July 2, 2013

IProduction Webinars: The Reality of Social Login

By Stephen Laliberte


Today, all publishers know they need to engage in social media. However, practical questions remain, such as: what social media should you invest in; what content should you post; and—a key question for many—how can you transform a simple login into a revenue stream?

American Business Media recently asked me to present in a webinar that tackled these questions. IProduction works hard to build solid social media platforms for digital publication, and we learned a lot from tracking a surge in registrations at Globest.com after we relaunched their website.

Michael Desiato, VP and Group Publisher, ALM Real Estate Media Group, presents at ABM Spring Conference.

I explained how Globest.com boosted their qualified audience significantly. We gave readers an option when they signed up—they could login with social media accounts or by filling out a registration form. But we didn’t just do one or the other. We wanted to make sure the readers were qualified, so if they did signup through social media, they jumped to the registration form. The form filled some content from their social media account. Then readers had to give more information before advancing to the content.

Some argue that this turns away readers. In this case though, the readership grew exponentially. Registrations shot up 500 percent. Obviously, this is an indication of strong content—but the point is that qualifying the reader didn’t result in a drop in registrations.

Another interesting factor in this case was the absence of social media logins. Readers had the option of logging in through Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or the registration form. Most chose not to use the social media path, those who did chose LinkedIn. Data also showed a large number of LinkedIn profile registrations ended halfway. When readers abandoned the LinkedIn process, they logged in through the registration form.

 So what’s the takeaway?

While social media logins are necessary to stay relevant, they won’t always translate to more audience data. Publications should create their own qualifications for the readership. And once the readers are qualified, you’ll have the important information you need to make advertorial decisions—not just the information a social media site gives.

On the panel with me were Nicholas Walter, social media manager at UBM Tech and Tony Napoleone, director of audience development at Bobit Business Media.

The webinar is available for download on the ABM website.