Facebook is free and generates income from advertisements displayed on its pages. Setting up an account requires an email account and a cellphone, as these are used for verification purposes while the account is being created.
After you click ‘Signup’ on facebook.com, a verification email is sent to you; click on the link in your email to activate your account.
Many first-time users make the mistake of using simple common passwords. Do a Google search on how to create a ‘strong’ password that you will always remember.
Once your account has been activated, you can search for friends by adding their email addresses. You can also fill in the name and year of your school, tertiary education or place of employment. Facebook will automatically find everyone online who has listed the same institutions and years. You then have the option of sending them a ‘friend request’. You will also be sent such requests. You can then:
- Confirm the request and become ‘friends;’
- delete the request. The sender will not be notified that their ‘friend request’ was declined, but they will be able to send you another request in the future;
- ignore the request. If you neither confirm or delete the request, the person will not be able send you another request. Your entry will then appear as ‘pending friend request’ when the person views you in ‘Search’ or elsewhere on the site until you either accept or ignore the request.
By clicking on ‘Settings’, then ‘Privacy Settings’, you can choose who can see your posts. These can be friends, friends of friends or the general public.
A profile picture is a good idea as it allows potential friends to make sure you are indeed the person they think they know.
Facebook.com has a section with all the questions and answers you will ever need to make better use of the site.
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Now that you have created a Facebook account, as discussed last week, you will need to upload a cover photograph. This is the large image at the top of your page; your profile picture (also discussed previously) is the small photograph of yourself next to it.
Choose a unique image that represents what you are or what you care about (such as a picture of your cattle). The cover and profile pictures can be changed at any time and as often as you choose.
Next, the ‘timeline’. Simply put, this Facebook section shows the story of your (online) life on your Facebook page. Starting with your most recent postings, friends can scroll down the timeline.
You can post a picture or video on your timeline by clicking on the photo icon, or highlight a significant event in your life (such as the birth of a child) by clicking on the relevant icon and selecting from a dropdown menu.
By default, friends will be able to post comments and photographs on your timeline. But by clicking on ‘Settings’ then ‘Timeline and Settings’, you can prevent any friend from posting on your timeline.
In addition, you can limit the general audience of your posts by using a dropdown menu with various options, such as ‘everyone’, ‘friends of friends’, ‘only me’ and so forth.
If you wish to send a private message to a friend, click on his or her profile; when on the page, click on ‘Message’. This message will be a private message to the individual.
In fact, with online privacy being such an issue these days, I suggest that you take the time to go through all of the privacy settings on Facebook and customise them to suit yourself .
We discussed ‘unfriending’ last week and pointed out how you can choose to ‘unfriend’ people without their knowledge. They will invariably find out sooner or later, of course.
Setting up a Facebook group
One of Facebook’s most valuable features is ‘groups’ – people with similar interests can communicate with each other at any time, regardless of where they are.
To create a Facebook group, follow these simple steps:
- From your home page, go to the ‘Groups’ section on the left side menu and click ‘Create Group’.
- Next, click ‘Create New Group’ at the top of the page. A window will appear. Insert the group’s name, add members, and select the privacy settings for your group.
- When you’re finished, click ‘Create’ and you’ll be taken to the group. To get started, click the top right of the screen and select ‘Edit Group Settings’.
- Add a group description, set a group email address, add a group picture and choose the type of group you want.
- Go to ‘Group Type’, and click ‘Pick a Group Type’. Select the group type that best describes your group and click ‘Confirm’. Scroll down to the bottom and click ‘Save’.
Who’s in charge of the group?
When creating a group, you automatically become the administrator (‘Admin’) of the page, but you can add other members as administrators.Very busy pages with large memberships often have many administrators, each fulfilling a different role, such as editor, moderator and so forth.
If you belong to a group, it will be listed on your Facebook home page. You can leave it at any time and receive no further notifications.
Sales group – buy and sell in confidence
A very handy feature of Facebook is sales groups.
Click on the ‘Sale Groups’ link and you’ll see all the groups located near you. Boere koop en verkoop (Farmers buying and selling) is a popular site. Personally, I think that buying from it and other
Facebook sale groups is much less risky than buying from other sites. For one, you can perform your own security check, simply by clicking on the person’s profile and seeing what friends you have in common, where the person lives, and other details.
Click on the link for a more detailed description of how to set up a Facebook group,
Greg Miles is a livestock farmer and Internet marketer.