TAGS can be confusing when it comes to 2.0 social networking sites.
Do your own test. Go to your favorite site, use the search box, and type in words that describe your work. If YOUR images don't come back as results, no one else can find your images either.
Some 2.0 sites allow only a fixed number of possible tags.
Custommade.com, for example, allows five tags per category.
Etsy allows 14 tags total.
What should be your priority tags? Begin by thinking about how people are likely to search for work like yours. What are the most important words your friends would use to describe your work? This may likely be redundant to your title and description, but that is good! In the logic of search engines, redundant words add to their credibility.
Yes, in the title text box, again in any description text box, and yet again in any tags text box -- for each and every image. For every image use your most important words. For your work it may be a business name, medium or subject that is your "signature."
Tags for this Flower pin look like this (box below):
Pretend you are a gallery owner looking for a particular kind of work. Go to any of these 2.0 sites and pose some queries to look for YOUR work. What comes back in the results? Can you find your own work?
Try several variations or combinations of words.
Strategy is everything for tags. Consider mixing up your tags, "tin" on some images, and "tins" on others, Harriete and Harriet, green, eco, recycled, ec0-friendly, post consumer. People don't know exactly what to look for, so give them as many paths to find your images as possible.
The Facebook Exception
Facebook unfortunately uses the phrase "tag this photo" but tagging images on Facebook is simply identifying your friends on Facebook photos. It is not about SEO for you images. Therefore, we are not talking about Facebook in this discussion of images.
Coverage of CraftFORWARD on ASK Harriete.
P.S. The top image titled, "Tag Your It" was found at SodaHead