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Geotagging: Definition, How To Use It, When To Use It, & More

In this article, we’re exploring the term geotagging and answering your top questions about it, including what it means, how to do it, and how it can help you grow your social media presence.
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Geotagging: Benefits and Usage Guidelines
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If you want to grow your social media presence by reaching a local audience, then there’s one tool in particular that you should know about: geotagging. 

Come along with us as we explain the definition of geotagging, how to do it on your preferred social media platform, and explore the best and worst times to use this tool.

What Is Geotagging?

Geotagging is the process of inserting the coordinates of your geographic location in the metadata of digital media. In the context of social media, this means adding a location tag to your post, so that anyone who views it will know where you are and where you were in the past.

How Do I Geotag a Location?

The process of geotagging your post varies depending on which social media platform you use. Let’s dig into the three most popular platforms now: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

1. Twitter

To geotag your Tweet, you must first enable Add location information to your Posts. You can find this feature under Settings and Privacy by clicking Privacy and Safety, then Data sharing and off-X activity, then finally Location Information.

From now on, when you draft a new post, you’ll have the option to add a geotag by clicking or tapping the Location symbol.

2. Instagram

To geotag a regular Instagram post or a Reel, wait until you reach the Details section on a new draft and then select Add location

To geotag an Instagram Story, tap the Stickers symbol during the editing process and select a Location sticker.

3. Facebook

When you’re creating a new post on Facebook, you can geotag it easily by clicking Add location.

Is Geotagging Ethical?

Geotagging is ethical in the sense that it’s up to each individual user whether or not they want their location tagged. Social media platforms don’t force their users to reveal where they are. Furthermore, users have the option to turn off the Location feature altogether. 

Why Is Geotagging a Concern?

However, there are some valid concerns surrounding geotagging. 

First, when you post your location on social media and your account is not private – meaning anyone in the world can view it – you’re basically telling strangers where you are. This could lead to safety risks for the creator of the post, especially if they’re minors.

Second, many users like to geotag their posts when they’re out of town. But that’s not a smart idea, regardless of the reason you’re traveling or how long you’ll be gone. The geotag lets would-be thieves and people who may wish you harm know that you’re not at home, and they may use that opportunity to steal from you or damage your property. 

Finally, social media users – especially those from younger demographics – are growing more anxious about the amount and specificity of data that they’re handing over to companies like Meta (Facebook and Instagram’s parent company), X, and Google. Requesting your current location may be seen by many users as a further invasion of their data privacy. 

Once again, though, it’s important to note that users aren’t required to geotag any of their posts on social media. 

For those who would rather their location not be accessed by or shared with anyone on a social media platform – not even the platform itself – we explain how to shut off this feature below.

How Do I Shut Off Geotagging?

Here’s where you should go to shut off the location tracking feature on your preferred social media platform. 

1. Twitter

For Desktop

Step #1: Tap or click Settings and Support

Settings and Support

Step #2: Tap or click Settings and Privacy.

Settings and Privacy

Step #3: Select Privacy and Safety.

Privacy and Safety

Step #4: Select Data sharing and off-X activity, then Location information

Location information

Step #5: Click Add location information to your posts.

Add Location Information to Your Posts

Step #6: Unselect the checkbox.

Unselect

Once you unselect the checkbox, you’ll no longer be able to tag your location in your Tweets.

2. Instagram

To disable location tracking on Instagram, you’ll need to go into your mobile device’s Settings app. We explain how to do that below based on whether you have an iPhone or an Android. 

For iPhones

Step #1: Open the Settings app on your iPhone. 

Settings App

Step #2: Tap the Privacy & Security Option

Privacy

Step #3: Select Location Services.

Location Services

Step #4: Scroll until you find Instagram and then tap it. 

Find Instagram

Step #5: Set location access to Never.

Never

For Androids

Step #1: Open the Settings app on your Android. 

Settings App

Step #2: Tap Location

Location

Step #3: Tap App permissions

App permissions

Step #4: Scroll down until you find Instagram and then tap it. 

Find Instagram

Step #5: Set location access to Don’t allow.

Don’t Allow

3. Facebook

Follow the same steps for disabling location services for Facebook as you did for Instagram. Then, whenever you create a Facebook post, don’t select Add location.

Is Geotagging Worth It?

If you’re being smart about when and where you’re geotagging your posts, it can definitely be worth it. Geotags help push your posts to users who may be interested in your content based on their proximity to your location. Storefront owners as well as travel vloggers, food reviewers, and other types of creators whose niche requires them to go travel find this feature especially beneficial.

How Can I Use Geotagging To Grow My Social Media Presence?

Our team of social media experts has brainstormed some geotagging tips to help you grow your social media presence. Check them out!

  • Geotag all Your Travel Posts. This tip is essential for influencers who are traveling to promote their own business or another brand.
  • Geotag Posts About Promotional Events. This tells your viewers where they can find you to meet and greet. For example, if you’re a musician and you’re holding a concert, tag the geographic location of the concert in your post.
  • Geotag Your Business/Storefront in Your profile. Lastly, if you have a physical business or storefront, geotag it in your profile, so that users can easily access it and see where you are.

Examples of Geotagging in Social Media Posts

Below are examples of what a geotag looks like in a post on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. 

1. Twitter

Twitter Example

2. Instagram

Instagram Example

3. Facebook

Facebook Example

Increase Engagement For Geotagged Posts With Viralyft

Do you have geotagged posts on social media that you want to boost? With Viralyft’s growth services, you don’t have to hesitate. Check out our wide range of plans for real social media engagement, so that your content will rise to the top of the algorithm, no matter what platform you use!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between Geotagging and Geolocation?

Geotagging is the process of tagging, or adding, your geographic location to digital media, such as a social media post. Geolocation refers to the process of finding out where a person is geographically located based on information they provide online.

When Should I Avoid Geotagging?

You should avoid geotagging your social media posts when you’re out of town; when you have minors in your photo or video; or when you or someone you’re with wish to remain private and/or anonymous online.

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