starbucks cup

Image by Cherrysweetdeal via Flickr

Oops, they did it again!

These days it seems like it’s all anyone can do to keep up with the hustle that Facebook has going. I mean, just when you get used to one new thing, they announce something different altogether. I know, it’s frustrating… even for people, like me, who LOVE this stuff. But, if you’re NOT a social media rock star and don’t play one on TV, here’s the skinny on the latest – brand tagging.

Facebook added a new functionality to their photo tagging system. In addition to tagging your friends (and pets!), you can also tag brands. You read that right – you can now tag that can of Pepsi sitting next to you in that pic.

When I first heard about this, I immediately went over to to ask how many people would actually tag a brand in their Facebook photo. 75% of those who voted said, “No way, and I’d be helping huge companies promote their wares…why??” The other 25% were willing to play ball.

Interesting (it always is at

IMHO, there’s an opportunity and a challenge… both are opportunities if you ask me. The up-spin is both large AND small brands can tag their wares. So, that means Grown Up Soda can be tagged right along with Pepsi. There’s an opportunity for smaller brands to make a come up, if they play their cards right. Tagging contests and all sorts of jolly good times can be had by all. It only takes one SMART marketer to color outside the lines.

Which leads me to what I believe to be the down-spin: it only takes one SMART marketer to color outside the lines. What’s to stop someone with a vendetta against Starbucks, from tagging Starbucks cups as Dunkin Donuts? Or Domino’s Pizza as Papa John’s? Or a McDonald’s bag as a Wendy’s bag?

I’m not trying to throw any one brand under the bus here, but I’m just wondering if ANYONE at Facebook thought about the long-term implications of their new brand tagging feature.
The crowd is fickle, dear Facebook and oops, you did it again.

AvatarLena West

Lena L. West is the leading expert on how women entrepreneurs can monetize social media. She is also the founder of the Influence Expansion Academy, the only social media mastermind program created EXCLUSIVELY for women entrepreneurs.