Facebook All-in-One For Dummies
Facebook has many options and features that enable you to customize your experience. Whether you enjoy connecting with your friends through your personal Timeline, or you manage your business’s brand through a Facebook Fan Page Timeline, find terms, links, and customization tips to make your experience on Facebook the best it can be.
Defining Facebook Lingo
When you’re new to Facebook, you may see unfamiliar terminology thrown around and wonder what it all means. Here are explanations of many commonly used Facebook terms:
Your Timeline (you may also see it called your profile) is the public display of your information on Facebook. It includes your status updates, your pictures, and everything you’ve done on Facebook as others see them. Privacy settings allow you to set who can or can’t see this information.
A friend is someone you’re connected to on Facebook. Friends can comment on each other’s posts and photos and see status updates in their News Feeds. Friends get connected by sending a friend request.
A status update is a post on your Timeline — you create a status update by typing in the box that says What’s on your mind? Status updates appear in the News Feeds of friends and can been seen on your Timeline in the order they were posted.
Comments are responses to status updates, pictures, and so on. When someone posts a status update, shares an article, uploads pictures, and so on, others have the option to Like or comment.
Like is a way of showing you approve of a post. Click the Like button (it looks like a thumbs up sign) on status updates, pictures, articles, videos, and even comments.
When you share, you repost content to your Timeline for your friends list to see. Posts have a Share link right next to the Comment and Like options.
Your cover photo is an image on the top of your Timeline that is intended to be expressive of who you are. It’s separate from your profile picture and can only be seen when someone is looking at your Timeline.
Your profile photo is an image that is intended to be the icon representing you visually — the face of your profile, so to speak. Your profile picture appears on the top left of your Timeline, overlapping the bottom part of your cover photo. It also appears next to your comments and status updates indicating your identity.
The News Feed is a list of status updates and other activity from those that you are friends with or subscribed to. The News Feed can be filtered to only show friends that you interact with often.
The Ticker is a real-time feed of activity from your friends. It also appears in most apps and games, showing you what friends are playing the game.
A Facebook Fan Page Timeline is similar to a personal Timeline, except it represents a business, public figure, or an organization. Fan Page Timelines are managed by administrators.
Apps (short for applications) are any added tool designed to add a feature to your Facebook experience. Apps include third-party software that connects Facebook to other sites, as well as games or Application Pages (also called tabs) within Fan Page Timelines.
Five Ways to Customize Your Facebook Browsing
When you join Facebook, you can customize how you browse Facebook to help you keep your contacts, updates, and interactions organized. An efficient organization saves times by giving you more control of what you see and don’t see. Here are five ways you can customize Facebook browsing:
Use lists. Facebook enables you to group your connections based on criteria that you determine. You can create your own lists for local friends, blogging buddies, family, and so on. With lists, you can check out what everyone's doing without missing updates that may have slid by in your News Feed.
Use your navigation wisely. Your main Facebook page shows your navigation options in the left sidebar. You can move list and groups you visit most frequently to your Favorites at the top so you can easily access them.
Subscribe to Fan Page Timelines you like. Just about every website out there has a link to its Facebook Fan Page Timeline. The next time you visit your favorite website, check for a Facebook link. Clicking the Facebook link takes you to the Fan Page Timeline for that site, and from there, you can click the Like button to subscribe to the Fan Page. Many people use Facebook as a feed reader (a way to know when a website publishes new content). When you Like a Fan Page, any time it updates, you can see it in your News Feed (though you need to interact regularly with those posts to continue seeing them).
Subscribe to public figures you like. Public figures can be athletes, celebrities, or even social causes. A few public figures are Neil deGrasse Tyson (an astrophysicist who makes science accessible to lay people: https://www.facebook.com/neiltyson) and George Takei (the actor who played Sulu in the original Star Trek series: https://www.facebook.com/georgehtakei) — both of whom update their Facebook statuses regularly in interesting ways. As well, you can find just about any big-wig from any industry on Facebook.
Create a Group and invite people you like to interact with. You can make some incredible personal and professional connections with people because of Groups. Groups start out with a common thread. That thread may be that you know all these people, or it may be that you're all passionate about video games. You invite people, and those people suggest adding people they know. Before you know it, you're meeting new people who share your same interests.
Links to Important Facebook Documents
Facebook is large, and finding the information you need can be daunting. The following list provides links to important Facebook documents you may want to peruse from time to time to stay up to date on Facebook’s various guidelines and terms of service:
Facebook Terms of Service: https://www.facebook.com/terms.php
Facebook (Fan) Pages Terms: http://www.facebook.com/terms_pages.php
Promotions guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php
Advertising guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php
Report an Infringing Username (this is useful when you own the trademark and need to enforce it): https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=username_infringement
Reporting claims of copyright or intellectual property infringement: https://www.facebook.com/legal/copyright.php
If your Fan Page is disabled: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=page_disabled
If your personal profile is disabled: https://www.facebook.com/help/contact.php?show_form=disabled
Facebook Site Governance Page: https://www.facebook.com/fbsitegovernance
Customizing Your Facebook Fan Page Timeline
The Facebook Fan Page Timeline is a central place for a business to connect with its customers and share its stories. Fan Page Timelines also enable you to offer information with special access to fans only and build apps to run promotions within Facebook. Customizing the look of your Fan Page Timeline helps deliver a branded experience to your fans. Use the following tips when customizing your Fan Page Timeline:
Cover photo: The cover photo is the most prominent part of your Fan Page Timeline. You might say that a good cover photo sets the mood for your Timeline. You can use any image that is at least 399 pixels wide. To create a custom image, the exact dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels.
Facebook has restrictions on what the cover photo can be used for. You can’t have pricing or purchasing information, contact information such as web addresses, mailing address, or e-mail addresses. (Use the About section for that information.) The cover photo also may not include calls to action such as call now or those related to the Facebook interface such as Like Us.
Profile picture: The profile picture should identify who your company is in a clean and simple way. The profile picture is a square that displays at 160 x 160 pixels; however, the photo that you use must be at least 180 x 180 pixels. The ideal profile picture for a business is a square version of the logo, so that fans can instantly recognize it in their News Feeds.
The profile picture overlaps the cover photo on the left side starting at about 23 pixels from the left and 210 pixels below the top of the cover. You can easily change your profile picture at any time by clicking the profile picture in your Timeline view and selecting one of the options displayed.
Application Pages: All promotions that your business conducts on Facebook are hosted within Application Pages. Applications Pages are images or applications hosted within iframes displayed on your Facebook Fan Page Timeline. Application Pages are 810 pixels wide and dynamic length. They’re great for offering custom information and experiences within the context of Facebook.
Users are directed to your application via a direct link that you may put within an e-mail, or through the Views and Apps icons directly below your cover photo. These boxes can be customized with images that indicate what these pages are; for example, a restaurant could have an app box that says Menu as its icon within the box. These boxes are 111 pixels wide and 74 pixels tall.
Pinning stories: If you have a particular story that you’ve shared within your News Feed that you would like to feature for a longer period of time, you can pin a story so that it remains at the top of your Fan Page Timeline even after you post new content. You can pin a story by clicking the Edit button on the top right of the post and selecting the option to pin the post to the top.
Featuring stories: Part of customizing your Facebook Fan Page Timeline is sharing the stories and milestones throughout time for your business. Featuring stories allows you to make stories of your choice occupy the full width of your Timeline to draw more attention to them. You can do this by clicking the star at the top right of a post and then selecting to feature the story.