Facebook as a Conversion Tool. Registration Flows as Example.

It is common to think of Facebook as user / traffic acquisition lever (perhaps the best available considering its 600m users, its viral network, and the developer platform and tools). But thanks to a recent, enlightening conversation with good friend Alex Schultz, I have been thinking of Facebook as a conversion tool. A basic example is Facebook's Like buttons and Facepile which adorn millions of webpages. Combined, they welcome new users to otherwise impersonal webpages. This adds social and personal context to individual pieces of content and increases the likelihood of engagement (whether that be pageviews, shares, etc).

Yesterday, Facebook updated its Registration Plugin to streamline user registration:

Registration flows are obviously among the most critical part of the user funnel. Flows that are too cumbersome are overwhelming and scary...and flows that are too lightweight require progressive registration processes as the user matures. The above example is an excellent example of how Facebook can affect conversions.

Here is a live example on eBay Classifieds:

It does a four key things well:

1. It is pre-populated with key information (name, network, photo, etc). Not only does this create efficiency - it validates quality

2. Thanks to Facebook's brand, it is familiar and unintimidating.

3. The Facepile adds social context and is welcoming. Along with point #2, this is particularly important if traffic is arriving from ad campaigns, search engines, etc.

4. It is lightweight (publishers can choose to add fields relevant to the product)

And here is another example from ReverbNation. It is a longer registration flow but you will notice that it is consistent in style and much of it is automatically populated. In fact, the only remaining step is creating a specific ReverbNation password: