identity support for social networks

Social sign-ons deliver convenience and build credibility

Over 90 percent of consumers say they’ve clicked away from an app to avoid completing a registration form. But companies don’t have to lose those customers. Instead, they can provide convenient, secure access while increasing conversion rates by more than 50 percent through the use of social sign-ons. 

Easier Access to Your Apps 

Social sign-ons let consumers use their existing Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram login details to access a business’s website instead of creating a new username and password. 

Consumers like social sign-ons. Almost 80 percent prefer to use their existing social media credentials to login instead of having to go through the hassle of creating a new registration. In fact, when forced to choose between creating a new registration or leaving a site entirely, more than 50 percent of consumers will leave.  

As more shopping is done via mobile devices, social sign-ons become even more appealing to consumers. Instead of filling out tedious registration forms on tiny screens, they can gain access with a single click. Return visits are speedier, as well; after logging into an app the first time with social sign-on, consumers will typically be able to gain access in the future with one click. 

For consumers, the benefits of social sign-on are obvious: a fast, simple login experience and no worries about remembering yet another password. For businesses, the benefits are even more impactful.

Eliminate the Expense of Password Management

Social sign-ons get your company out of the password management and identity proofing business. You don’t need to verify that John Smith is John Smith. His social network has already taken care of that. And when John Smith forgets his social media password, he reaches out to them for help not to your company. That’s huge since, according to Forrester, each password reset costs $70 and Gartner analysts say that between 20 and 50 percent of all help desk calls are related to passwords. 

A consumer’s email is verified by the social network, which will, in most cases, share this information with businesses using social sign-on. The business gets a verified email address, instead of the fake email that so many consumers use to register for apps through traditional registration forms. 

Businesses using social sign-on also gain access to richer user profiles. Social networks can provide information on users’ locations, birthdays, interests, etc., which can be used to deliver more personalized content to each user. Forty-five percent of consumers are more likely to shop on a site that offers personalized recommendations, and 59 percent are more likely to return. 

Information about consumers is also more likely to be up to date. Consumers do not normally spend time on a seller’s site updating their profile information, but they do update their social media profiles, and companies using social sign-ons gain access to this more accurate information. However, there is a limitation as well: companies can only get the customer data captured or shared by the social network. For instance, street addresses are not captured, so companies wanting that or other customized information will have to ask for it at other points in the customer experience. 

The Cost of Convenience

Social sign-on relieves businesses from the need to protect passwords, but those passwords still need to be protected by the social media provider. If a social media provider is breached, hackers could use stolen access tokens to enter businesses’ apps in the guise of legitimate users. 

But this shouldn’t be a major concern. Businesses and consumers understand that social sign-ons only allow access to low-value resources. Social sign-ons are not meant to and should not be used to protect sensitive assets. 

Of greater concern is that data sharing is a two-way street. When a company uses single sign-on, it gets information such as email addresses and geographical locations from the social network; however, it also may be giving information about its users’ behaviors back to the social network. Businesses should understand which user information they are sharing when they agree to the terms of the social network. 

A best practice is to link step-up authentication or adaptive authorization for access to more sensitive information. These analytic-enhanced authentication methods are effective at enhancing consumer safety and reducing online fraud.

Out-of-Box Implementation for Social Sign-Ons

Social Identity Support from Optimal IdM offers an out-of-box solution for Facebook and Google. Sign-ons via LinkedIn and Twitter are also available, as well as self-registration for consumers who do not wish to use social sign-on at all. User consent is handled by the social network, and the only information Optimal IdM receives from the social media provider is a unique identifier. Optimal IdM never handles your business or consumer data. 

  • Out-of-box Facebook and Google logins
  • LinkedIn and Twitter logins easily added
  • User consent handled by social media provider
  • Data privacy ensured

We also support government issued social identities like RealMe. RealMe is an Identity Federation service that provides identity assurance. That means that RealMe provides some level of certainty that the credential provider is who they say they are and the trusting parties have some uniquely identifiable and trusted identity data to allow access to services.

Businesses that need to provide access to large numbers of external users should consider incorporating social identity support their identity management platform. Getting started is easy, and the rewards connecting with more consumers, providing more personalized experiences, increasing conversions, and reducing support costs are relevant to businesses of any size. 

Learn more about social identity support for your identity management platform by contacting us at


    1. Big Commerce Essentials –
    2. Blue Research –
    3. Invesp –



  • The database in which all of your organization’s sensitive identity data is stored.
  • A digital ledger in which digital transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly.
  • Securely managing customer identity and profile data, and controlling customer access to applications and services.
  • The means of linking a person's electronic identity and attributes, stored across multiple distinct identity management systems.
  • A legal framework that sets guidelines for the collection and processing of personal information of individuals within the EU.
  • The policy-based centralized orchestration of user identity management and access control.
  • An authentication infrastructure that is built, hosted and managed by a third-party service provider.
  • A security system that requires more than one method of authentication from independent categories of credentials to verify the user's identity for a login or other transaction.
  • A global provider of innovative and affordable identity access management solutions. 
  • Managing and auditing account and data access by privileged users.
  • Tools and technologies for controlling user access to critical information within an organization.
  • An authentication process that allows a user to access multiple applications with one set of login credentials.

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