Hot Tip: How to Force a Facebook Tag in an Update

Kids playing tagTagging someone on Facebook can be difficult sometimes. It doesn’t always work and it’s frustrating when you want to tag another Page and can’t. There is a way to force a Facebook Tag that is a little unusual and it takes a couple minutes of your time.

First of all, you may not know that Facebook has a protocol called Open Graph which is basically different elements (such as people, pages, events, and apps) are accessed on Facebook.  Anyone can access this information (of course privacy settings are in place) through the Graph API.

To force a Facebook tag there are basically 4 steps. (And a quick update, there is an alternate method that can work at the end of the article)

  1. Get the Open Graph ID number of the thing you are trying to tag (Page, Event, or App – this does not work with Tagging people).
  2. Start your post and tag something that you are able to tag.
  3. View the Source code of your Post.
  4. Adjust the Graph ID number by pasting it into the source code and then post the update.

Let’s break this down step-by-step.

#1  Get the Facebook Graph ID number

To get the Facebook Graph ID number for the thing you want to tag, go to the Page, Event, or App itself on Facebook and take a look at the URL.  If the URL has not been customized, the ID number is showing in the URL itself as you see in this image.

Facebook Graph ID

If the URL has been customized, all you need to do is to add “graph.” in place of the “www.”  For example, I would go tohttp://graph.facebook.com/grandmamaryshow to find my Graph ID number as shown in this image.

Facebook Graph ID custom URL

#2  Start the Post on Facebook and Tag Anything

With this step you are going to create your Post the way you want it but tag anything that you are able to tag – even your own Page name is fine. Start your Facebook Post

#3  View the Source Code of your Post

Now you want to look at the source code of your post because you are going to manually paste the Graph ID into that code in Step 4.  To view the Source Code, right click on the post and select Inspect Element.

Inspect Element

 

Now what you will see is the code for your post below.  Notice where I have the tag in the post code.  That is the Graph ID of my own Page there.  But I want to force it to another Page.  So I will just paste the Graph ID of the Page I want to tag there.

Source code for Facebook post

#4  Adjust the Graph ID number by pasting it into the source code

Now just click on that Graph ID code and paste the other code of the Page you want to tag in manually.  The name that is listed won’t matter.

Force the Facebook Page Tag

Now all you have to do is click the blue Post button and your Tag will be correct.  If for some reason it didn’t come out correct, you can always immediately delete it, verify the Graph ID and try again.

Correct Facebook Tag

Obviously it’s much better when Facebook tags work easily with just the @ and typing in the Page name.  But if you really want to tag something and Facebook is acting flaky, then you can force the tag.

Big Hat Tip to Will Fries of The Business Dept  for showing me this workaround!

Alternate Method: Edit Your Post

Shortly after I wrote this, I learned of another way that tagging can be forced (although this doesn’t seem to work with Events but it is something to try that’s a little quicker than looking up the Graph ID).  Thanks to Cecilia Waldron for that tip!

Step 1:  Create your Post and Schedule it for the future.

Your first step is to create your post and don’t worry if you can’t tag the Page.  Schedule for any time in the future.

Step 2:  Edit Your Post in the Scheduled Posts area and add the tag.

I’m not sure why it allows you to add tags in the Edit area that you couldn’t ad initially but it does seem to work quite well.  It didn’t work for me to tag Events but it’s a quick workaround for Pages.

Scheduled Facebook post with tag