Facebook reminded me on my birthday weekend that it really is “social.”

I’ve written quite a few posts about Facebook, including recent ones “To Subscribe or Not Subscribe,” New Facebook App Feature Could Be A Little Too Social for Law Firms” and “Post Photos to your Firm Facebook Page for Expanded Reach.”

Facebook can be a great way to increase exposure for your firm, your services and your attorneys. This is especially true for those of you who work directly with consumers. It can be frustrating too, as evidenced by the steady barrage of complaints after the recent Facebook changes and by their ever fluctuating privacy settings. But you take the good with the bad and make the most of it, right?

This weekend, I was reminded of what a wonderful tool Facebook can be. You see, Saturday was my birthday and I can’t tell you how fun and cool it was to get so many birthday wishes on Facebook. I got notes from friends, family and business associates. Some were sweet, some were funny and some bordered on snarky and naughty. But it was fantastic and made my day!

I first realized the power of this three years ago when I got more than 75 birthday wishes. It really is a simple gift, and I think taking the 10 seconds to write Happy Birthday and a short comment is a gift. It’s especially fun to get birthday wishes from people you don’t expect and from new friends.

Is there a business angle to this? I’m not sure. I have found that Facebook is a great way to get to know people on a deeper level than you may have otherwise. Some attorneys have told me that they find it hard to make personal connections because of what they do, and Facebook can be a nice way to deepen relationships and start new ones.

But on Saturday, I wasn’t thinking about business, or at least not that much. What struck me was how fun it is to have so many people send me happy thoughts on my birthday. Three years ago, when I received my first flood of birthday wishes, I made a vow to wish all my Facebook friends a Happy Birthday on their special day. I know I have missed a few, but the intention is there and even stronger now. It’s nice to be remembered, and I know it is appreciated.