Facebook Tagging – How it Works for Timelines and Pages

Author:  Debra Murphy


Reading Time: 4 minutes
Facebook Tagging - How it Works for Timelines and Pages

Although Facebook Tagging seems rather straightforward, it is still confusing to determine what you can do and where to find the settings. But tagging is still an important feature in Facebook that helps generate traffic to your business page. With the new Facebook Business Page layout, some of these features may be a bit hard to find.

Facebook Tagging Overview

Facebook tagging links a person, Page, or place to something you post, like a status update, photo or app activity. Tagging is a useful feature because it:

  • Notifies a friend or Page when you post something that pertains to them, letting them know that they were mentioned;
  • Makes the post more visible because it appears in the news feed and timeline of the friend or Page you tagged (if the person has set the post to be visible to friends or public).

When a friend or Page gets a notification that they have been tagged, it increases engagement because they are more likely to comment on or like the activity in which they have been tagged. Without tagging, you could post a nice comment but your friend or the Page owners may never know that you gave them visibility.

Facebook Tagging for Timelines

When someone tags your personal profile (timeline), you have control about how you handle tags. You can turn on Tag Review in your privacy settings to ensure you always approve a tag.

If you don’t want to restrict people, you do have many options if someone tags you unfavorably. You can set how you want tagging to work for your personal timeline by clicking on your profile picture in the top right, select Settings and Privacy > Settings. You can then go to your activity log to review where you’ve been tagged and whether you want to remove the tag or add the tagged post to your timeline.

Facebook Tagging - Privacy Settings

Facebook Tagging for Pages

You can tag a Page in a photos. To do so, open the photo and look for the tag in the right corner.

Facebook Page Photo Tag

Once you click the tag, you can tag the page, people or other pages.

Facebook Page Photo Tagging

Tagging in posts show up under notifications. The following are notifications the Masterful Marketing page received recently.

Facebook Page Tagging Notifications

As a Page Admin, you can set the permissions for your Page for how you want to handle posting. To make your Page more interesting, you should allow people to post content, photos and videos to your Page.

Pages Tagging other Pages

Tagging a Page from another Page is a nice way to promote other brands in which you may have a relationship. To do so, you need to be using Facebook as your Page. To switch, click on your profile picture in the top right and select the page you manage.

Once you have done that, you can tag another Page in a post. To search for the page, type @ and then the page name.

Facebook Page Tagging another Page

It seems that Facebook tagging has become simpler over time, although managing your page is more complicated now. If your page is not using the Meta Business Suite, it is a little simpler. If you did add your page to the Business Suite, you should spend time going through all the features.

60 thoughts on “Facebook Tagging – How it Works for Timelines and Pages”

  1. Debra hi,

    I’m going crazy here with my FB business page!

    My page has been tagged on several occassions by my costumers – but I can’t see those tags anywhere!
    I understand the notion to not show this information to bigger companies – however I checked a few other pages, and their costumer reviews and posts are show on the left hand site of the FB page – in a smaller division, but it’s still there. Mine aren’t, I can’t seem to make it work?

    I tried everything – all the settings seem to be correct, but still nothing.

    Do you have any idea what to try?



    • Hi Maja,

      Have you checked your notifications and activity log (you will find the link at the bottom of the notifications list)? That is usually where I find out who has liked my page and who has tagged. Posts to page are only text posts that are directly written on my page and I have the option to make them visible in the sidebar. Tags of my page on photos do not appear on the page at all. For me to make them visible I have to share them on the timeline as the admin of the page.

      Tagging is the most confusing aspect of Facebook because there are too many variations to understand them fully.

      I hope this helped.

  2. Hi Debra.
    I came across this post because I was trying to use tagging for a specific purpose.

    I am managing our animal hospital FB page and wanted to thank each person who “liked” our page. I thought that I could post a TY pic and then tag these clients all together but the only names that come up in the list are “famous people” with a ton of friends.

    I then went to my personal profile and tried to tag the TY pic that way and the same “famous names” are coming up…even when some of them are my personal friends. I am really confused. If this cannot be done can you please recommend an easy way to thank new page likes. Right now I am having to send a message from my personal page and I would like to keep my personal profile just for private use.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Monica,

      Pages cannot tag people – most likely this is to prevent people getting spammed and also since people block tagged posts from going on their timeline unless approved. I know I don’t like to be tagged just because. I don’t mind people tagging me in photos that are appropriate and meaningful.

      I don’t think you need to thank each person who likes your page individually – do something fun – post an image and have the new people caption it or start a phrase and have people finish it – those who want to be seen will be seen. Those who wish to remain quiet will.

      Make your page fun and informative and create offers for those who bring their pets to your animal hospital. That’s why people like pages – to get value from the business.

  3. Hi, Debra. I hope you’re still watching this thread. I have a photography business page. I post to it, and I know people that Like/Follow that page will see that post. However, I want to also have that post appear on my personal timeline. What’s the best way to do this but avoid Likers/Followers from seeing duplicate posts? Currently my process is 1) Post to my business page as my business, 2) go to that post and ‘Share’ the post on my own timeline.

    My concern is that my friends that are also Likers/Followers will see the post a second time. If this is true, I want to streamline it. It seems that if I tag myself in that business post it should appear on my personal timeline. Since I can’t tag myself when I’m posting from the business page, I have to do it after the fact by clicking the post/photo, then tagging myself (“Who were you with?”). However, tagging myself doesn’t seem to be reaching my general audience of friends that are not Likers/Followers.

    Is sharing the business post to my personal timeline the only way to reach my larger audience of personal friends?



    • Hi Brian,

      Sorry for the delay in responding. Been crazy here!

      There is nothing wrong with sharing your page post on your personal timeline. I actually do that myself for my own blog posts. Don’t assume because your friends have liked your page that they are actually getting the posts from the page. Organic reach is very low so most likely they will not see the post twice and if they do so what? They may have seen it but a second time a bit later in the day may get their attention even more. Space it out a bit – post on the Facebook page in the morning then share the post on your personal timeline in the afternoon.

      Tagging does not necessarily reach your general audience. The only way to really reach a wider audience is to share your page post on your personal timeline or sponsor the post and be selective on who you wish to share it with. I think you can reach a pretty good audience by boosting your post for about $5. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, I might spend a few dollars and try it.

      Hope this helps

  4. Hi Debra! I’ve a strange issue on my FB business page. When I try to tag another page, my post is not shown on that page, and when my page is mentioned by another page I don’t get any notification and the tag is not shown on my recent posts (on the left of the page)! Can you help me please?

    • Maria, I believe this is how Facebook works. When you tag another page, it doesn’t show on the page because brands with many fans would get get overwhelmed with tags. Same holds true with notifications. Those pages with thousands of fans would have too much to manage if all of the tagging were shown and notifications made visible.

  5. I have a pub in Melbourne and always had photos and posts tagged. Basically if you want to allow tagging you have to change your category to People or Places. If you do this you no longer have the ability for people to check in or posts reviews. Mine was active until about 3 months ago now they no longer show up. Not sure why they disappeared unless one of my admins put us in the correct category. I have a credit card linked to the page which I cancelled around 3 month ago. It seems there is no fix however the tag shows up on peoples’ personal page and only on my business page if they use @, i don’t control what people post and I’m not standing with the person when they tag us to tell them to make sure they use @

    • Pat, I was able to tag a Facebook Page that was a local business by just typing in the name of the page, without the @. A local business still gets the review and checkin ability (on mobile). Make sure tagging is turned on under General Settings. Are you referring to using the mobile app to tag? You can’t tag pages via the mobile app at all.

      Try switching your page to a local business. Hope that helps.

  6. Hi Debra, I have always been able to tag friends business pages from my own business page to cross-promote, but now their pages are not showing in the drop down menu when I write a post. The pages are liked, and visited regularly. Has Facebook’s tagging policy changed recently?

    • Hi Violet,

      I just tried to tag a page from my Facebook business page and it did show up in the dropdown. I put the @ in front and started typing and the pages showed up. I also switched to posting as myself rather than the page and it also worked.

      It’s possible the other pages have changed their settings to not allow tagging. But as of right now, tagging seems to still work between pages.

  7. I called my company Cuckoo which is really popular on facebook, slight mistake on my end. I want to tag the page from my own profile and I want my clients to tag me too but it doesn’t show up my company, just other pages called cuckoo. Have you any idea to solve this? Thanks in advance for taking time to reply.

    • Hi Howard,

      Yes calling your company Cuckoo will make finding you harder – I did a “find all pages named cuckoo” and never hit the bottom of the list. You might want to consider modifying your business name with a description such as Cuckoo Consulting or whatever your business is about so finding it will be a bit easier in general, not just on Facebook. Otherwise you will need to do a lot of marketing just to explain what you do and why folks may want to do business with you. Remember Facebook is a channel to support your marketing. Think about the implications around a name that is more descriptive. There’s a reason I renamed my business from Vista Consulting to Masterful Marketing. The former confused my business with a technology consulting company (since Microsoft used Vista for their operating system) and no one knew I did marketing. Once renamed to Masterful Marketing, there is no question about what I do. Naming is an extremely important marketing activity that many small business owners get wrong (including me!) and renaming takes time, patience and work to transition the brand.

  8. Debra…I’m still trying to find a way to see notifications on my brand page where people tag me. Is there a way to do this both on photos and regular text posts?

    • RJ not that I have found. I believe that Facebook does not notify page owners of tags because large brands would get inundated with notifications. Unfortunately small brands that get a few tags may never know to thank those that gave them visibility. If something changes, I’ll create an updated post on Facebook tagging.

  9. Hi Debra,

    I noticed that I had a few pictures that I was tagged in that I never got around to approving to allow on my timeline. It’s been a while since I was tagged, and I was wondering if the person who tagged me would be notified if I allowed the pictures on my timeline now. Also, would it appear as a current story on news feeds or on my timeline? Thanks!

    • Hi Mary,

      Good question – I had a couple of tags that hadn’t been approved so I tested it.

      It will appear on your timeline in the time that the tag was made – so if you were tagged in September 2013 and now approve it, it will be in the timeline in September 2013.

      As for will they be notified, I don’t believe so. I asked the person who originally tagged me in the post if they got notified and she said she didn’t.

      Hope this helps.

  10. Debra Murphy,

    Do you know whether or not tagging a business facebook page from a status update (not a photo, and not necessarily from a fan of that page) has any measurable effect on PTAT or engagement/reach for that Fan page?



    • Hi Tim,

      Great question! With the new Facebook insights, engagement is much more obvious. However, tagging doesn’t seem to be one of the engagement criteria. I’m not positive that it has no effect, but it doesn’t appear to be included in the insights. Engagement includes likes, comments, shares and post clicks.

  11. How do people tag my “PAGE” in their own personal posts? It seems that my Facebook page isn’t ever available to be tagged. It’s frustrating because I have people wanting to tag my page in their posts, but it never allows them to.

  12. I tagged a friend in a status but its not on his timeline & hes not online either, so does this mean he needs to approve it first? & if he does, will I know If he denies the post? help!

    • Jane,

      Most likely he set up approvals. You will not get any notifications if your tag isn’t approved for the timeline.


  13. You wrote: “I could tag photos on Pages that were home improvement, martial arts, a pizza place and professional services. However, I was unable to tag a local business that was a restaurant/cafe or pet services. ” – This is the problem I am having. We have a fanpage for our beach vacation rental – I have tons of people that rent from us and post vacation pics and tag my page – but none of these ever show up on my timeline (I so wish they did – that would be valuable marketing).

    I wonder what causes some businesses (like the pizza place you mentioned) to show tagged photos and posts, but others (like the cafe you mentioned, or my business) to not.

    I thought it had to do with category (i.e., brands and people pages can, but local businesses can not) – but that doesn’t make sense if you saw a local pizza place that had a fanpage that showed tags (presumable, they are in the local business category?) Can you confirm that pizza place was categorized as a local business? Thanks!

    • Hi Jeanne,

      Most likely they were not categorized correctly. I just checked a few local businesses and they still cannot be tagged. I truly don’t remember which pizza place I checked but you are probably correct that they were not categorize as a local business. I don’t know why this is a restriction.

      Facebook did have a period when they notified businesses to make sure they were categorized properly. I remember getting a notice as an admin to verify my page category.

      Yes, those pictures that are tagged with your page would be great marketing. When you see their picture with a tag, click on the picture and share it on your page timeline. Let me know if this works for you. Page tagging is still a mystery no matter how many times I test it :)

  14. Hello. This piece really answers my questions. Thanks a lot!
    I tried to upload a photo and tag a fan page via iPhone facebook app, but only my friends’ names were shown but not any fan page. I wonder if it’s a problem of the app so i tried to access facebook through safari but it’s still the same.
    Is there any way to tag fan page on a photo via mobile devices?

    • Hi Maggie,

      Glad the post helped. As for tagging a photo from your mobile Facebook application, I got the same results as you. Facebook doesn’t seem to allow page tagging from the mobile device. I tried both the app and Facebook through the Chrome browser. If I find out why I’ll post an answer here.

  15. Hey! I went through your page and several others trying to find out why I can’t tag other pages to my page. I followed all the steps but I still can’t tag anything. A few days ago it was fine when I would do @[their id number:0] but now I get a question mark when I post it. I have changed my facebook settings, the page settings and I still can’t get it to work. Do you know what I can do to get this to work?

    • Try to tag pages using the page name – i.e. tagging my page would would only require you to type in @Masterful and my page will come up in the drop down list of matches.

  16. i really need help! i am d admin of a compliments page, i want to tag my friends which are on my friend list on the compliments dey have got as myself and not as a page!!! i cannot tag anyone on dis page but own my own profile i can tag all my friends…. plz help!!!!

    • Soniya,

      You need to use your page as yourself and then you can tag your friends. Using Facebook as the Page, you cannot tag your friends. Pages can only tag pages.

    • Aleena,

      Pages can’t tag people, only other pages. That was done to prevent pages from spamming the people with updates.

  17. I used to be able to tag other pages from my page and it would show up on their timelines but this stopped working a few months ago. I can still tag them, but my posts are no where to be found on their timelines. Does anyone know why this may have suddenly changed in the last half year or so?

    • I just found this page after hours of trying to find a solution. I still haven’t figured it out. I have a page that I admin and I want to promote someone else and gain exposure. I can tag another page, but it does NOT show up in their feed. Did you find a solution?

      • Josh, if you tag a page, it shows up in the “Posts by Others” and the admin can choose to show it on the timeline. If you click the little X in the top right corner and you get a menu where you can select show on page.

        Hope this helps.

  18. Hi Debra, please help! I have recently converted my personal profile account into a FB page. All of my friends migrated as fans.
    (a) Am I right in thinking I am no longer able to view my personal account again? i.e. I am no longer able to view my friends’ activities?
    (b) I have set my FB page as a Local Business, Professional Services. My biggest problem is that I’m unable to tag any of my fans in the photos. I’m a photographer, therefore this is essential to me in order to publicise my work. Is there anyway I can do this? I’d really appreciate your advice! Thank you.

    • Hi Bal,

      You should still have a personal profile as you need it to manage your page.

      A page cannot tag fans. An admin can tag fans if they are friends of theirs.

      You might want to request that your personal profile be recovered and then create a business page and invite your friends to like the page. Similarly to what I and many other independents do, we keep both a profile and a page and use them both to reach our fans. I would suggest you go that route if you can.

      View this help file from Facebook:


      Hope this helps.

      • hi Debra,

        i really find this a problem. “A page cannot tag fans. An admin can tag fans if they are friends of theirs.”

        i admin a page for a university. my circle of personal friends is different from the fan base of our university page. if, in our page, i wanted to tag/invite our fans (who aren’t my friends) for a specific university event, auto tag suggestions pop up names of my personal friends. i would rather it pops up names of the fans of our page.

        any idea if it’s possible to set this somewhere in the settings?

        for me i believe that pages should be given rights to tag their fans for targeted marketing. and the personal profiles of page admins should be separated when posting on the page or as the page.


        • Unfortunately that’s the way Facebook now works. You want to reach your fans, you probably need to boost a post or add an event and invite them. If you are posting as the page, you can only tag other pages. If you switch to posting as yourself, then as a person, you can tag your friends in a post on the page as you can on your own timeline.

  19. Well, this post is excellent for anyone who doesn’t know a thing about the Facebook tagging option. Great tutorial Debra, I loved the way you explain things in such easy way.

    • Thanks Eliseo, I keep getting lots of questions about Facebook tagging in the comments – I believe Facebook made a change as to how it works for pages when it introduced the timeline so people are very confused.

  20. Anybody has an idea if there is a way to set photo album privacy so it is visible only to friends of the tagged person? When you set the settings and choose “friends”, a checkbox “friends of a tagged persons” appears, but you cannot do JUST this so the photos would not be accessible for your friends, if you don’t want them so. Settings the privacy to “just me” or just the name of the tagged person would also make it invisible for anybody else right?

  21. That’s all good info Debra, cheers. Can you tell me why I can’t get notifications when a fan tags my page in a post though? I was sure that used to show up under “posts by others” but it doesn’t seem to do that anymore. It’s not showing up anywhere… Am I tripping??

    • Kevin – Yes, it once did so no, you are not tripping!

      I found this paragraph in the Facebook Developers under technical guides: How to Mention Tag at this link:


      Tagging Pages

      The same way you mention users, you can mention Facebook Pages by inserting @[pageID] or @[pageUrl] in the user message. The only effect is that the string will be replaced by a hyperlink with the name of the page. The story will not appear on the page’s Timeline and no notification will be sent as result of tagging a page.

      Since I found a tag for my page under posts by others back in February, I suspect this was something that was removed after the timeline was introduced for pages.

      If I find out otherwise, I will post an update. If someone knows for sure, please post a comment.

    • Hi Kevin, I thought I had replied to your comment – it seems to be missing. It appears that pages tagged in posts do not get notifications anymore. I believe that is to avoid the noise for the popular brands. For the rest of us though, it would be nice if there were an option to select.


    • I did reply but must have directly through my WordPress dashboard. Here’s the comment:

      Kevin – Yes, it once did so no, you are not tripping!

      I found this paragraph in the Facebook Developers under technical guides: How to Mention Tag at this link:


      Tagging Pages

      The same way you mention users, you can mention Facebook Pages by inserting @[pageID] or @[pageUrl] in the user message. The only effect is that the string will be replaced by a hyperlink with the name of the page. The story will not appear on the page’s Timeline and no notification will be sent as result of tagging a page.

      Since I found a tag for my page under posts by others back in February, I suspect this was something that was removed after the timeline was introduced for pages.

      If I find out otherwise, I will post an update. If someone knows for sure, please post a comment.

  22. Can you please tell me why other people would want to tag themselves in a picture that they are not in? My niece just passed away and I posted a beautiful picture of her on my on my FB page. All her friends are asking for permission to tag themselves in the photo, but they aren’t in the photo, it’s just a picture of my niece. I said yes to a few but now when you run your mouse over the photo, their names come up….I’m very confused!

    • Sherry,

      I am very sorry for your loss. I understand it seems strange for someone to want to be tagged in a photo that is not them, however by tagging themselves or being tagged in this picture of your niece, they then have that picture on their timeline and saved in their photo stream under pictures of themselves. It’s their way of showing respect and keeping your niece close by. Plus you then see all of her friends when you hover as a memorial to her.

      I hope this helps,

  23. To all who have asked a question about why their Facebook page tagging isn’t working, I’m looking into why. I have found a couple of interesting tips:

    1. If you haven’t claimed a username for your page, tagging is disabled
    2. If you selected the Facebook option to disallow others’ posts — but not others’
    comments — on your page, it is possible that Facebook assumed you
    were spam and placed your post in the business’s Hidden Posts section.

    This means even if you have selected the option on the “Manage Permissions” page as everyone can post, make sure the visibility for posts by others is set to visible.

    If anyone else can shed light onto why Facebook page tagging works or doesn’t please post it here.

  24. I cannot seem to get notified when someone tags my PAGE in a post. I have changed my notification settings, I have looked EVERYWHERE! any ideas?

      • Hello! Im having the same problem! Did you find a solution? My fan page was mentioned by another page’s post and is not showing up on my timeline or notification. Please let me know if you know any info. Thank youu

        • Hi Stephanie,

          I found this paragraph in the Facebook Developers under technical guides: How to Mention Tag at this link:


          Tagging Pages

          The same way you mention users, you can mention Facebook Pages by inserting @[pageID] or @[pageUrl] in the user message. The only effect is that the string will be replaced by a hyperlink with the name of the page. The story will not appear on the page’s Timeline and no notification will be sent as result of tagging a page.

          Since I found a tag for my page under posts by others back in February, I suspect this was something that was removed after the timeline was introduced for pages.

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