Image via CrunchBase
There are a lot of people out there that have a lot to say about the Social Media giant, and how to use it. Some time ago I came across Mari Smith who is very good at the Social Media stuff. At the time, she was teaching best practices for using Facebook for networking and growing your business (I’m sure she still does). One thing she was teaching is how to use the little birthday reminder that pops up on the right hand side when a friend or connection has a birthday. Novel concept to get noticed. Her little tip was to spend five minutes a day visiting the birthday person’s profile page and telling them Happy Birthday. This is simply done by clicking on their name when it appears on the right hand side of your Facebook profile listed as Today’s Birthdays. You might think this is a no brainer, but do you use it everyday? Honestly I do try to, but I’m not perfect. I post a quick “Happy Birthday” on my friends pages and when their wall is not available to post on I do send them a message. Occasionally I’ll forget to check, or the day is over before I get around to it. Shame on me for not making it a morning priority. I will try better, here forward.
Let’s up the ante a bit though. What I wanted to really discuss is not just posting a quick birthday wish on their wall, but sending them a more personal message or email too. How about jumping over to Plaxo.com and sending an e-card? This may add a couple minutes to the routine, especially on those days where you have 20 people that all have birthdays that day! (incidentally a popular day among my friends is August 16th, What about you?) So the advantage with Plaxo is you can schedule the card to be sent in advance. That’s a nifty little tool, and they do have free cards you can use too.
Now you have a system that will really make you stand out. Use Facebook’s weekly birthday feature by clicking “see all” next to the Events tab on the right hand side of your Facebook profile, or click the name(s) directly next to a current birthday. In your notification settings you can have a weekly list emailed to you so you can see the upcoming birthdays. You can also download the birthdays from Facebook and add them to your Apple iCal, Microsoft Outlook, or Google Calendar too. Next, simply set a few minutes aside every Sunday evening (or which ever evening works best for you) as you are planning your week and go through the Facebook reminders and add them to your Plaxo address book. If you don’t have your birthday friend’s email address, then send them a quick message through Facebook requesting it. They will most likely get back to you within a day. Once the birthday and email address has been entered into Plaxo, it will remind you next year and make it even easier to send that birthday e-card.
Just remember, nothing beats the old fashioned birthday card in the mail! But in this time of electronic mail, an e-card can still be a powerful way to get noticed especially if you take the time to write something unique to each person.