On Wednesday of this week, I turned 44 years old. I don’t say that for acknowledgement. My birthday isn’t a big deal anymore. My kids make more of a fuss over it than I do. Once you get that big car insurance break at age 25, there really isn’t that much to look forward to.
But then Facebook comes along and tricks us into liking our birthday again. If you are connected to me there, you may have seen my Facebook live from that day (embedded below if you didn’t) where I talked about the magic of that little notification exercise.
Mind you, it’s a web development and user experience trick. Facebook knows your friend’s birthday and says, “Hey … you should go wish Jason a Happy Birthday!” They make it super easy to do. Click, type, send. Done. They even list all of the friends that have birthdays that day together so you can knock them all out in seconds if the day has more than one celebrant.
So it’s a nifty user experience add-on.
But that’s not all it is.
The magic of it is that by doing so, you feel good knowing you’ve “remembered” a friend’s birthday. The friend gets to see you took the time to wish them a Happy Birthday and feels good too. The technical code enables users of the site to deliver a powerful drug human beings have hard wired into their brains as a need: Acknowledgement.
Everyone needs acknowledgement. Notice I didn’t say they like to be, but they need to be. Without some form of recognition, noticing, validation or love, we wither and die, emotionally and sometimes worse. When we do receive that recognition, notice, validation or love, hormones flood into our bloodstream that make us feel positive, happy, optimistic and more.
It’s part of the lifeblood that keeps us alive, sane and healthy.
It is one of the many reasons Facebook will likely never lose a hold on the U.S. consumer. They’ve built in little code tricks that make our brains feel better about life by being on Facebook. They’ve built in acknowledgement.
Why do I share this here? Because that’s a trick you need to figure out for your business. It doesn’t have to be something that people do on your website. It’s bigger than that. It’s something you have to do in your user experience with your customers.
Maybe it’s sending them a birthday card. Perhaps it’s learning their names so when they come in again, they feel like you know them. Maybe it’s finding ways to recommend products that they agree are relevant to them.
It all goes back to the first rule of communication: Know Your Audience. The more you know them, and then translate that knowledge into relevant communications (or, more broadly, interactions), the more they will feel acknowledgement from you.
So your weekend challenge is simple: List the ways you can recognize, notice, validate and love your customers. Then put them to good use.