What Facebook’s New Happy Birthday Message Process Teaches Us About Authenticity


Image: cc Angelica Portales Flickr

Let’s be real: there is very little about Facebook that is authentic. And now that extends to birthday greetings, too.

Authenticity is the basis for all our communications, it is how people judge the message and the messenger. Was that an authentic greeting, or did it contain snark? Is this sales person just pushing product or is she/he giving me good advice?

We expect authenticity from our corner hardware store, they greet us in the aisle and point us towards the proper product for the job. Same thing with the pharmacist, we trust their knowledge and care for others. Authenticity is what makes the difference.

I am occasionally considered to be outspoken and sometimes harsh, but that’s my most honest and true–my authentic–voice being spoken. I get paid to give people my honest answer, what I consider to be the truth. When I hem and haw, or speak in vague generalities, then I am being less true to myself and less authentic.

So, how does this relate to Facebook and the single-digit birthday greetings? If you care enough to send a birthday greeting, then at least add some personal message. There’s nothing worse than a $5 Hallmark card that arrives unsigned, and the same can be said for our regular business and social communications. Let your personality show through. Tell people what you think and follow through on what you say.

Gee, maybe Facebook is actually doing us a service by forcing us to be more authentic.

tl;dr Facebook made it possible to send an SMS Happy Birthday greeting by entering a single digit, the number 1. Authenticity demands some level of personal attention. Be authentic and write a personal message, whether for birthday greetings or any other business or social communications.


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Filed under Marketing, Social Media

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