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  • Writer's pictureTara Grey

How to Guide: The Basics on How to Use Facebook

How to Guide: The Basics on How to Use Facebook

For many, Facebook has become more than just an interesting place to visit online, it’s become the place they connect with family members, keep up with the latest photos from their grand-kids, and reconnect with long lost friends.

Seven out of every ten adults use Facebook, making it the most popular social media platform out there.

However, it can get a little confusing. There’s Facebook, and then there’s Facebook Messenger… what’s the difference? How do people get colors behind their posts? How can you be sure only your friends can see the photos you’re sharing?

A little tech tutoring can go a long way when it comes to navigating Facebook!

There’s no reason you should miss out on the kinship you can feel using Facebook to connect with friends and family. In this How to Guide, I’ll go over the basics of how to use the site.

Beginners Guide for Facebook

1. The Facebook Home Page (Your News Feed)

When you first log into Facebook, you’ll land on your news feed. This is filled with posts made or shared by:

  • People you’ve “Friended”

  • Pages you’ve “Liked”

  • Pages or People you follow

  • Groups you’ve joined

  • Companies that paid to advertise on Facebook

Facebook News Feed
Facebook News Feed

It’s important to know that you don’t always see every post a person makes. Facebook uses its own algorithm based on a variety of factors, like how much you interact with a post (click “Like,” comment, or share) to decide what to show in your timeline.

The left-side of the timeline has links to:

  • Messenger (Facebook’s direct messaging area)

  • Watch (Recorded and live videos to watch)

  • Marketplace (Place to buy and sell items)

  • Shortcuts (to pages or groups you visit often)

  • Explore (suggested places to find more connections)

Get to your News Feed by clicking the “News Feed” option in the left-side panel or clicking “Home” in the top menu bar.

2. What’s the Difference Between My News Feed & My Timeline?

Timeline is what your own page is called and where all the posts that you make show up. Your News Feed is where you’ll see posts from others.

Your personal timeline page also includes any information you’ve filled out in your profile (like where you went to school or worked).

Get to your own timeline by clicking on your name and personal photo. This shows up both at the top of the left-side panel (above “News Feed”) and in the very top menu bar next to search.

3. How to Comment or “Like” a Post

One of the fun features of Facebook is that you can interact with the posts that you see. For example, if you see a funny memory posted by an old high school friend, you can click to “Like” the post and even comment on it.

At the bottom of a post, before the comments, you’ll see an option to “Like” or Comment on a post. (Note: Unless the poster has disabled it, you’ll also see “Share”)

When you hover over the “Like” option, you’ll get different emoticons you can use, such as the standard “Like” or a heart, laughing face, sad face, etc.

Facebook Like and Comment a Post

Clicking “Comment” will take you to an entry spot where you can type in to comment on the post. After typing what you want to say, press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard to send the comment.

4. What is Messenger?

Within Facebook you can have private conversations with a person or group of people. This is called DM (direct messaging) and it’s done in Messenger. When you simply comment on someone’s post in your News Feed, it is NOT private and can be seen by everyone.

If you want to share something with just one person or a group of people, you can use Messenger.

Get there by clicking the Messenger link in the left-side panel of your News Feed. You’ll see something similar to how text messages look on your phone.

Facebook Messenger
Facebook Messenger (It’s similar to a text message on your phone.)

5. How Can I Post or Share a Photo on Facebook?

One of the most popular things to do on Facebook is to share posts and photos with your family and friends. You do this by making a post.

There are two places you can go to make a Facebook post:

  • At the very top of the News Feed page, you’ll see “Create Post”

  • At the top of your personal Timeline page, under the top image, there is also a “Create Post” option

To post, just type into the “Create Post” area, and click “Post” when done. You’ll see several options that you can use with your post, here are some of the most popular.

  • Photo/Video: Click this to choose a photo from your computer to attach to your post and share.

  • Gif: You can search a library of Gifs (short video clips).

  • Colored Squares: You’ll see different colored squares which can be used to put a background image or color behind a post that uses text only.

  • Feeling/Activity: When you see “Jane is Feeling Excited” at the top of a post, it’s because they added a feeling/activity.

6. How Do You Use Groups?

Groups in Facebook are different than Pages. They are a way for a group of people to interact on a specific topic. They can be private or public, depending upon how they’ve been set up.

You might join a group for your college alma mater or for your local neighborhood or HOA. Members of the group can post within the group and those posts show up on all group members’ news feeds.

7. How Can I Make My Profile Private?

Facebook has multiple privacy settings, and it’s easy to quickly get lost in the weeds. I’ll give you the most important one below that can keep your profile private so just anyone can’t see the content you post.

  • Go to your Settings by clicking the little triangle at the far right in the top menu bar.

  • Click Settings

  • On the left-side panel, choose Privacy

  • Click “Edit” on the first option “Your Activity”

  • You can choose to allow only Friends to see your posts or only specific Friends

Need Help with Your Facebook Settings?

Need help understanding all those privacy settings in Facebook? Would you like to learn how to use Facebook video to talk to friends and family?

Schedule a fun Facebook tutoring session today! Call or text me at: 862-368-4893 or Email me here.


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