Don’t have a Facebook account? Last time I checked, there were more than 500 million people in the world, so I know there are a few of you. If you are new to Facebook, there are some tips you should definitely do on your newly created account that take priority over everything else. In this article, I’ll show you what those things are.
I Created A Facebook Account, Now What?
The first thing Facebook recommends that you do upon creating a new account is locate your friends via your email address. This is funny to me, because it’s actually the last thing I think you should do when you first create an account.
Why would you want to start friending people when you have a blank profile?
In the next step, Facebook asks you to fill out your profile information. I suggest skipping this step as well, at least for now. Besides, they only ask you for your high school, college/university, and employer information, most likely because they don’t want to overwhelm you.
Step 3 we can do, so that is where I would like to start.
1. Upload A Profile Picture
Facebook is called Facebook for a reason. Before adding friends it’s important that you have a profile picture, preferably of yourself so everybody will recognize you. I don’t have any statistics on this, but I’d say less than 1 percent of legitimate accounts don’t have a profile picture. It’s a rarity.
If you need a more practical reason to upload a profile picture, you’ll be pleased to learn that once you do this step, you will get a new tab on your profile: the Photos tab. This is where you’ll go later on to create photo albums to share your experiences with others.
2. Tweak Your Privacy Settings
You were probably wondering when I would get to the Facebook privacy issue, so lets get it out of the way now. Facebook has a multitude of privacy settings that control everything about your profile, how it’s viewed by others, found in search and accessed by applications.
To view your settings, just go up to your Account tab and select Privacy Settings. Once there, you can click Customize settings to begin altering them to meet your needs.
If you want to learn more about these settings, check out our latest guide, The (Very) Unofficial Facebook Privacy Guide.
3. Fill Out Your Profile Information
Now it’s time to fill out your profile information. If you head over to your Profile page, click on the Info tab and select Edit, you will have all kinds of fields to fill out information about yourself.
You can choose to fill out as much or as little information as you like here. If you’ve taken your privacy settings into account and feel confident with who will be viewing your profile, you can list more information than you maybe would have otherwise.
4. Join A Network
Once you’ve filled out your basic information, likes and interests, education and work, etc. you should join a network. Once again, head up to your Account tab and go to Account Settings. Then, click on the Networks tab.
Facebook networks typically consist of colleges, regions and places of work. For instance, the two networks I belong to are Penn State (my college) and VaynerMedia (my employer). One network is enough, but if you want to be able to share and connect with more people, you can join more.
5. Set Up A Username
Although you’ve missed the gold-rush on this one, I still think it’s important for you to claim whatever username you can. On the Settings tab in your Account Settings, click on Username to claim your vanity URL (e.g. facebook.com/stevenjcampbell). It will ask you to verify your account via text message before allowing you to pick your name.
As a word of advice, try to use your real name here if you can. Facebook profiles are really close to becoming our online identities if you ask me, and it’s important to claim your name from a personal branding standpoint.
[Bonus] Find Your Friends
Now it’s time to add your friends. Chances are you will find a lot of them in the same network(s) you’ve chosen, but you can search for them using your email contacts and standard Facebook search as well. If you completed the steps above, they will have a nice, professional looking profile to look at when they first accept your friend request, rather than a barren wasteland.
Are you excited about getting a shiny new Facebook account now? If you already have a profile, is there anything you’d like to add?