Social Sign In: Fad or Powerful Inbound Marketing Tool?

Social Website Sign InHere at LyntonWeb we're pretty excited to test new technology that has the potential to make the web a better place. One tool we recently implemented into a client website was social sign in. Social sign in gives users the ability to sign in with popular social network logins (facebook, twitter, etc.). But, we continue to ask ourselves, is this a passing fad or something useful? Here's a breakdown of what we know.

Make sure your site is worth the login.

At the end of the day, it's important to make sure you're adding value when gating content behind a login. Have you set appropriate expectations with users on what they will be able to see when they login? Are you creating a good experience for them including personalized content? What about giving them insider access to your experts? Or even advance notice of sales or free content?

There are great opportunities to engage users once they are a member of your website. Consider your engagement strategy with these users wisely! Nobody likes spam.

Earn their trust consistently.

Any website that presents a good user experience with valuable content (a core principle of inbound marketing) will build trust. A website manager should also regularly review the site with a skeptical eye for any red flags they are producing with tone, design, security settings, etc.

Is it clear that you aren't selling their information? That you won't share activity to their social networks without their permission? Post frequently asked questions to your website where possible, and sprinkle helpful information along the sign up process. Make sure support contact information is available on your website and that your customer service team can answer common questions about social sign in.

Offer a backup sign in option.

Two reasons:

1) No matter what, some users are either not on social networks or do not prefer to link their social account with outside websites. Make sure to offer a backup option that has the same quality of experience.

2) Many of the services that offer social login are dependent on the API's of the social network websites. If those API's don't function, it could reflect poorly on your own website's user experience. You don't want to shut out a potential customer by not offering a backup.

So is this a fad?

We don't think so. Adoption of the social sign in is still low at this time, but social networking is growing.  Social sign in offers a quick way for users to sign up for your site without a long form to fill in. When they return to the site, it's a one click login. 

We are eager to see it used wisely on B2C and B2B websites and would recommend it to accompany any inbound marketing strategy where it's a good fit. What do you think about social sign in on websites?

Photo Credit: trianonsoficial via Compfight cc

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