How to Use Facebook

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 and currently has more than 1 billion users.c Facebook 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.c

More and more businesses with an online presence will link users to a Facebook page. They will also frequently use Twitter and RSS feeds.c 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.c Facebook has found a way to make itself the link between the brand and the consumer.

There are also Fan Pages on Facebook.c Fan Pages 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.c More and more businesses are making use of Fan Pages to target their users to a Facebook entity that represents their enterprise.c

We'll be covering all this and more in this Facebook guide to beginners. So, are you ready to learn how to use Facebook?

Step 1: Profile Information

1. Register on Facebook

Go to the Facebook Homepage. Then, enter your full name, your email address and password.

Your password must include both letters and numbers. Select your gender—Male or Female. Select your birthday.

After you have entered this data, click on the Signup button. Go to your email that you used to join Facebook. Open the Registration Confirmation email from Facebook. Click on the verification link to verify that a computer is not making the account. Now you can access Facebook and find your friends online.

2. 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.

Step 2: Exploring the Facebook Toolbar and Tabs

The Toolbar at the top of your screen lets you navigate through Facebook.

Facebook Button

Use the Facebook button to return to your Facebook homepage.c You can also use the Home button to return to your home page. Your Facebook page displays information about your Facebook friends. A series of tabs are displayed at the top of the screen that allow you to easily navigate through your Facebook page. There are five default tabs for your Facebook homepage:

  1. News Feed: ”This tab displays stories about your friends, such as when they add friends, post updates or write on a friend's wall. The amount of information displayed about a friend depends on their privacy settings. You can customize the amount of news that you receive about a particular friend in your News Feed.
  2. Status Updates: ”This tab displays status updates posted by your friends. It does not include other stories about your friends, such as when they join a group or add a new friend.
  3. Photos: ”This tab displays your friend's photo albums. The photo albums displayed in this tab depends on the privacy setting selected for the photo album.
  4. Posted Items: ”This tab displays all posted by friends.
  5. Live Feed: ”This tab displays all news stories about your friends, such as status updates, friends they have added and groups they have joined.
To add application tabs to your Facebook page:

1. Select the arrow at the far right of the tabs.

2. From the drop down list, select the application feeds you want displayed on your tabs. The tabs are added to your Facebook homepage.

Profile Button

Use the Profile button view and edit your profile. Your profile is the place where you share information with your friends, such as photos, information and messages. You can use this to determine who sees your profile. You can set your profile to Public so that everyone on Facebook can see your profile.You can also restrict your profile to only friends that you have approved. There are also restrictions you can set that only affect specific information in your profile.

There are four default tabs for your Profile page:

  1. Wall: ”This tab displays messages that your friends leave for you. You can use Wall to Wall to write a message back to your friend.
  2. Info: ”This tab displays your profile information. To edit information, click Edit Information.
  3. Photos: ”This tab displays pictures that you posted.
  4. Videos: ”This tab displays videos that you posted.
You can add additional tabs to your profile page:

1. Select the plus sign button at the far right of the tabs.

2. From the drop down list, select the applications you want displayed on your tabs. The tabs are added to your Profile page.

Friends Button

Use the Friends button to view your friends, find friends, add new friends and invite people you know to join Facebook. Friends are people who can see your status updates, access your profile and receive news feed updates about you.

Many people approve friend requests for people they know in real life. If someone wants to add you to their friends list, you must approve them before they can access your profile. If you add someone as a friend, they must also approve you before you can see their profile information.

Another great way to stay in touch with your Facebook friends is the Facebook chat function. If you learn how to use Facebook chat, you'll be able to enjoy the same instant messaging functions used by platforms like Gmail (Gchat). 

Inbox Button

Use this button to read messages from your friends and send messages to your friends. Messages are a way to communicate with friends individually without posting a public message on their wall.

1. From the Inbox menu, select Compose New Message.

2. Enter the name of the person you want to send a message to, the subject and the message. Click the Send button.

3. To read messages sent to you, select View Message Inbox from the Inbox menu.

Step 3: Find and Add Friends

After you join Facebook, this screen is displayed. You can add friends now or you can access this screen later by clicking Find Friends in the right side of the screen.

To Find Friends Using Your Email Address Book

To use your address book to find friends:

1. Enter your email and password. Click on the Find Friends button.
*Note: For web-based email applications, you are directed to your email provider to enter your password directly on their site. Many email providers require that you sign an agreement allowing Facebook to access your email account.

2. Click the checkbox next to each friend you want to add or click Select All Friends. If you do not want to add any of the friends displayed, click the Skip button.

3. To add the friends you have selected, click on the Add as Friends button. An email is sent to the friend for them to approve your request to be added as a friend.

Find Friends You Instant Message

To Find Friends who you instant message, click on the Find Friends You Instant Message link:

1. Select the button for AIM or Windows Live Messenger. Enter your screen name and AIM password, then click on the Find Friends button.

*Note: Depending on your instant messaging provider, you may be directed to your IM provider's website to enter your password directly on their site. Many email providers require that you sign an agreement allowing Facebook to access your IM account.

2. A list of people who you instant message with and are registered on Facebook is displayed. Click the checkbox next to each friend that you want to add.

3. To add all people that are displayed, click on the Select All Friends checkbox. If you do not want to add any of the friends displayed, click on the Skip button.

4. To add the friends you have selected, click on the Add as Friends button. An email is sent to the friend for them to approve your request to be added as a friend.

Find Friends Using the People You May Know Tool

Facebook displays people who you may know based on mutual friends, high school, college, networks and employment similarities.

Facebook lists potential friends on your Facebook page and on the Find People You Know on Facebook screen. If you do not want the person displayed in the People You May Know section, click on the X to the right of their name.

1. To add the person displayed as a friend, click Add as Friend. If you want to add a personal message with your friend request, click Add a Personal Message.

2. To add as a friend, click on the Add Friend button. An email is sent to the friend for them to approve your request to be added as a friend.

Search for Friends

You can also search Facebook for people that you know who are registered on Facebook. Facebook lets you search by the person's name or search people who attended your school or work at your place of employment.

1. To search everyone registered on Facebook, enter the name of the person who you want to search for in the Search field and click on the Search Facebook icon.

2. To search for a classmate or co-worker, click Friend Finder. The Find People You Know on Facebook screen is displayed. In the Search for People section, a list of your schools and employers is listed. Click the school or employer that you want to browse.

3. A list of people matching your search criteria is displayed. To add the person displayed as a friend, click Add as Friend. If you want to add a personal message with your friend request, click Add a Personal Message.

4. To add as a friend, click on the Add Friend button. An email is sent to the friend for them to approve your request to be added as a friend.

Accept Friends

If someone adds you as a friend, you must approve them as a friend before they can access your profile. If you have selected to be notified by email on your Settings tab, you will be sent an email. There will also be a message at the top right of your home page that says You have [X] Friend Requests.

1. Click on You have [X] Friend Requests.

2. To add the person, click on the Add Friend button. The person is now a friend and can access your profile. You will begin to receive news and stories about your new friend.

3. If you do not want to add the person as a friend, click on the Ignore button. The person is not notified that you ignored them.

Remove a Friend

If you no longer want to be friends with a person, you can remove them from your friends list. You can do this by clicking on their name on your Wall or News Feed. You can also select View All Friends from the Friends menu and click on the link to their profile.c

1. Scroll to the bottom of the person's profile. On the bottom left of the screen, click Remove from Friends.

2. A message box asking if you want to remove them is displayed. To remove them, click on the Remove Friend button.

Add Photos

Many people use Facebook to share photos with their friends. You can choose specific privacy options for each photo album. Once you add photo albums, a Photos tab is added to your profile.

1. Click on the Profile button and then select the Photo tab. You can also access photos from the Photo icon in the Applications section or toolbar. Albums and photos that you have uploaded or friends have tagged you in are displayed.

2. Click the Create a Photo Album button. Enter the album name, comments and privacy settings. Click the Create Album button.

3. Select the photos you want to include in the album, then click the Upload button. The album is created and the photos are uploaded.

4. To adjust privacy settings for your photos, click Album Privacy. Each of your albums are displayed.

5. Select who you want to be able to view each album and click the Save Settings button.

Add Notes

You can write notes on your profile similar to a blog for your friends to read. You can also import an existing blog into Facebook Notes. Once you write notes, you will have a Notes tab on your profile.c

1. To access Notes, click the Notes icon in the Application section or toolbar. Click My Notes.

2. To enter a new note, click Write New Note.

3. Enter the title of the note, body and people you want to tag in the note. Tag people who are mentioned in the note.

4. Select who you want to be able to see the note in the Note privacy section. To save a draft of the note without publishing it, click the Save Draft button.

5. To see what the note will look like before you publish it, click the Preview button. To publish the note, click the Publish button.

Set Profile Privacy

1. To set who can see your profile information, click Privacy.

2. To change the privacy level for a specific type of profile information, select My Networks and friends, Friends of Friends or Only Friends.c
    3. To specify certain networks or certain people to not see specific information, select the Customize option next to the section in your profile that you want to restrict.c
      4. To customize the privacy for individual photo albums, click Edit Photo Album Photo Settings. Select who can see each specific album and click the Save Settings button.
        5. To see what information a specific person is able to see on your profile, enter their name in the See how a friend sees your profile field. Your profile is now displayed with the information that the person will see when they access your profile.
          6. Click Exit to return to your profile. When you have are finished modifying the privacy settings, click on the Save Changes button.

            Set Search Privacy

            You can control who can find your profile through the Facebook search feature.c

            1. If you do not want everyone to be able to see you in the Facebook search feature, select who you want to be able to find you through the Search feature.

            2. To select specific networks who can view your profile, select the Customize option and a message box will allow you to select specific networks.

            3. To control which information is displayed when someone searches for you, select the privacy options in the Search Result Content section.

            4. If you want people who have not been approved as friends to be able to see your friends list, verify that the My Friends list option is selected.

            5. If you do not want to be included in Internet search outside of Facebook, deselect the Create a Public Search Listing option.

            *Note: If you are under 18 years old, you will not be included in the Public Search listing regardless of your selection for this option.

            6. When you have are finished modifying the search settings, click on the Save Changes button.

            Block Someone in Facebook

            If you block someone in Facebook, they will not be able to find you through the Find Friends Tool or the Search. If you are in a group with them or are currently friends, your profiles will no longer be connected.

            1. Enter the person you want to block in the Block field and press the Block button. Facebook displays all profiles matching the name that you entered.

            2. Click Block Person to select the person to block. The person's name will now be displayed in the Blocked list on your Privacy tab.

            3. To unblock someone, click Remove next to the blocked person's name.

            Set News Feed and Wall Privacy

            The Set News Feed and Wall Privacy tab allows you to customize what information about your actions on Facebook and your wall is displayed on friends' news feeds.

            Note that the default is for friends to receive a news feed when you write on another friend's wall, comment on an item on a friend's page, post on a discussion board, add a friend, change your relationship status or leave a network. If you do not want this information posted on your friend's news feeds, you need to customize this tab.

            1. Select News Feed and Wall. Deselect the information that you do not want included on your friends' news feeds.

            2. To change your Social Ad settings, select the Social Ads tab. If you do not want to appear in a social ad, select the No one option.

            3. When you have are finished modifying the News Feed and Wall settings, click on the Save Changes button.

            Join Networks

            Networks are a way to interact with people who live in your area, work at your company or attend your school. You can join up to five networks but must designate one as your primary network. Your primary network is displayed underneath your name. Facebook uses the network to rank search results.

            To join a college or employer network, you must register your Facebook account using a valid email address for the college or place of employment. To join a high school network, you must use a high school email, be invited by a member of the high school network or be approved by a member of the high school network. You can only change your regional network twice every 60 days.c

            1. Click the Settings menu, then select Account Settings. Click on the Networks tab. This tab lists any networks that you currently belong to.

            2. In the Network name field, enter the name of the city, workplace, school or region that you want to join.

            3. Select the network that you want to join and click the Join Network button.

            Join Groups

            Groups allow you to meet and interact people with common interests or beliefs.

            A group can be for people who support the same sports team, attend the same church or like the same television show. Be sure to look for business and professional groups that would help with professional networking.

            You can join an existing group or create your own groups. You can join up to 200 groups.c

            1. Click on the Groups icon in the Application section or toolbar. The Groups page is displayed. A list of your friends' groups and the groups that you belong to is displayed.

            2. To join a group that one of your friends belongs to, click on the group and then click Join Group. You are now a member of the group.

            3. To find an existing group, enter a keyword in the Search field. A list of groups matching your search is displayed. Click Join Group to join the group.

            Create a Group

            If you do not find a group that you want to join, you can create a group for a specific interest or group of people.c

            1. Click on the Groups icon in the application section or toolbar. The Groups page is displayed with a list of your friends groups and the groups that you belong to.

            2. To create a new group, click the Create a New Group button. Enter the name of the group. Be sure to enter a name that describes the purpose of the group.

            3. Select the Network for the group. If you want the group to be available to all members of Facebook, select Global. If you want it to only be available to members of a specific network, select the Network.

            4. Write a description of the group in the Description field. Select the Type of group. These categories help people find the group based on type and category.

            5. Enter recent news, office, email, street and town. Click the Create Group button. The group is created and the Customize Groups tab is displayed.

            6. To upload a picture for the group, click the Browse button and select a picture. Enter the website address for the group. Select which options you want to enable for the group.

            7. Select the Access level for the group. If you select Open, then anyone can join the group without your knowledge. If you select Closed, the group description is shown on Facebook, but you must approve any members. If you select Secret, the group description is not shown on Facebook and you must invite all members.

            8. Click the Save button. The Members tab is displayed. To invite members, enter their name in the Invite Members field or select their name. Enter a message for the invitation. Click the Send Invitations button.

            To Change Your Real Name Email, Password or Security Question

            You can use the Account tab to change your password, change your email, enter a credit card and perform other administrative tasks. To access the My Account screen, select Account Settings from the Settings menu.

            The Settings tab controls your account information. Facebook uses the Former Name field to help identify friends but does not display this information. If you change your email address, you must use a valid address that is not currently connected to another Facebook account.

            1. Click the Settings tab. Click Change next to the information you want to modify.

            2. Enter the new information in the correct field. Click the Change button. The new information is saved.

            Enter Credit Card Information

            A credit card is only needed to purchase gifts and ads. You are not required to enter a credit card number unless you purchase these services. If you enter a card, it is not charged unless you purchase a gift or ad space.c

            1. Click the Settings tab. Click Manage in the Credit Card section.

            2. Enter the credit card information. Click the Save button.

            To Deactivate Your Account

            If you deactivate your account, you will not be able to access Facebook unless you reactivate your account. You can reactivate by logging into Facebook with your email and password, but you will not remain a member of groups that you joined before you deactivated your account.c

            1. Click the Settings tab. Click Deactivate in the Deactivate Account Section. The Confirm Facebook Deactivation screen is displayed.

            2. Select the reason you are deactivating your Facebook account. Enter the security code displayed in the box in the Text in the Box field.

            3. Click the Deactivate button.

            Post Status Updates on Your Wall

            Your wall is the profile that your friends see when they access your Facebook profile. To view your own wall, click on your Profile tab. You can post updates on your wall, and friends can write on your wall. You can also add Facebook application content, such as pictures and video, on your wall.

            A status update tells your friends what is going on with you and is posted to their news feeds.

            1. In the update status field, enter your status update. Click the Post button. Your status will be posted to your friends' news feeds. It will also be posted underneath your name in Facebook searches and in the Chat window.

            2. To clear a status, click Clear to the right of your current status.

            Write on a Friend's Wall

            You can have wall-to-wall conversations with your friends by posting on their wall. When you write on a friend's wall, remember that their friends can view what you are writing. If you have your privacy postings to show when you write on friend's wall in your news feeds, your friends will also see what you have written.

            1. Access your friend's Facebook page. In the Write field, enter your message to your friend.

            2. Click the Post button. The message is posted to your friend's wall.

            Share a Link with a Friend

            If there's a webpage that you think a friend would be interested in, you can share the link with your friend.

            1. In the Share a Link field, enter the link that you want to share.

            2. Click the Preview button. Facebook displays the graphic and description of the website that you entered.

            3. If you do not want to share this link, click Remove. If you do not want to the picture displayed, select No Picture.

            4. Enter a comment about the link. Click the Post button. The link and comment are posted to your friend's wall.

            Send a Gift to a Friend

            Gifts are icons that you can send to a friend. Free gifts may occasionally be available as promotions. Other gifts require you to purchase gift credits. Gift credits cost $1 per 100 credits. To purchase gifts, you must have a credit card entered in your Account Settings. Learning how to use Facebook credits will help you purchase these gifts.

            1. Click the Gift icon from the Application section or toolbar. Your current available gift credits list of available gifts is displayed.

            2. Select the gift that you want to send. The amount of gift credits required for the gift is displayed under the gift.

            3. Enter the name of the person you want to send the gift to in the Recipient field. Enter the method of delivery. Click the Continue button.

            4. If you do not have enough gift credits to purchase the gift, the Gift Shop box is displayed. Click Buy Gift Credits to purchase credits.

            Poke a Friend

            Another way to communicate on Facebook is to poke a friend. You can use pokes to say hi to an existing friend or to allow a person who is not a friend access to basic information about you.c

            1. Access the person's Facebook page. Click on Poke underneath their profile picture. A confirmation message is displayed.

            2. Click the Poke button. Your friend is notified that you poked them when they log into Facebook.

            Chat with a Friend

            You can chat with friends who are online through Facebook Chat.c The Friends Online button in the bottom right of the Facebook screen tells you how many friends are online.

            1. To see which friends are online, click the Online Friends button. A list of friends currently online is displayed. A green dot next to the friend means that they are currently active and a moon means that the friend is idle.

            2. Click on the name of the friend you want to chat with. Facebook Chat is displayed. If you have previously chatted with the friend, your previous chat conversation is shown in the chat window.

            3. Type in your message to your friend and press the Enter key. The message is sent to your friend. When they respond, their message is displayed in the Chat window.

            4. When you are finished chatting, click the Close icon in the top right of the Chat window.

            Play Facebook Games

            Once you are on Facebook, you may join in on a wide variety of social networking games. The games that are on Facebook are usually relatively simple (you are not going to find any World of Warcraft on here) and involve performing various game actions as well as interacting with your Facebook friends. Game items and invitations are often posted on you and your friends' Facebook walls.

            Some of the more popular games that are played on Facebook include Farmville, Mafia Wars and poker. You can play with people who are already your friends or meet fellow gamers in the community and become friends with them.

            Learn About Social Media

            To fully understand Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms, try out Mahalo's Social Media course!

            References

            Upload a picture from your computer

            You can upload a JPG, GIF or PNG file. Do not upload pictures containing celebrities, nudity, artwork, or copyrighted images).

            Specify an image URL

            Image URL

            Search

            Type the image URL in the text field above and click 'Search'. Large images may take awhile to process.

            Please remember that using others' images on the web without their permission is not very nice.

            Crop this picture

            Just click and drag on the image below to start cropping! Use the handles on the crop box to resize it.

            Preview

            Upload a picture from your computer

            You can upload a JPG, GIF or PNG file. Do not upload pictures containing celebrities, nudity, artwork, or copyrighted images).

            Specify an image URL

            Image URL

            Search

            Type the image URL in the text field above and click 'Search'. Large images may take awhile to process.

            Please remember that using others' images on the web without their permission is not very nice.

            Crop this picture

            Just click and drag on the image below to start cropping! Use the handles on the crop box to resize it.

            Small Medium Large Full

            Preview

            Hotkeys