Facebook Use

Does it feel like everyone you know is on Facebook? Do you want to join but aren’t sure how to start? Take our "Facebook for beginners" course, and you will be posting on your friends’ walls in no time. Facebook is the largest online social networking site, it allows people to interact, share photos and find people. In addition to using Facebook for social purposes, many people use it professionally for business networking.

More and more businesses with an online presence will link users to a Facebook page. They will also frequently use Twitter and RSS feeds. However, a surprising number of emerging businesses have no idea how to use Facebook for marketing. Knowing how to use Facebook for business has become a crucial skill to have in the job hunt and an integral part of online marketing strategies. Facebook has found a way to make itself the link between the brand and the consumer.

There are also Fan Pages on Facebook. They are targeted more toward a specific entity rather than an individual social networking with friends and family. Just because they are labeled Fan Pages does not necessarily mean that the entity is a celebrity, a band, etc. Fan sites can be created for anything, especially online stores. More and more businesses are making use of Pages to target their users to a Facebook entity that represents their enterprise.

Create a Facebook Profile

The only thing you’ll need in addition to a birthday, a name and a gender is an e-mail address. First, go to www.facebook.com and look on the right side of your screen under the heading "sign up." Fill in the information and click the green "sign up" button.

After typing words to show you’re human (as directed), Facebook will ask if you’d like to find your friends. It’s a good idea to do this now, but don’t worry - you can always come back to this step later. Follow the prompts to allow Facebook to scour your e-mail service for people you’ve e-mailed who are also on Facebook. Click the boxes next to the ones you’d like to add.

Create a Facebook Profile

Enter Profile Information

If you have just joined Facebook, the Info tab is displayed after you added friends. If you logged out of Facebook before setting up a profile, then click on View and Edit Profile the next time you log on to Facebook.

  1. Enter your basic information.
  2. If you only want to show the month and day of your birthday and not the year, select Show only month and year in my profile from the box underneath the birthday field.
  3. To enter Personal, Contact and Education information, click on the appropriate section and enter the information.
  4. If you do not want specific information displayed on your profile, leave the field blank.
  5. When you have completed a section, click on the Save Changes button before moving to another section.
  6. To upload a profile picture, click Upload Profile Picture and browse to the picture you would like to display.
  7. To write a brief bio that will be shown on your profile page, click Write something about yourself and type in your information.
  8. When you have completed your profile, click on the Done Editing button and the information is saved.

Facebook Statuses

Like any place where people gather, Facebook has its own culture, and this culture guides how you might want to update your status. Luckily, the general rule of this culture is to be yourself. You can update your status with interesting observations, recent happenings in your life, strange non-sequiturs, funny quips, thoughts about life in general, song lyrics or movie lines, information about your kids or pets, or anything else under the sun. And for your first post, consider writing something about being new to Facebook. You might be surprised by how many responses you get!

Now that you’ve added all your friends, you might want to scroll down through your news feed (click "home" or "news feed") and see what kinds of status updates they’ve been posting. This is a great way to see what friends and family members are up to. Did a friend get a new job? Is someone trying to put together a movie night with friends? Is your neighbor cooking a fabulous-sounding dinner?

As for the nuts and bolts of updating your status, that part’s easy. Click the "home" or "news feed" tab on your Facebook profile. Then, in the top-middle of your page, type your status update into the bar that asks, "What’s on your mind?" When you hit "share", your status update will post to your wall, and it’ll show up in your friends’ news feeds.

Facebook Share Statuses

Use Groups (a.k.a. Lists in Facebook Terminology)

Groups are a core feature of social networking on the Web. To effectively use Facebook, we recommend you set up some groups so that you can filter content. One person who does this very well is our own Marshall Kirkpatrick. Marshall says that he generally scans his Facebook homepage first, then clicks to his groups for family and old friends from school. He noted that "this way most of my time spent on Facebook isn’t re-reading the same things I’ve already read on Twitter."

There is a bit of a trick to setting this groups feature up. Facebook calls this feature "lists," probably to differentiate them from its other Groups feature (which have been usurped by "Pages" now). Confused? Get used to it, Facebook navigation is awful. To set lists up for your Facebook account, go to your Facebook homepage and click the "more" link on the left-hand sidebar. You will see a link entitled "Create new list" at the bottom - click on that to create a new group.

Facebook Security Tips

Facebook has security options built in, but they can be confusing and hard to find. One simple way to find them is to go to the Help Center on Facebook, where it will walk you through best safety practices and point you in the direction of changing your security settings. Or you can go directly to your account’s security settings by clicking “Account” (on the top right-hand corner of each page) and choosing “Privacy Settings.” From there you can edit a number of your security settings, including contact information and applications.

Password, Password, Password

As with everything else technology-related, if you want your data secure, choose a difficult to guess and/or hack password. NASA recommends using at least eight characters including at least one of each of the following: upper and lowercase letters, numbers and special characters such as exclamation points or asterisks. Once you’ve set your password, don’t share it with anyone. Following these two simple steps will put you far ahead of most Facebook users security-wise.

Basic Fb Privacy Settings

Be careful about with the amount of information you share about yourself and with whom you share it. Remember that – without strict privacy settings – anyone can see your Facebook profile information. And just as you wouldn’t give a complete stranger your telephone number, address and other personal information, you should be careful what you share on Facebook.

Facebook Privacy Settings

Also, when you are updating your status make sure to check status privacy settings. Also, new Facebook timeline made it easier to browse old status update quickly, so you might like to take help of “Limit the audience for past posts” and change all old status update to friends only. You can access this setting under your privacy setting tab.