Getting Started With Facebook

Have you waited to jump on the Facebook bandwagon? Maybe, it’s time to consider dropping all the excuses and joining the other 500 million people using Facebook. Facebook is a great tool to help you connect and stay connected with friends, family, classmates, neighbors, and business associates.

Creating and maintaining an account couldn’t be easier, even for the most technologically challenged user. In a matter of minutes, you can have your account online and start building your network.

Why Should You Join Facebook?

Facebook can be an invaluable tool, both personally and professionally and just about everyone you know, or have known, is on Facebook. Facebook allows you to re-connect with friends and colleagues that you may have lost contact with, not because you wanted to, but because of proximity and is a remedy for our generational wander-lust. It’s also, a great way¬† to thwart the scoldings from family about not attending the yearly reunion, sending enough pictures, and calling often enough.

If your motivated by more practical reasoning, realize, Facebook is quickly becoming the best place for professionals and businesses to network and advertise. Although, it originally started as a way for college friends to stay connected and has been largely a personal network, more and more professionals and businesses are using Facebook to enhance their networking and client lead building. In turn, Facebook has been more than happy to help professionals and businesses connect on their platform by developing a number of unique features and applications.

Some facts about the reach of Facebook

  • 500 million users worldwide
  • 2nd most popular website in the world next to Google*
  • Rumor has it, Facebook now serves more video than YouTube.
  • Facebook revenues hit $800 million in 2009.

*With recent changes to the Facebook application and it’s tight integration of users “Likes” both inside the application and across the web, Facebook maybe poised to overtake Google, not only for search functionality also, for direct and very targeted ad marketing.

How Facebook Works

Click on the image below for our illustrated guide to the anatomy of a Facebook page.

Facebook-Key-smallFacebook is a closed network. Your connections are comprised of “friends”, interests, groups, and pages. All of your connections must be chosen by you and in the case of your “friends” both you and your friend must confirm your connection before you can join each others network. It’s important to realize that only people can create Facebook profiles, as stated within the Terms of Service. Do not create a profile for your business or group. You must create a “page” or group for a business within your personal account.

On Facebook, every user has a profile page and is that users default landing page. Your profile is located under the profile link and can be accessed from the upper right hand navigation menu on the Facebook application. In a users profile you can see a users “wall”, biographical information, photos, videos, and in some cases, boxes created by user installed applications. Your profile is “You” central, it is the place were any user goes when they search or wants more information about you. You can limit the information other users both inside and outside your network can see by changing your privacy settings. Privacy settings are accessible under “Account” in the upper right hand navigation menu. By default, and Facebook has taken a lot of heat on this one, your profile information is mostly public.

For some basic tips about the information you share on Facebook and privacy settings check out this article by Consumer Reports.

In addition, to your profile every user has a “Home” page which features your “News Feed”. You can access your “Home” from the upper right hand navigation menu. Your news feed is a listing of posts created by all your connections, this includes, friends, pages, and groups. By default, your news feed is displayed according to Facebook defined relevancy. Relevancy is in part determined by quality of post and number of interactions, frequency that a user posts, relationship, and locality. You can also view your news feed by “Most Recent” by clicking the link “Most Recent” immediately above the news feed. Your home page also includes a number of other useful controls and links to help you better manage your Facebook experience.

Get Started in 4 Easy Steps

  1. Create a Facebook account here. All you need is a valid email account.
  2. Check your email and click on confirmation link to access your account. If you don’t see your Facebook confirmation email in your inbox make sure to check your junk mail.
  3. Log in and customize your profile. Make sure that as soon as you create your account you start to customize your profile. One of the first things you can do is add a profile picture to your account. Don’t be one of those users that forever has the default gray icon for their Facebook profile picture. One reason to add a picture is to help people who may know you, find you. In a sea a John Smith’s, sometimes, a profile picture is all you need to find the John Smith your looking for so make sure you add a picture to your account straight away. The next thing you need to do is complete your profile information. Your profile information is critical in helping you build your connections and being found by other users. Facebook will makes suggestions of friends and also, allow you to search other users based on locality, educational, and occupational histories.
  4. Add Connections. Facebook helps you connect with past and current friends, college and high school classmates, family, neighbors, and business associates. Use the “Account” link in the upper right hand navigation menu and choose “Edit Friends” to go to the “Find Friends” page. This page has a number of tools to help you build your network including the ability to upload a email contact list, suggestions based on your profile information, searches for former classmates based on your educational profile, and even contacts that maybe in your IM service such as AOL or the like.

After, you have added a few connections now you can make your first post . . .

Hello World! You now are part of the largest social networking platform on the planet, CONGRATULATIONS! WELCOME to 2010 ;)!

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