Driving Customer Engagement with Social Sign-On

Written by Scott NesbittJune 13, 2011
Costumer Engagement

One of the goals for a brand or firm using social media is to drive conversions. You want to turn those visits and clicks to sales. More importantly, you want those customers to keep coming back. Achieving that is definitely not easy.

To be able to do that effectively, you need to engage your customers. Customer engagement is wrapped up in a number of factors, including having compelling products or services and being responsive to customers.

One factor that can drive customer engagement, and one that’s sometimes overlooked, is social sign-on. Social sign-on enables customers and prospects to register or log into a website with the user name and password they use with such services as Facebook or Twitter. For more details about social sign-on, read this article.

Social sign-on can be effective in driving customer engagement. Let’s take a look at some ways in which social sign-on can drive customer engagement.

Convenience. Count the number of passwords that you have. It’s probably more than a couple. Chances are your customers and prospects are in the same boat. Why force them to add yet another set of credentials to their list? With social sign-on, they can log in using (for example) their existing Twitter, Facebook, or Google user names and passwords. Doing that removes a layer of complexity from getting deeper into your brand’s products or services. With the complexity gone, customers and prospects are more likely to register.

Loyalty. A key component to engagement is loyalty. Many marketers and brands with an online presence have found that users who register with them are more loyal than the Internet equivalent of drive-by visitors. While adding social sign-on to your site won’t guarantee loyalty, it can improve the odds that customers will become and remain loyal. And that’s tied up with convenience. By lowering a barrier to registering, customers and prospects might be more inclined to register. Once they’re registered … well, that’s one big step out of the way.

Personalization. No matter what they’re doing, people want their experience to be unique. This is especially true of ecommerce. Depending on the system that you implement, social sign-on can potentially bring more of a customer or prospect’s profile information to your ecommerce site. Using that information, you can better target customers and prospects. You can make personalized recommendations to better engage them. And, as analyst Jeffery Grau notes, making recommendations based on profile information “influences consumers when they are close to conversion.”

Sociabilty. As much as many people hate to admit it, we’re always trying to keep up with The Joneses. Or whoever our friends or acquaintances are. It’s like a dance: when adopting a product or service, some people lead and others follow. With social sign-on, part of the profile information that’s collected will include information about people in a customer or prospect’s social network. If members of that network are using a product or service, social sign-on offers the opportunity to see if someone in a person’s network uses that product or service, and what their opinions of it are. Let’s be honest: people are more willing to use, and engage with, a brand that someone they know and trust uses and engages with.

All that said. social sign-on isn’t a magic bullet. Implementing it won’t cause an immediate revolution in the way in which customers and prospects engage with your brand. It won’t fix all of your customer engagement woes. But social sign-on can play a role in driving customer engagement.

Social sign-on gives you the opportunity to make things more convenient and more personal for customers and prospects. Social sign-on can generate loyalty and make a person’s online experience with your brand more social. If you can do all of that, you’ve taken a big step in driving and sustaining customer engagement.

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