We’ve all heard about the importance of tagging your content. But, what does that really mean? A simple definition is that tagging is a way of assigning a keyword or phrase that can organize content. If you have articles, photos, videos, or other types of media files that you want to be able to easily access later, tags make it an easy way to do so. Tags are also a great way for your content to be found through search engines such as Google, or through social media.

So, how does one tag their content?

Tags provide searchable content in different ways depending on the platform. For instance, if you are writing a blog post through WordPress or Squarespace, the editor you use to write your post will give you an option to include tags. The same goes for content on YouTube. The tags you include on a blog post or YouTube video don’t necessarily show up on the post itself, but will include your content in search responses where people are looking for the words you have tagged.

Social media tags are a little different because of how social media apps and sites work. Social media does not have a “behind the scenes” part where you can add a bunch of description words. However, by placing a “#” in front of a word (or combined set of words) that particular word or phrase becomes searchable.

Now that I know how to tag content, HOW do I tag my content?

Again, this depends on where you are using tags. For a website, blog, or YouTube where you have a bit of space to include tags, it makes sense to write as many descriptos as you can. The more you have in your tags, the more searchable your content becomes. For instance, for this blog piece, I will include the following tags: Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Squarespace, YouTube, Blogging, Social Media, Tags, Hashtags, Pittsburgh, Podcamp, Podcamp Pittsburgh, PCPgh. Words like blogging and social media are general tags. Using words like Twitter and YouTube narrow a search to content regarding Twitter and YouTube. By including both broad and narrowed terms, you are casting a wider net for people to potentially find your content. By including Pittsburgh, people know my content is from or related to Pittsburgh. As far as attaching my content to Podcamp, I want to use a broad “Podcamp” tag, as well as “Podcamp Pittsburgh” and “PCPgh.” If someone is searching Podcamp but not Podcamp Pittsburgh, our content is twice as likely to populate when someone searches for it.

For social media, this can be a little more difficult. You don’t want a Facebook post filled with seemingly nonsensical hashtags. And, Twitter? Twitter limits your post to 140 characters. If you include too many hashtags, you miss out on your message. The same thing can be said if your hashtag is too long. As indicated above, we include “PCPgh” as a tag in our blog and video content. The reason for doing so is that we use #PCPgh in a lot of our social media content. Because the hashtag has been used on both our blog and our social media accounts, both our blog and social media content populate if I search Google for #PCPgh.

How can I keep content separate if I use the same tags?

The best answer to this question is to figure out what works for your particular situation. If you search #PCPgh, you will get a bunch of information. We created separate tags for each of our events. If you are looking for content from Podcamp Pittsburgh 9, for instance, our content is generally tagged with #PCPgh and/or #PCPgh9. The #PCPgh will give you everything – including the Podcamp Pittsburgh 9 content you are looking for. The #PCPgh9 however, will only give you content tagged with #PCPgh9. Other content can be designated by an event name, or even a year. The WWE, for example, has multiple big ticket events throughout the year. They have a separate hashtag for each event. One of their weekly programs, Smackdown Live (which came to Pittsburgh this week) uses #SDLive. While you can tag #WWE for a general WWE event, #SDLive connects to the Smackdown brand. For their bigger events – such as Wrestlemania coming up in a couple weeks, they use #Wrestlemania for the general Wrestlemania brand. They do, however, use #WM33 to specify discussions regarding this year’s particular Wrestlemania.

Do you have any other tips for using tags?

We have lots of tips for using tags! With that said, we will leave you with one very important tip, be sure to search a hashtag before using it. Celeb Boutique used the #Aurora tag on their social media because they saw it was trending. They did not pay attention to the fact it was trending because of the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and used it to promote a sale for one of their dresses. It created a whirlwind of controversy for the company. If you’re planning on using a tag, plug it into a quick Google search to see if it’s being used elsewhere – and if it is, what it is being used for.

If you have any questions about using tags (or any other topic we cover through Podcamp), feel free to hit us up during this year’s Podcamp Pittsburgh event this fall (date coming soon!) or attend one of our Bootcamp or Evening With Podcamp events.

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