Facebook (FB) is a good place to network with friends or keep up with your favorite causes or orgs. It’s also good at causing confusion.
On FB, there are Pages, Profiles, Groups and Applications – and there’s Home. Well, there’s a lot of other stuff, but we have to start somewhere.
Here are a few tips, but you’ll get the most out of FB by clicking on things and trying them out.
The Profile is your starting point. Before you can do anything else on FB, you need to have a profile. After you sign up on FB, you fill in the profile info.
You can then adjust how open, or how private, you want your FB profile to be.
You’ll find that the Profile page and the Pages page(s) look very similar. That’s because they are, but they’re not. It’s painful, isn’t it!
Just remember that the Profile page is where all your power is, and you’ll be good.
The Home page is like your hometown newspaper, if your newspaper only printed news about you and your friends.
Every morning, or five times an hour, depending on your level of addiction to FB, you get on FB and you look at your Home page. You’ll see news that your friends have posted and you can post what you’re up to in the “What’s On Your Mind” share box at the top of the Home and Profile pages.
Anytime you post anything in that share box, it goes to all your friends. If you want to communicate directly with one or more friends, and not blast something to all your friends on FB, go to “Inbox” at the top of any of your pages on FB and click on it.
Start typing in your friend’s name as it appears on FB and their name will pop up, you then click on it and type in your message and hit send.
Pages are a way of sharing your hobbies or interests, or promoting a business, organization or celebrity.
FB users can see your Page(s) and “fan” the page to show their support. They don’t have to be friends of your FB account to see your Pages.
A Page looks similar to the Profile, and you have many of the same options for tweaking it, because it also has the Wall, Info, Photos and other tabs (see the PKIDs’ GETVAXED page below).
Pages allow information, pics and videos to be constantly streaming (much like Profiles). This gives the FB Page an opportunity to be a main source of information for fans (a.k.a. page users).
For someone using FB to network as an org, one of the best parts of a Page is the analytics available to measure traffic and growth. Through these metrics, you can track your Page’s progress and set goals for success.
Groups were the first big thing on Facebook. Anyone could make one to show support for their passion (see the PKIDs’ FB Group below).
Compared to Pages and Profiles, Groups are more of a static source of information. You can “join” a Group just as you would “fan” a Page, but the Page and the Profile are the champions of providing quick information updates. You could almost look at a Group as a business listing in the phone book.
Applications, or Apps, can be integrated into the Profile or Page as tabs and boxes (under the Boxes tab or as a box on the Wall tab). This allows a Page or Profile to be much more interactive (and fun!).
FB apps are developed by companies and individual developers, not always by FB employees.
There are thousands of FB apps and the complete application directory can be found here.
You can search for Groups, Pages, Profiles and Applications by using the search box in the top right corner (shown below).
Have further questions about FB? Ask them by commenting below. And look forward to next week where we go in-depth about finding and sharing health info on Facebook.