Earlier this week, digital marketing company Silverpop announced a partnership with Janrain, a social sign-in platform, to enable website visitors to register for online offers using their LinkedIn credentials. This feature could be a handy weapon for B2B marketers looking for a better way to generate leads via social media channels, so long as they know how to wield it.
Silverpop’s Social Sign-In feature collects the email addresses and other profile data of users who visit a site and sign in with their social media credentials to access offers, simplifying the registration process. LinkedIn recently allowed marketers to access a user’s profile information when they use their credentials to register for a site.
For B2B marketers, Social Sign-In’s support of LinkedIn profiles is intriguing because it means better access to business-related email addresses and information, which aren’t as accessible via personal social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
“There is still a professional demographic, especially of executives, who have a distaste for Facebook and are not active on Twitter, so Silverpop’s announcement will help bring this lucrative demographic to more easily engage with your website content, and help in building out mutually beneficial relationships between business brands and the public,” says Neal Schaffer, president of social media strategic consultancy Windmills Marketing and author of “Maximizing LinkedIn for Sales and Social Media Marketing.”
By making it easier for professionals to register for offers without filling out forms and remembering a password, B2B marketers will have easier access to users’ LinkedIn profiles, which are loaded with valuable information.
Tore Steen, vice president of business development at Janrain, highlights this point by pointing out the two main benefits for lead-generation marketers:
1) Increased conversion rates of anonymous users to known, registered users with accurate data: “Research has shown 86 percent of U.S. consumers have left a site when asked to fill out a registration form,” Steen says. “In addition, 88 percent of consumers have admitted to submitting false information on forms. Yet 77 percent reported preferring the option to use an existing identity from a provider such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.” Janrain has seen conversion rates jump as much as 50 percent when a social login option is offered to site visitors.
2) Permission-based access to social profile data: Social network profiles are already filled with rich data, including a user’s email address, birth date, location, interests and friends. “This data can then be used to create more relevant offers, content and experiences for the individual users,” Steen says.
While this is sure to get B2B marketers excited, they should exercise caution and tact. “Certainly, a business email address is more valuable, but it really comes down to how each marketer will use the email address.,” says Steve Goldner, senior director of social media marketing at MediaWhiz and Ryan Partnership. “There needs to be a trust factor built into how the business communicates with its customers and collects their data.”
Collecting email addresses via social channels is OK only if marketers are looking for genuine engagement with their audience, according to Goldner. “I would hope that marketers are smart enough to focus on delivering valuable information to reinforce their brand rather than providing direct product or service information,” he says.
Though the idea of marketers collecting email addresses and other information via social profiles might sound like a privacy nightmare, Steen says that no data is shared without the explicit permission of the user.
The easier access to information from LinkedIn profiles offers B2B marketers an effective tool for generating leads, one that should be used with discretion and a long-term view.
By Jason Hahn