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Thinking About Using Social Logins on Your Website?

social login options“90% of people have encountered social login before, and more than half of people use it.” ~Janrain


Social logins increase the time people spend on a website and apps and can help increase the purchase of goods and services by reducing the need to create an account or remember log in information. Therefore, an increasing number of websites are using social logins as a way for people to quickly create accounts for purchases or to access membership only portions. Social logins allow people to use their Facebook or other social media account credentials to sign in instead of creating unique usernames and passwords. Social logins have great benefits, but website owners need to be aware of all aspects before implementing them.

Let’s briefly explore some of the pros and cons of using social logins on a website or app:

Pros:

  • One less login for people to remember
    With multiple accounts, people have difficulty remembering sign in information. A recent Janrain study shows 50% of people who use social login do so because of this issue.
  • Easier conversions, especially on mobile
    Because of the registration ease, people are more likely to stay on the site to purchase goods and services, especially if trying to accessing the site via mobile. Ever try to fill out a registration on a smartphone? Not easy.
  • Gain tremendous visitor data
    Social login provides you with instant demographic and psychographic data about your customers, which improves segmentation, personalization and targeting efforts. Just think of how much data Facebook has on you.
  • Greater personalized experience
    Since you have a greater amount and depth of visitor data, visitor experiences can be much more personalized.
  • Less spam / mistargeted messaging
    Greater visitor data means your communications are less likely to be considered spam or mistargeted.
  •  Possible lower cart abandonment
    If people have to register to purchase items in their carts, many will abandon them rather than create an account. Gigya is working on integrating billing information into its social login solution to make purchases even easier.
  • Social logins provide familiarity
    If your brand is not well-known, seeing the familiar logos of Facebook, Twitter or other social media networks can provide visitors with a greater sense of familiarity and comfort.
  • Possible fewer failed logins
    Without having to remember usernames and passwords, there is the possibility of fewer failed login attempts. Recovering log in information is frustrating, and many people will not complete it. Successful log ins mean people will stay longer on the site or app and possibly make more purchases. 
Cons

  • Data accuracy
    People do not always provide accurate data when creating a social media account or may no longer be using the email accounts they signed up with. Also, you may not get any information depending on a person’s privacy settings.
  • Loss of control to a third party
    If Facebook, Twitter or other network goes down or has some difficulty, then people will not be able to access accounts on other sites using their social login. Also, a customer may cancel a social media account. If that account was used to sign into your account, her account with you is also cancelled.
  • Security issues
    If one of these social identity providers is hacked, then all accounts a person uses that profile to sign into can also be compromised.
  • Lack of trust by consumers
    For people who choose not to use social login, Janrain reports the three most common reasons include lack of trust of the company using their information appropriately, fear of the company posting to their social media feeds and fear of being spammed.
  • Missing consumers not on social media
    For various reasons, not everyone uses social media. Therefore, if you only use social media login, you are missing a large audience. Think revenue.
  • Mixed branding
    Some companies, like MailChimp, feel having the logos of social networks so prominent on their sites give the false impression of an implied endorsement and dilutes brand identity with a NASCAR-style logo covered page.
  • Too many options
    With multiple social login options, you may create friction you were trying to avoid because now the visitor has to choose between multiple networks.
  • Lack of customer email addresses
    Not all social identity providers allow for access to email addresses. Email advertising is still a strong marketing option.
  • Visitor forgetting which social login used
    Unless people use the same social media account for all social logins, they will periodically find themselves in the same predicament as when they created unique usernames and passwords.

If you decide social login is right for your website or app, follow these simple best practices:

  • Have a true purpose for using social login. Do not do it because others are.
  • Choose the networks actually used by your websites. Facebook is the dominant one per Gigya and Janrain, but option preferences vary by website type, geography and other factors. For Q4 2013, Janrain reported that for sites using its platform 45% of consumers used Facebook while 35% used Google. Gigya reported 51% and 28% respectively.
  • Update your privacy policy to meet the requirements of the social media identity providers you are using.
  • Do not ask for more data than you need. You can always ask for more later on in the process.
  • Be transparent about exactly how you will be using visitors’ information.
  • Place the social login in a prominent position.
  • Provide the option for an email registration.

As you can see social logins provide numerous benefits with a drawbacks. If you are not sure whether to go this route, you may wish to experiment with it for a while to see how your visitors respond. Many sites benefit, but MailChimp found a simple copywriting change was more effective for it.

Have you used social login on sites and apps? Do you have a social login solution for your own website or app? Leave comments or questions in the box below.

About Jennifer Nash

Jennifer Nash is the owner and president of Living Business, a consulting business that focuses on the intersection of strategy, marketing and operations.


        

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