In this part of our "Getting Started with Social Media" series, we are going to discuss the world's most popular service, Facebook.
What Is Facebook?
With over 1 billion users (expected to surpass 1.5 billion by end of 2013), Facebook is far and away that world's most popular social media site. Started in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg with his Harvard University roommates Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. "The Facebook" was initially limited to Harvard students but quickly expanded to other Ivy League school, followed by high schools in and around the Boston, Ma area.
Not on Facebook? So, you're the one...
Let's get started with Creating you your own personal account. Don't worry, this isn't tough or time consuming.
- Visit Facebook
- Enter in your First and Last name
- Provide a valid email address (Facebook will direct emails to this email address)
- Enter a password (make sure it's a secure password - we recommend not using your name, or something easy to guess)
- Provide your birthday
- Hit "Sign Up".
Please make sure you take the time to read the Terms Of Service.
Facebook will log you in, and send you 2 emails to the email address you provided in step 3 above. The first email asks for confirmation that you did indeed sign up for Facebook. Click on the "Complete Sign-up" button.
The second email that Facebook will send, is a "Getting Started" message. In this email, Facebook will walk you through finding friends, assist you with uploading your profile image, and give you a chance to customize your profile. Click on the "Get Started" button.
You can skip the following steps and complete it later. However we'd recommend that you complete it now. It takes but a few minutes.
Step 1 of 3 - Finding Friends - Facebook will connect on your behalf to different online services such as Yahoo and Skype to help find you some friends to connect with. Select the "Find Friends" link next to each of the services and follow the instructions. NOTE: You will need to have an active account on these services for this to work.
Step 2 of 3 - Add Friends - When you've selected your service from step 1 and authenticated, you will be asked to select from the list of friends provided. Check the boxes next to each person you wish to be friends with on Facebook.
Step 3 or 3 - Invite Friends - Facebook will now attempt to connect you to your selected friends. NOTE: Before you can become Facebook friends, they will need to accept your invite to connect.
Completing your Facebook Profile
Provide as much, or as little information as you would like to share. The more you share, the better Facebook can help other people find you, and to provide you will information that you may be interested in. Give this step special consideration. Keep anything private that you wouldn't want a stranger to know about you.
Images say so much about a person. We'd recommend using a professional image, and keep it the same across all of your social media platforms for branding purposes. However you can use any image you'd like, as long as you have the authority to use it. Uploading an image of someone else could cause you significant legal issues.
At the time of this post, a square image of 160x160 would work best. The uploaded size should be 180x180 (leaves a bit of a frame). If you upload something larger, Facebook will offer you a chance to scale the image. It's better to upload larger, than smaller images. Upscaling images will make things look very grainy and unprofessional.
When a user clicks on another users name they are taken to that users "Profile", where you will learn more about the person. One of the most visual aspects of Facebook is known as the "Cover Photo". This is an image that allows the user to expand on their personal or professional brand. For instance, if you work for a major corporation, and that is what this account would be used for, you may elect to use a corporate image as a backdrop. Or for your personal branding, perhaps a picture of your family, or your favorite sports team, or car. The image (at the time of this posting) should be 851px x 315px.
Note: Your profile image (180x180) will be overlaid on top of your cover photo.
Now that you're all connected, and hopefully have some friends to chat with, perhaps it's time to create your first post. To do this is quite simple. From your home screen, you should see something that resembles this:
As you can see here, all you need to do is to enter some text, and click on post. Yup, it is that easy.
Another type of post you can do is to add pictures/video. Click the "Add Photo/Video" link (as shown), and select your media. Enter in your text, and click post.
Woohoo! You're all set!
Let us know how things went. We'd love to hear!
Be sure to check out the other items in our "Getting started" series.