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 business page, find terms, links, and customization tips to make your experience on Facebook the best it can be.
Defining Facebook Words and Phrases
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 words and phrases:
A Facebook business page is similar to a personal timeline, except it represents a business, a public figure, or an organization. Business pages are managed by administrators.
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.
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 be seen only when someone is looking at your timeline.
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 follower is someone who follows another person. The follower can see everything a user posts. When someone follows you, that person does not need your approval.
A message is a private communication sent between you and one or more friends.
You tag people in a photo when you want to include them in a post or a status update. They then have the option to post it to their own timeline either automatically or after they review it.
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.
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. It is also referred to as your Facebook Home page.
The pages feed displays all the recent updates from business pages to which you are connected.
The games feed displays all the game activity of your friends.
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 (profile), overlapping the bottom part of your cover photo. It also appears next to your comments and status updates indicating your identity and at the top left of your home page.
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.
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.
The ticker is a real-time feed of your friends' activity. The ticker appears in the top right of your screen.
Your personal 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.
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) in business pages.
Your activity log shows all your actions on Facebook.
5 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 home 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 business pages you like. Just about every website out there has a link to its Facebook business page. The next time you visit your favorite website, check for a Facebook link. Clicking the Facebook link takes you to the business page for that site, and from there, you can click the Like button to subscribe to the page.
Many people use Facebook as a feed reader (a way to know when a website publishes new content). When you Like a business 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).
Follow 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 laypeople and George Takei (the actor who played Sulu in the original Star Trek serie) — both of whom update their Facebook statuses regularly in interesting ways. As well, you can find just about any bigwig from any industry on Facebook.
Create a group and invite people with whom you like to interact. You can make some wonderful personal and professional connections with people because of groups.
Groups start out with a common thread. A thread might be that you know all these people, or 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.
9 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 that you may want to peruse from time to time to stay up-to-date on Facebook's various guidelines and terms of service:
5 Tips for Customizing Your Facebook Business Page
A Facebook business page is a central place for a business to connect with its customers and share its stories. Business pages also enable you to offer information with special access to followers and build apps to run promotions in Facebook. Customizing the look of your business page helps deliver a branded experience to your fans.
Use the following tips when customizing your business page:
Cover photo: The cover photo is the most prominent part of your business page. You might say that a good cover photo sets the mood for your page. You can use any image that is at least 720 pixels wide. To create a custom image, the dimensions are 851 x 315 pixels.
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 pixels wide. 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: Application pages are 810 pixels wide; the length is dynamic. They're great for offering custom information and experiences in the context of your Facebook page.
Users are directed to your application via a direct link that you may put in 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 in the box. These boxes are 111 pixels wide and 74 pixels tall.
Pinning stories: If you have a particular story that you've shared in 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 business page even after you post new content.
You pin a story by clicking the drop-down arrow on the top right of the post and selecting the option to pin the post to the top.
Highlighting stories: Part of customizing your business page is sharing the stories and milestones throughout time for your business. Highlighting 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 drop-down arrow at the top right of a post and then selecting Highlight.
All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can't be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else's copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.