Social Login is the gateway to greater user engagement on your site. Not only does it increase registrations and gather actionable user social data, but once users are socially connected, they can share seamlessly to the social networks, comment using their social identities, syndicate “reactions” to content, and earn social rewards for their participation through Gamification.

Many of Gigya’s clients already have a large existing user base, and they now want to enable this social layer to increase site engagement and content syndication. Gigya enables account linking, or attaching a social identity to an existing site identity, so that sites can build on their existing user base socially, without duplicating the database or having to start over.

How to Sync Social and Native Registration
This diagram shows the full flow for a user logging in socially with account linking.

Social Login Flow
Step 1.
Registration – The user selects a social network identity.

Step 2.
Authentication – The user logs in using a social identity username and password. If the user is already logged in to the network, this process is automatic and the dialog goes straight to Permission.

Step 3.
Permission – The user gives your site or app permission to access social data such as verified e-mail, profile picture, birthday, interest, friends, etc.

Step 4.
Account Linking – If the user has an existing native site identity, s/he authenticates with the native site username and password to link the social identity.

Step 5.
Capture Additional Data – If necessary, ask the user for additional data not provided by the social networks.

Step 6.
User Signed In – The socially connected user is ready to participate fully in comments, sharing, reactions, game mechanics, and other social features.

Best Practices for Account Linking:

  • As with any implementation of Social Login, only ask for the data you need. If you already have all of the data that you need between native registration and social data, skip Step 5 and make registration even easier.
  • If you do need additional data, be sure to pre-populate data that you already have from the social networks, for example First Name, Last Name, Email, into the fields. This facilitates the registration process and helps users understand the benefits of social connectivity.
  • Make sure you have a unified database for storing the rich profile and activity data that your users generates. Gigya’s Social Identity Management Platform offers a schemaless database so that you can collect your users’ on-site activity data as well as their social profile information.
  • Matching e-mail addresses between the social and native identities can be a good indication that the user needs to link accounts, but the user should always given the option regardless, because users often have multiple e-mail addresses and use different ones for different purposes.
  • Never automatically link accounts just because there is an e-mail match. The e-mail may contain a typo or otherwise be incorrect. Protect user privacy by always asking for a password before linking the accounts.

Once users are socially connected, logging in literally becomes a one-click process. And instead of getting stuck at “Forgot your password?”, users will jump straight into sharing content and earning social rewards.

Wondering where you can get started? Check out a more technical overview of the Social Login / account linking implementation through in our Developer’s Guide: http://developers.gigya.com/010_Developer_Guide/10_Social_Login/030_Implementation.