As someone who spends a lot of time online, are you sick of having to create so many passwords for different websites? I know I am. My own passwords include a combination of DJ and music production monikers, famous Sheffield Wednesday footballers (there are more than you think) and elaborate combinations of my name and my son’s name together. Bizarre? Yes. Memorable? Not really!

 

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As you know, it’s advisable to avoid using the same password at multiple websites, but I’m sure you’ll agree that using separate usernames and passwords for just about every website can get a little complicated (particularly on a caffeine-fuelled morning). Eventually, this starts to take its toll on you, and before long you are filling in a load of incorrect details just to get the sign-in complete.

The marketing term for this is “password fatigue”, and whilst you won’t get a diagnosis from your local GP about this, it’s a common affliction. Basically, you grow so sick and tired of having all of those combos out there that you fill in a load of nonsense to get the registration process over with, or you simply don’t sign up in the first place. It is estimated that people need to remember on average 19 different passwords!!

Password fatigue is just one of many problems for website owners the world over. Nobody wins when Joe Public starts getting sick and tired of creating different logins. At this point, Joe bounces off to a different site and, in the worst-case scenario, he doesn’t come back. The website owner doesn’t learn anything about Joe and thus can’t tailor the site to him – so the site appears to Joe like it’s written for… any old Joe. Speaking from experience, it’s a little like being late for a first date and missing the crucial opportunity to make a good first impression; the relationship is devalued before it has even begun.

Enter social login

So, what’s the solution? In recent times, social login (also known as social sign-in) has become incredibly useful for brands. As a user, instead of having to sign in by creating an account, you can just use one of your social accounts to log on. Facebook, given its reach and user numbers, has unsurprisingly been the dominant force for social login users in terms of channel preference, with data suggesting around 45 per cent of people use the channel to log in to websites in this way; interestingly, Google+ through take up of Gmail, has 37 per cent usage.

It might just seem like a timesaver or something catering only to pernickety individuals, but the potential benefits of social login run much deeper.

The brand benefit of social login

If you are trying to build and maintain a brand, then making life easier for your customers should be at the top of your list. Social login removes any barrier for entry by making it effortless to access customised content on your website; therefore, they’ll spend more quality time with your business rather than hanging around on the perimeter.

In exchange, social login will provide your brand with key details on your visitors. Depending on the platform they use to log in, you might be able to see what they like, what they do, and what types of things they post about or who they are connected to. This accurate first-party identification data will give you instant insight, helping you to easily personalise their experience. Additionally, this data can be used to inform customer profiles, feeding into your larger marketing strategies. Social login also allows you to keep your customer data up to date – as your customers’ likes and interests change, you can retrieve a fresh copy of their data from the social login providers.

Links to social media accounts and social networks will give you a nice boost in traffic to your overall profile and pages; the sheer gravity that social functions create on their own can be hugely impressive and should be considered as a vital part of your digital marketing activities.

 

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Data delivered via social login

There’s plenty to think about and understand as you move forward, but one question that’s probably on your mind is what are the data points that social login can collect? I hope you’re sitting comfortably folks, as the sheer amount of data that can be collected and analysed will astound you.

I’ll start with Facebook, and reel off a list of data points that could be received:

  • Full name
  • Gender
  • Home town
  • Political affiliation
  • Relationship status
  • Email address
  • Music preference
  • Work history
  • Languages spoken
  • Books read
  • Education

All pretty basic stuff that you’d expect? Possibly, but there’s also a whole other level of information – which is dependent on privacy settings, of course, but for marketers and website owners, this is very valuable, personal data:

  • Status information
  • Page category of your Likes
  • RSVP status of your Events
  • Post data including title, message and picture
  • Group data, including name and description
  • Photo album, image location

So, the above tells us that social login knows a lot about you from specific data points, and this provides an opportunity for brands to help their customers. Want to see for yourself? Check out Janrain’s social profile navigator tool, which gives a nodal map overview of provider networks and the complete listing of user profile data and supported features.

From saving time at login to creating more personalised experiences on the site via tailored content and adverts, there are many opportunities for brands to use the goldmine that is social media data.

Personalised in-store experiences created online

I’d like to take you on a trip down memory lane and explain how social login and the resulting customisation the tools bring can relate to the past (& current) practices of bricks & mortar retailers. In days gone by, every Saturday I’d pop into my local record store – and after a fair few visits and purchases, there, each week waiting for me were a stack of expertly hand-picked records from a variety of genres that I liked. Through my visits to the store week in week out, they’d realised I wasn’t going to buy the Happy Hardcore on import from Amsterdam (the US Garage was much more up my street). They knew my name, what time I would be in, what music I liked and on average how much I would be likely to spend. They let me know about upcoming events and club nights I might be interested in, or even get the chance to DJ at. They offered a personalised experience through hard graft, through individual attention, and through great customer service.

Unfortunately the shop has now closed, usurped by digital competitors, but I’m sure that they’d use social login if they were still open and selling online. The customisation that login tools bring to bricks & mortar stores with an online presence is insane. If they did, they’d know through my Facebook profile that 20 years on I still like Defected and Soulfuric Records, I still follow Marshall Jefferson and Byron Stingily, and I still buy music every week. And they could tailor their content and experiences towards me through an algorithm of my previous purchases and views, and through what I liked, where attended, and who I commented to, about music on Facebook. Powerful stuff.

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Life is too short to wear boring shoes

My friend Vinay is a trainer freak. He loves collecting them, especially Nikes – the limited edition kind. He’s lucky; he does a job that he loves. Vinay is a footwear buyer by occupation, and he’s also keen on developing his own personal collection of Nike Air Jordan kicks, a story he details via his Instagram feed.

One day, Vinay is served an advert on Facebook for FlyKicks.com, an ecommerce store / brand selling all kinds of cool trainers. Vinay is the kind of guy who doesn’t bother with passwords, so he signs into FlyKicks.com via social login; one click on the Facebook logo allows him to browse the entire store. On his first visit, Vinay sees some trainers he likes, but he’s not overly fussed about buying them. A few days later, something memorable happens.

Vinay receives an advert via his Facebook newsfeed promoting a limited edition Nike Air Jordan trainer for sale – the Air Jordan 4 Fire Red Laser. He clicks through to the site and purchases said trainers in size 8. Vinay is now one happy customer, and snaps a couple of shots of the fresh sneaks for his Instagram profile. A week later, Vinay receives an email from the store listing ten Nike Air Jordan exclusives available to buy in size 8. The email also includes a customised version of the Fire Red Laser kicks from an Instagram influencer that hand-draws on the boots. Vinay snaps up the customised trainers in a flash – no doubt with a resale value in his mind!

Social login has given FlyKicks.com all the information it needs from Vinay’s Facebook page. He likes the brand pages of Nike, Nike Air Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. He’s in several sneaker-related fan groups, and he follows a specific set of sneaker-inspired brands and pages. Since he posts Instagram images of the trainers he buys, FlyKicks.com can use this knowledge via a CRM tool to tailor content towards Vinay (or groups of people like Vinay) to sell more goods. Simple, and very effective!

The right social login tool for your brand

So, to clarify – getting someone to register via social login on your website is one of the very first things any would-be ecommerce / website / brand doyen should do. Dependent on the channel users sign-in form, it allows you to build a rich foundation of the customer’s identity from first party identification data – e.g. what they want, what they like, what they do and what types of things they post about. This information helps your brand to deliver a relevant experience to the customer. Social Login also allows you to keep your customer data fresh and up-to-date, so as your customers likes and interests change, you are able to retrieve a fresh copy of their data from the social login providers.

When it comes to selecting a social login service, what makes the most sense for your brand? All of the services listed below provide social login and various related products, including tools for social sharing, gamification and engagement.

Janrain

Arguably the most commonly known of these online interaction tools, Janrain is a straightforward user management platform that helps businesses easily attract users via social login tools with simple registration panels, which ensures that more data is collected according to permissions. A brilliant ecosystem behind the program makes sure that all industry standards, such as backplane protocols (which let trusted applications share information), are supported in full throughout. The company is also extremely open and transparent, avoiding sales babble and jargon while concentrating more on delivering performance for brands.

Gigya

Another very popular choice, Gigya offers lots of valuable options to help turn unknown site visitors into loyal and engaged customers. The registration as a service system helps you create registration designs, edit and review identity access turnkeys, and put everything together in a matter of minutes instead of hours. HTML markup extensions (which provide flexibility for websites, and allow you to design custom pages) allow for easy login customisation as well as profile management, which is far more powerful than its competitors. Cloud storage of social and profile data offers more capacity and a much greater level of synchronisation, including the ability to integrate user data from one location into other sources such as content, CMS and email marketing systems.

LoginRadius

A bit of an outsider to the big two, LoginRadius is still a good choice and one to consider if it fits into your brand objectives. Instead of having to manage logins, you can choose to do your own thing by customising your options during setup. Its straightforward auto-updating system more or less ensures you have full availability and performance at all times. Social sharing is a snap, allowing users to log in and share files with just one click.

With LoginRadius, you could save up to 95 per cent on research and development costs thanks to the range of APIs built into the software; for example, you can feed your customer profile data directly into Salesforce CRM software to automatically create lead profiles. Along with providing extensive analytics, LoginRadius carries out all maintenance work.

Offering social login won’t immediately sell all of your products, but it will make it easier for fans to come back to your website. Additional value can be found in other services offered by these three brands. For example, social sharing buttons will help your customers to raise awareness of your products and create consideration amongst their audiences to make purchases via their social media profiles, which, of course, is never a bad thing.

Remember, in a world defined by personal experiences that one size doesn’t fit all

I would advise most ecommerce sites to introduce social login and sharing; it could be just the game changer you’re looking for. A personalised experience will resonate more with customers and help benefit repeat visits – with that will come sales. When combined with social media advert products, like custom audiences, you will be able to segment and target customers by what they like and what they’re interested in. This helps you personalise your content, adding value and making your brand and website unique. As always, proceed with a hint of caution – don’t use social logins just because they’re on every other popular website, use them because they serve a purpose for your business and your customers.

Irrelevant messaging turns customers away. If you’d like Punch’s expert advice on making your social media content more engaging and relevant, or more advice about implementing social login, then please get in contact with us… we’d be happy to help!