There’s been plenty of talk about social media as a brand promotion and customer communications tool, but most businesses probably don’t realize that social media also provides valuable user insights that marketers can integrate into loyalty programs, analytics, web experiences, and more.
With the help of social networks, consumers are providing an extraordinary amount of valuable information about themselves. By leveraging this data in a responsible way, brands have the opportunity to develop promotions and campaigns that better align with consumer interests and behaviors.
To help guide your social strategy, we’ve outlined some rules for utilizing social media to provide richer, relevant online experiences.
Rule #1: Collect Social Media Data
Social login, the gateway to responsible social data collection, allows consumers to log in to a website using one of their their existing social media accounts. This one-click, permission-based process is much faster than traditional registration processes, which requires a visitor to fill out tedious registration forms and often times navigate to their email inboxes to find and respond to a verification email.
Not only do customers respond positively to social login – we found a 90% increase in registration rates among websites that implemented social login – it also offers a unique opportunity for the business to access the social data that the customer is choosing to share on their social media profile.
For example, acquired social data can be used to personalize the web experience for the customer, such as by addressing them by name or automatically importing their social media profile picture for use as an on-site avatar. Though these details may seem relatively minor, they help reinforce to consumers that they are being treated as individuals rather than simply another sales target.
Rule #2: Examine and Act on Your Data
Social data can also be used to learn more about your customers. Social profiles on sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn include information about a consumer’s interests, social graph, education, work history, and location. By first collecting this consumer data through social login, then analyzing and porting it into marketing software such as email marketing or CRM platforms, your business can begin using this information to target marketing efforts more specifically towards the customers who are most likely to respond.
Rule #3: Don’t Step Over the Line
In this world of big data, many online consumers are concerned about personal privacy. To effectively address this issue, businesses need to communicate clearly with consumers about how their data will be used, including whether the consumer can expect any communications from your business to appear on their Facebook timeline or other social media profile.
It’s important to let consumers know what they can expect after authenticating their social identity on your website or mobile app. Although the majority of consumers appreciate the convenience and personalized service that can be offered when they establish a deep connection with your brand, they can be easily turned off by a business that oversteps the line. Transparency about communications such as email marketing, display ads, and posting to social feeds is an absolutely critical component to developing long lasting consumer relationships.
Social Media is Just the Beginning
As businesses continue to discover new ways to optimize their social media insights, consumers can expect greater personalization and relevance. To learn more about acquiring and putting social data to action, check out our white paper, Harnessing Big Data to Grow Revenue.
-Emma Tzeng, Marketing @gigya
By Emma Tzeng