Today happens to be my birthday. As soon as I woke up this morning, I had a few e-mails and SMS (text) messages. People used my Facebook profile to learn about my birthday and reach out.

There are a number of reasons to use Facebook for business.

Birthdays — people must list their birthdays in Facebook. A birthday is a great time to reach out to someone and say “Hi”

Status updates — want to know what people are doing at the moment? Lots of Facebook users fill in the “What are you doing now?” or “status” question. Sometimes these are funny — other times, they show a moment when someone may need your help. At minimum, you get a glimpse into their thinking and daily lives.

Photos — you can learn a lot about a person from his/her photos. A lot…maybe more than you want.

Groups — there are all kinds of groups on Facebook. I’m a member of the UK Basketball and Football groups. There are also business groups. You can network with others on Facebook (who’d have thunk it?!) and these groups are a great way to start.

Background checks — well, not the criminal kind. You can see someone’s history and who he/she knows by becoming a person’s “friend” on Facebook.

Integration with Outlook — There’s a neat software program called Fonebook. It compares your Outlook contacts with your Facebook friends. If it finds a match, the software copies each friend’s image and status (see above) into the appropriate Outlook contact record. I like this because my phone integrates with Outlook and grabs the picture. This prevents me from squinting at the caller ID when the phone rings.

Enjoy it. No one is too old for Facebook!