One of the most important decisions for a website or app is how to get users signed up. Many companies opt to utilise the services of social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google+. They offer the user convenience by simply signing up through their social media. It may seem like every online product or service is using some form of social site to sign users up. However, there are many considerations when it comes to adding them to your website or application.
When users visit a website, they are looking for a simple and convenient way to sign up or log in. A large percentage of users flee when faced with a time-consuming registration process. Many find the creation of a unique username and yet another password to remember frustrating. As you can image, this leads to a decrease in registration conversions. Social Login is the ideal solution for this – it’s hassle-free and requires hardly any time to get signed up. Social Login reduces friction by providing 1-click sign up, so it’s no surprise that it helps lift conversion rates.
Data to personalise & target content
Using social media to sign up users makes personalisation far more effective. You get permission-based access to your users’ personal data available on their social network. This could include details like their location, interests, place of work, etc. With just a click of a button, you can fetch a whole world of measurable data about your users.
Not only are you collecting more data, it’s far more reliable at that. Unsurprisingly, many people are apprehensive about handing over their information to a new app. Others just appear to be careless about the data they give you as a shockingly high 88% of users admit entering incorrect or incomplete data in registration forms. Although it’s not guaranteed, a user’s social media data is generally going to be more accurate thank what they are willing to share with your app during their first encounter.
The extra data is great for your analytics and discovering insights into who your audience is, but it can also help to make your content more targeted and personalised. This could lead to an increase customer acquisition and encourage repeat purchases. Personalising your onboarding flow using this data is another powerful way to improve your activation rate.
Loss of control
With more users signing up to social media each day, it’s unlikely that Facebook or Twitter are going to disappear any time soon. But if they suffer a catastrophic problem with their servers or even decide to change their terms of service, your users won’t have access to their account on your application. Even if your customer decides they no longer want to use social media and cancels their account, without realising, they’ve also cancelled their account with you. Giving a third-party platform control over such an important part of your strategy could prove to be risky in the long-term.
Alienating potential customers
While the big players Twitter and Facebook have huge user bases (which are still growing!), not everyone uses them. By offering social media as the only option to sign up, you could be excluding a big part of your target audience and turning potential customers away.
Trust & Privacy concerns
The main concern that users have with applications that connect to their social media, is that they can access personal data. Although users can customise the permission to restrict the data access, many simply just don’t fully trust the website / app they are about the sign up for. Many users don’t want the company to post useless information on their social media either and are worried they will be spammed.
Social networks are often blocked
The use of social media to sign up or log in can unintentionally cause your website or app to be unaccessible in certain locations. Libraries, schools or work places often block social networks for productivity reasons. It can also cause issues in countries with an active censorship policy where a website will simply be blocked because it uses a social login, even if it is not censored.
Things to keep in mind
If you decide to offer Social Login on your site, there are some considerations to keep in mind:
Use the appropriate social networks
- The best Social Login APIs offer businesses the choice from a huge list of social networks. Take advantage of these offerings and provide users with a choice of networks your target audience is most likely to use for signing up. Facebook and Twitter are a must. LinkedIn is useful if you’re targeting a B2B audience, and so on. But don’t add all social media just for the hell of it. If you give your users too much choice, it could have the opposite effect.
Ask for the right information
- If you require more than the basic information about your users, you will need to request permission from the user. Think carefully about what information you need and whether it will deliver value to your business. Tell the user why you’re asking for this information and how it can benefit them.
Ensure they can opt out if needed
- Do not make it difficult for the user to opt out. If a user no longer wants you to access certain user data or just wants you to stop sharing on their Facebook or Twitter profile, ensure this will happen immediately. If there is any delay in meeting their requirements, you’ll lose their trust.
- Despite its advantages, using social login isn’t a magic solution. It won’t suddenly make your website more attractive to socially-enabled customers. In fact, it might not be the right solution for you and your business. It depends on the kind of services you offer, the goal of your website/app, your target group and a whole host of other things. You’ll always have to weigh up the advantages and limitations of social logins when you decide to use them or not.
- Combining a social login and a conventional username and password is possibly the best way forward. This way, you leave the choice to your users as to how they want to sign up or login and you can achieve your highest conversion rate.
Want to find out more about how to become Social Media savvy? Read our previous blog post here!