I had a birthday a couple months ago, and over the course of the day I realized how much a friend’s birthday wishes could impact my emotions, both positively and negatively.
Telling somebody Happy Birthday is a nice gesture. It lets them know you took the time to think about them, and seeing your name on their screen probably evokes positive feelings as well.
But if all you say is happy birthday, you’re letting a golden opportunity drop by the wayside. Especially for people with lots of friends, your generic message gets lost in the crowd. Or worse, they might even think of your message as unthoughtful or unoriginal.
For many of your “friends”, their birthday is the only day of the year when you actually reach out to them and write on their wall, right? Why not make it count?
Sure, tell them happy birthday, but then tell them more. Share a memory you have of them. Ask about their current job, hobby, vacation, or what their kids are up to. Share something about yourself.
Engage them! It’s social media, not “generic boring message place”. This is an easy opportunity to grow your relationship.
Want to go even further? Skip their birthday, and the dozens or hundreds of messages they’re trying to keep up with. Instead, mark your calendar for a month later, and send them a message then. Tell them you know you’re 11 months early, but you just couldn’t wait to wish them a Happy Birthday! I bet you’ll put a smile on your friend’s face, and start a conversation on a day when they’ll have time chat.
Bottom Line: In today’s world, with zillions of apps and reminders for everything, a simple “happy birthday” is a cop-out.