all their events.

    Fav Disney Character : Sebastian from Little Mermaid

  • Haha! Absolutely agree with you Mark. I’ve been noticing this in recent weeks and am really happy you’re saying something about it.

  • I always like to think of something clever to say in the comments. But everybody has pretty much said it so I am going to go with Flynn Ryder from Tangled!

The Marketing Companion Podcast

Why not tune into the worldโ€™s most entertaining marketing podcast that I co-host with Tom Webster.

View details

Let's plot a strategy together

Want to solve big marketing problems for a little bit of money? Sign up for an hour of Markโ€™s time and put your business on the fast-track.

View details


Send this to a friend