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How to: Facebook “Happy Birthday” greeting thank yous

How do you deal with those Facebook good wishes?  We found the whole thing confusing.  To save you frustration, here’s a primer on Facebook “Happy Birthday” thank yous …

A Facebook “wall”* never gets as much action as it does on your birthday. Thanks to the Facebook birthday reminders, you might even get well wishes from friends you haven’t spoken to (or still don’t want to speak to) in years.   And, just like in non-digital life, it’s always nice to send a thank you note.  Having just had a birthday, I found sending that return Facebook thank you to be a bit confusing.  So, to save you the frustration, here’s a quick guide on ways to thank Facebook friends:

HOW TO SAY THANK YOU ON FACEBOOK

Sending Public Thank Yous:

1. To send a thank-you to a friend that everyone can see … If you got more Happy Birthday messages than you can handle, one way of thanking everyone is to wait until the end of your big day and post a general “Thank You” message on your status. An example would be, “Snoety: Thanks everyone for the happy birthday wishes!”

Some people opt not to do this since it can seem impersonal and all your friends may not see it. But, it can be a convenient option if you’re in a hurry. You can also combine this with selectively messaging certain friends (that ask you questions or sent more personal Happy Birthdays) by sending a message to them through Facebook (see “Sending Private Thank-Yous” below).

2. To individually respond to each birthday wish, you can click “Comment” below their message and write in a thank you from there. This will appear on your homepage and will alert your friend through e-mail that you have commented on their wall post to you. NOTE: This will NOT appear on their wall which everyone can see.

If you have a lot of birthday wishes, responding to each individual message can be tedious. We recommend doing this only if there are 10 or less. More than 10 will not only make your page look cluttered, but it will also make your Thank Yous harder to write (since you won’t want them to all look the same).

3.  To have a Thank-You appear on your friend’s wall, click on their name or profile picture beside their “Happy Birthday” message. This will direct you to their profile page. Once there, simply write a thank-you on their wall.

When to Send Private Thank-Yous:

Private thank-yous are sometimes more appropriate for people you haven’t spoken to in a while or those that leave longer (or more personal) Happy Birthdays on your wall. If someone asks you how your life is going now, then it’s polite to answer back. Just because they messaged on your Birthday doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore the message. Here are some ways to thank them without letting others see (especially if you’re only answering a select few happy birthday messages)…

1. To message a person back without letting others see the message, simply click on their name or profile picture next to the message. Once on their profile page, click “Send [Your Friend] a Message.” This can be found below their profile picture.

2. Log onto Facebook chat and see if they’re online. This way you can have a quick conversation with them instead of going back-and-forth through your Facebook inbox. To log onto the chat, look at the bottom of your homepage screen. There should be a gray silhouette that reads “Chat (Offline).” Click this area. Now it will read “Chat (Online).” Click on the same area again and you’ll see a list of friends currently online using Facebook Chat. See if your friend is there, and if not, well, at least you know how to Facebook chat now!

Modesta & Harriett

* Remember a “wall” is an area that everybody can see when they come to your page.

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1 Comment
Gina says: March 2nd, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Thank you for writing this comprehensive Facebook “how-to”. With all the changes happening on Facebook, I hope your step-by-step remains up-to-date.

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