Social Media Marketing: Social login or traditional website registration?
The study involved a final sample size of 616, with respondents recruited by email and screened to ensure they either purchased a product online within the past 30 days, or read articles or watched video from major media outlets in the past 30 days.
A key element of the survey was finding out how respondents felt about using a social login — Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. — instead of having to register individually at multiple websites.
Some of the results were very interesting:
- 86% of respondents reported being bothered by the need to create new accounts at websites and said they would actually change their behavior:
– 54% might leave the site and not return
– 26% would go to a different site if possible
– 6% would just simply leave or avoid the site
– 14% would not complete the registration
- 88% admitted to supplying incorrect information or leaving form fields incomplete (this result should come as no surprise to marketers). This figure is up from 76% in last year’s study
- 90% admitted to leaving a website if they couldn’t remember their login details rather than taking the time to recover their login information. This figure is up from 45% in 2010
The study also found that even though website visitors are becoming more frustrated with traditional marketing, they are becoming more open to using social identities for website registration.
In fact, 77% responded that social login is “a good solution that should be offered,” with 41% preferring social login over creating a new user account or using a guest account.
Among that 77%:
- 78% of social login fans have posted a comment or message to their social networks about a product or service they liked or thought others should know more about
- 83% reported being influenced to consider buying new products or services based on positive social media comments
- 69% report positive reviews might increase their likelihood to purchase a product or service
- 82% seek out, or avoid, companies based on social media reviews
That’s a lot of pretty numbers, but what do they mean for marketers?
To help put this research into a marketing context, I had the chance to interview Larry Drebes, CEO, Janrain. Here is the result of that interview:
MarketingSherpa: From a marketing standpoint, registration is a key way to generate leads and have control over the data obtained. How would allowing for a social platform login benefit marketers? Can they mine the visitor’s profile on the platform for data?
Larry Drebes: Allowing social login benefits marketers in a couple of essential ways:
- Removing a registration barrier will increase conversion rates.
- The data stored on a social network is typically more accurate and up-to-date compared with data entered on a website to get through a registration process quickly.
- On the next visit to the site, the user will be able to re-enter quickly and not have to remember the unique username and password created on a site — increasing likelihood or future logged in sessions. And eliminating password reset expenses.
- When the user logins with a social network identity, it is a completely transparent process and the user gives permission to the site to access specific parts of their profiled data. The marketer can then use that profile data for future marketing purposes: targeting, personalization, feeding other marketing programs such as email marketing.
MS: If marketers can mine the data, how do the different platforms — Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. — handle this?
LD: Each provider — Facebook, Google, etc. — stores different fields of data on the user. To see what is available by provider: (Visit this link and) just click on the provider icons on the right-hand side to view the data fields.
MS: From a privacy standpoint, this is getting one more step from a validated opt-in. Obviously the visitor is committing a conscious act, but do they really “get” what they are sharing here?
LD: The process is completely transparent to the user. Specific data fields are cited in the permissions screen.
MS: How do you think this fits into the concept of “frictionless sharing” and how that will have a negative impact on the entire social channel?
LD: I think it is too soon to speculate about the long-term impact of “frictionless sharing” and overall adoption rate. I do think an important best practice in this area is to never surprise a user about what is posted or shared on their behalf to their Facebook wall. A clear permissions-based access process that is completely transparent and easy for the user to control is critical.
MS: This sounds like the focus is on consumer marketing. How do you think this might fit into B2B marketing?
LD: Actually, B2B marketers are becoming more interested in social login thanks to identity providers such as LinkedIn and Salesforce.com.
With LinkedIn as a provider option, the B2B marketer has the opportunity to tap into the professional social graph of prospects, and with Salesforce, receive a verified business email address. When coupled with Janrain Social Sharing, B2B marketers have an opportunity to further their reach in these networks, driving more qualified referrals back to their site.
- Key indicators that social login is gaining traction:
- Silverpop, a marketing technology provider that serves the B2B market, has integrated Janrain social login into its platform to give its customers the option to add social login to standard lead conversion activities such as a form to download a white paper.
- B2B companies such as Docusign and Tungle have added social login.
- Sites like the Business Journals that offer LinkedIn as a login are seeing a lift in registration rates.
How will social login fans react to marketing messages?
One additional question I had for Larry was, “Did you ask the survey participants how they would react to a marketing message from a company they used a social identity to register for?”
He responded that the survey included two questions that touched on that topic:
- Q9. With ‘social login,’ consumers are given the choice to have a more personalized experience when they visit a website without needing to re-enter preferences, what they like and what they dislike, at each website they visit. In addition, this capability can eliminate the clutter of receiving ads and promotions for products or services that have no relevance to you. On a scale of one to 10, how attractive is this capability to you?
Fifty-one percent responded between seven and 10 on the scale, reporting they found the capability attractive. Twenty-five percent were neutral (five or six on the scale), and 24% reported the capability was not attractive to them (one to four on the scale).
- Q12. If a company personalizes your experience and the information on their website by catering to your specific interests/preferences, how much more or less likely, if at all, are you to do the following?
50% – Return to website
46% – Buy products/services from website
38% – Recommend the website to others
33% – Make purchases in-store
(Image used by permission; courtesy of Janrain and Blue Research)