Using Social Sign-on to Target Content to Customers

Written by Scott NesbittJuly 1, 2011
Target Customer Engagement

Social sign-on is a great solution to the problem that many people face: the need to have a unique user name and password for each web site that they use.

But once customers (either actual or potential) are logged into your site, that’s when the real work begins. That work is engaging those customers, keeping them engaged, and converting clicks into purchases.

Social sign-on can help. How? By targeting content to those customers. Let’s take a look at how.

A Quick Refresher

Social sign-on enables people to log into a web site with the user names and passwords from such services as Twitter, Facebook, Google, or Yahoo! The social sign-on software integrated into your site links to the service and confirms that a person is who they say they are.

But social sign-on technology doesn’t simply perform authentication. It can also gather information about a customer, without the need for that person to fill in registration or information forms.

The Profile is the Key

No matter what social network or service people use, they generally have a profile. That profile contains varying amounts of information about a person. Like what? Besides a person’s name and email address, that information can include their date of birth, geographic location, gender, and maybe even their social graph. It can also include a list of their friends and contacts.

What data is collected depends on the social sign-on technology that you’re using. Regardless of the social sign-on solution that you use, the profile data that’s collected can be a powerful tool targeting content to customers. That can lead to deeper engagement and more loyalty to your brand.

Targeting Content

When a customer uses social sign-on to get access to your site, your social sign-on software imports the profile data from the social network or service that they used to log in. From there, you can save that data to your social CRM system and use the information to focus your marketing campaigns based on the interests and demographics of customers.

On top of that, based on their interests and demographics you can make recommendations when a customer logs in. Something along the lines of We thought you might be interested in this While some customers find that annoying, it can drive others into delving a little deeper into your offerings. Some of those clicks could be converted to sales

You can add another dimension if any of the customer’s friends or contact from a particular social network are also registered with your site. By looking at what those friends or contacts have purchased or looked at on your site, you can make recommendations to a customer. It’s not uncommon for people to buy products or services based on the recommendations of a friend or peer.

Don’t Forget Privacy

Regardless of what some have said, privacy is important. The data you’re taking advantage of belongs to the customer, not to you. You’re just using it. Where possible, allow customers to opt in or opt out. At the very least, you should ask for their consent before collecting data.

Social sign-on is more than just a tool for allowing people to conveniently log into your web site. It can also be a powerful way of targeting content to customers. By doing that, you have the potential to increase customer engagement, boost their loyalty, and drive sales.

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