Now we are on to a new set of tutorials – Facebook!
You may be wondering why I would choose Facebook as the next social media tool to delve into – isn’t that for kids?
Also, during our LinkedIn tutorial, you may remember that I posed a question in LinkedIn’s Answers feature to illustrate how to do it – and people answered. My question was whether Facebook or Twitter was more valuable for lawyers. Of course, the answer is – it depends. But overwhelmingly, the responses of the group were "Facebook." So Facebook it is!
One of the most valuable things on Facebook is pages (and groups), but since we have to have a personal profile in order to use those, we’re going to start there.
So let’s begin at the beginning. In order to create a Facebook profile, head over to http://www.facebook.com. This is what you’ll see:
Those of you who have FB (that’s what I’ll use as shorthand for Facebook) can just log in in the upper right corner and ignore everything I say in this post – unless you’re looking to further develop your profile.
The rest of us will sign up by putting our first and last names, email addresses, password, and selecting our genders and birthdays. Your birthday is required because FB requires all users to be at least 13 years old. Kids younger than that do make up birthdays so that they can use FB, but I think the age restriction is a good one.
Once you’ve entered your personal information, you’re going to click "Sign Up."
You’ll then be asked to enter the "captcha" phrase – this ensures that you’re a real person behind your computer and not a bot to create profiles. This will differ for everyone, but this is what mine looks like:
Once you’ve clicked "Sign Up," FB is going to take you through a series of steps to set up your profile. The first of these is finding your friends – on LinkedIn, we called those that you were linked to your "connections." Here on FB, they’re called "friends."
Since quite a lot of your personal life can be shared through FB (it’s up to you how much, but you really can share a lot), you’ll want to consider who you want to add to your friends list.
Similarly to LinkedIn, you can add friends in a number of different ways. You can use your Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo! to add them (those are all web mail services), or you can use another email service. For each of these you’ll enter your email address and either be taken to a new window to enter your password, or enter your password directly. If you want to import addresses from your Outlook, you’ll export a file as we did in the LinkedIn tutorial, and you’ll click "File importer" to import it:
You’ll also note that at the bottom of the initial box, if you’d like to wait to add friends until you’re more comfortable with FB, you can "Skip this step."
Let’s say we want to add friends through Gmail. I’m going to enter my email address and click the "Find Friends" button. This will open a new window where I’m asked to log in to gmail:
When I log in, I’m then required to give access to my gmail, since it’s not connected to Facebook in any way.
If you click "No thanks," your FB account won’t be able to access your contacts and it basically invalidates your previous actions. Once you click "Allow," FB will import your contacts and search through them for who is on FB.
They first give you a screen with those people who have FB profiles associated with the email address you have on file:
You may notice that it mentions I have 253 Yahoo! contacts – since I didn’t have any gmail contacts, I just went ahead and did the same steps for Yahoo! in order to show you what this looks like.
I can decide from here if I want to "Select All Friends" or add them individually. Facebook will send out a generic invitation to anyone you’d like to connect with, and there is no way to customize this. That being said, I do still recommend going through the contacts individually to make sure that they are all people you want to connect to. Once you have checked the boxes next to the names of those you’d like to request to connect to, you will click "Add Friends."
You can also click "Skip" here if you would like to skip this step.
The next screen will show you those email addresses of people who do NOT currently have Facebook accounts associated with them. Facebook offers you the opportunity to invite those people to join and connect to you.
Again, FB sends a generic invite to these people – you can see a sample of this using the link at the bottom of the window if you’re wondering what they’ll see. Also, note that FB defaults to checking all of these boxes (obviously, it’s to their benefit if you invite everyone you know to join). If there are people in this list you think might be interested, I recommend, again, going through them individually and checking them all. To uncheck all, you can click the box next to "Select All/None" and you can decide to "Skip" this step if you would like to.
Once you’ve started to add friends, FB walks you through adding some basic profile information, like your high school, college and employer:
The reason for this is that FB categorizes people by "network" – they consider networks to be those groups to which you belong for one reason or another, such as alumni networks and company networks.
With your educational entries, you can also include the year that you graduated – this will help to put you in touch with those people who have indicated that they were in your class. This is mostly like an honor system here, because despite my having graduated from an all-girls’ high school, we still see men’s profile popping up as alumni!
You may be wondering why you would want to enter this information, and it’s simple – one of the great joys of FB is reconnecting with people that you may have lost touch with, including former classmates, and this is an easy way to do it. We’ll go into more detail later on how you can easily find people this way, but for now, it’s sufficient to know that you can.
As we start to enter our personal information, you’ll note that similar to LinkedIn, FB will start to come up with a list of possible matches as you’re typing:
This is so that you can select the right school or employer, and be placed in the correct network. My school comes up in the second place in this list, so I’ll select that.
Once I’ve selected the school, I can choose my year of graduation. Since all of us have been friends with people in different class years, I’ll mention that you’re not restricted to seeing the list of graduates only from your same year – you can browse multiple years.
I go on to add my college and employer as well, and click "Save & Continue" to go to the next step. You’ll see that FB also includes a "Skip" option here, but as I mentioned during the LinkedIn tutorial, I find it’s essential to have a full and complete profile in order to get the most out of your social networking efforts.
The next screen gives us FB’s suggestions for friends we might know.
Unlike the previous screen, there are no checkboxes here. Instead, when you click "Add Friend," you’ll noticed that their picture and name becomes grey-ed out – and it automatically sends a friend request. To move on to the next step, we’ll either hit "Save & Continue" or "Skip" if you’re not adding anyone.
Both in LinkedIn and FB, the party on the other side has to agree to connect with you – however, as we’ll see with Twitter, people can see your updates without you giving them permission. With FB and LinkedIn, there are stricter privacy controls – and we’re going to go into those privacy controls in our next post!
Step Three in our creation of a profile is adding a photo. As you can see in the window above, people use many different kinds of photos for their profiles and these can give you an indication of the person’s personality. Since FB is more casual, you can feel free to use a personal photo or your professional photo, depending on who you’re planning to connect with.
Above, you can also see how it looks when someone doesn’t upload a profile picture – despite their names being included, they almost seem anonymous. And you may think that people will know you’re the one and only "John Doe," but even with a name like mine (which I think to be rather uncommon!), there are lots of "Lindsay Griffiths" out there. Including a male rugby player in Europe. So it’s helpful to include a photo so people know that they’re connecting to the right you.
As I said, people put all kinds of photos up for their FB profiles – pictures of their kids or grandkids, pictures of their pets, pictures with their friends, or just pictures of themselves. If you’re just starting with FB, you may want to consider putting up a picture of yourself for now – you can always change your profile photo, and it would be helpful as you’re building your network of FB friends for them to see who it is they’re connecting with.
To set a profile picture, you have two options. You can upload a photo from your computer, by clicking "upload a photo." That’s going to open a window like this:
You are able to upload a photo of up to 4MB, and to do so, you’ll click "Choose File." This allows you to browse your hard drive to select a picture, which is then automatically uploaded:
Once you have your photo uploaded, you can click "Save & Continue" or "Skip" (note that clicking Skip will not save the photo that you just uploaded, so your profile won’t have one).
Your second option is to take a photo with your webcam, if you have one. To do this, click "Take a Photo." If you have a webcam, it will automatically connect to it. You can then set the picture, click the camera to take it (you have three seconds to get ready) and then click "Save Picture" or "Cancel." I’d show you my photo from today, but I’m not wearing any makeup!
My recommendation is using a photo that you have already – webcam photos can be a bit creepy looking, in my opinion, and they never come out as naturally as camera photos.
Now, you’ve got your basic profile set up!
Tomorrow, we’ll go through fleshing your profile out! Welcome to Facebook.