Facebook recently surpassed 300 million registered users, meaning it’s becoming increasingly vital to your online and offline social graph. Whether you use Facebook primarily for your personal life, business purposes or both, this list of tips will help you gauge how well you’re already using Facebook’s tools and perhaps offer advice on how to make a little better use of them.
1. Tag other people in status updates
This feature was released earlier this week and is not well understood by the majority of Facebook users. For those of us that are savvy to Twitter, it’s a pretty simple transition as it functions the same way. You call someone out or speak directly to them by typing the @ symbol and then their name in your status update or on someone else’s wall. Facebook has programmed the feature to not only tag them, but also link to the said person’s Facebook page. Once you’ve posted your tag, anyone who sees the status update will see your friends name posted as a hyperlink and have the option of navigating to his or her page.
2. Block people on chat
This feature wasn’t available when Facebook chat launched. As a woman, my initial experience was not always good when up late working – lonely dudes would pop-up to say “hello,” looking to find out what I was “up to tonight.” Creepy. Thankfully FB has finally provided the option to prohibit this from happening. To block people from chat, you have to organize them under one group which you can then choose to be inactive in chat. Be careful though, if they’re filed under another group as well (i.e. “work friends” and “block from chat”),they will still show up in chat under the group that you haven’t blocked!
3. Create a “top friends” list, without an app
That’s right, just like MySpace, you can easily separate your top friends from the rest so everyone can see who your favorite people are, without using an external app! It is a new feature that was introduced when Facebook unveiled their new layout. To edit your top friends, view your own profile and click the “edit” button in the friends section. Type the names of your friends who you want to be permanently highlighted on your friends list and they will remain there until you remove or replace them.
4. Login with your username
Another newly introduced feature, Facebook makes it easier to login by giving you the option of entering your username instead of your email. The ease of this option is especially noticeable when logging in from a mobile device where typing can be time consuming and awkward. Don’t have a username yet? Go to facebook.com/username and pick your vanity URL!
5. Edit the tabs on your profile
Just click the “+” button in your tabs section to choose which applications you’d like easier navigation to. This feature makes it simple to promote a cause that’s important to you or encourage people to join you on YoVille. Oh no, did I really just give advice on how to further promote YoVille?
6. Publicize your event without sending annoying messages
Easy to do, just change the time on your event and everyone on the list will get a notification of the time change in the bottom right hand corner of their homepage. This is a very subtle way to remind people about your event!
7. Select multiple people at a time for Facebook event invites
By default, Facebook doesn’t allow you to invite your whole friends list to your event, obviously as a measure to reduce spam. You can get around this, however, if you take the time to organize all of your friends into specific groups – Facebook does allow you to select all in a given group or network for quick inviting!
8. Restrict your wall activity
If you’re spending too much time looking at your own wall or tired of friends posting inappropriate comments that family and co-workers can see, you can disable wall posts from specific people to keep your reputation, and perhaps sanity, in tact.
9. Use your friend groups to easily send messages
Compose a message on Facebook and easily send to all your friends by typing their names in the “To” line. The big downside is that you can’t blind carbon copy (bcc) anyone, and anyone who responds will send their message to the whole group. Be cautious when sending group messages and be sure everyone on list would benefit from getting updates and responses from other group members. Otherwise it’s best and more respectful to take the time to send individual messages.
10. Changing Your Privacy Settings
For those of us who use Facebook regularly, we probably know how to do this, but I still run into a lot of people who don’t. If you don’t want the boss to know what you’re “really” doing at work, lump him into a group titled “work friends” and tweak that group’s settings from viewing your status updates and anything else you don’t want them to see. Facebook privacy settings are incredibly specific – you can personalize each list to see, or not see, pretty much anything on your profile, giving you total control over your personal brand.
Did you find any of these tips helpful? And what other ways do you make Facebook’s tools work for you and your company?
Veronica Reynolds is the Community Manager at WooMe.com, the world’s largest live introductions platform where people meet live in chat sessions via webcam around any shared interest for fun, to hook up, or for pure entertainment. Veronica loves social media and is online a lot so hit her up on WooMe or Twitter to say hello.