One of the many things I find useful on Facebook is the Birthdays feature. I make a point of sending birthday greetings daily to those friends who are celebrating a birthday that day. There are days that I can’t do that, but I do work hard to be consistent in this. The Birthdays feature is a great tool for several reasons. First, it makes me connect with every Facebook friend I have at least once a year. If my friend has put in a birthday, then they will most likely hear from me.
That may not seem like much, but when you have a lot of friends, it can get tough to review everyone every day or even every week. At the very least by checking in on their birthday, I take the time to read their latest profile info and last few postings. It helps me to catch up on them. For example, my friend and former boss at Crosswalk.com is Neal Joseph. I lost track of Neal over time, but reconnected on… you guessed it, his birthday. It was certainly great to catch up on what he’s doing, and on a practical note, I saw that he’d moved to work for Compassion International. It just so happened that we were going to Colorado Springs in a couple of months. I mentioned that to Neal, and he pointed out several folks we should meet with while there! It was a great help to have Neal connecting us to his peers at Compassion. We also scheduled a lunch, so we were able to catch up in person as well!
Not only do I catch up on the friends I already know well, the Birthday check also helps me get to know friends that I’ve made via my speaking engagements or through my magazine articles. Their birthday is a great touch point for me to reach out, connect and encourage them. It also allows me to post something very specifically relevant to them. For example, if I see that they are or have been in seminary or serving at a church, then I may invite them to review our ministry at My Broken Palace. If they are in the tv/film business, I’ll invite them to the Biola Media Conference. If they are a musician or worship leader, I’ll mention our free training at Creator Leadership Network.
These are just a few of the reasons that make the Birthdays feature a valuable tool for me on Facebook. I hope you find it useful as well.
Any Facebook tips you’d like to share?
I’m starting to think that sending a message may be better in directly connecting to my friend over posting on their wall. For friends who are visibly active on their wall, I’m posting there. For folks who appear inactive on their own wall, I’m sending a message instead. 🙂