Identity Management and how it builds community

We’ve always advocated using your web platform to foster an online community around your business and its services. But you could argue that before this can begin, your audience needs to have the means to construct an identity with which they can engage with each other and your brand. Through the use of personal profiles, your users can begin personalizing their experience with your content through adding comments, liking articles and posts in line with their interest, and sharing what they’re passionate about. In this article, we’ll go over what identity management tools are, some of their key features, and more on what they can do for your platform.

What is Identity Management?

Web traffic to your platform is a good thing; the more visitors you have, the better the chances they’ll engage with your business and stick around for more. But raw numbers aren’t everything in the long run; all that traffic doesn’t mean much if they aren’t being engaged by your content and being converted to readers and followers.

This is where identities come in – it adds an additional layer of engagement through providing visitors a chance to create a profile, make comments or share opinions with a personal touch. This elevates them from being the faceless anonymous to new members of a virtual circle, and allows them to participate in your community much more closely to how they would in-person.

Identity management simply refers to the process of providing and maintaining the tools and systems your audience needs to use their identity around your platform. Ensuring that you have an intuitive, hassle-free, and bug-free identity management system is critical to converting web traffic from casual visitors to involved community members.

What are some notable features of identity management?

There are several systems involved within a fully functional and effective identity management system. Some core features are essential and have to be in place for your community to create profiles and start interacting with your brand, and some are technically optional but still strongly recommended for a seamless user experience. Check out the following features to get an idea of what identity management tools involve.

Personalized profiles and accounts

Digital identities begin with this feature – your audience needs to be able to register their information and sign up for an account and verify their information on your platform. This serves a two-fold purpose; it lets your audience create a personalized space within your platform’s community, and it allows your platform to recognize the visitor as an individual rather than a statistic. Good management systems allow a great deal of personalization, allowing users to select their names, profile pictures, and share interesting information such as their hobbies and preferences.

Social media and email logins

More recently, some platforms allow their audience to use existing profiles created on social media or through email systems within their community. This can be extremely useful, as it makes the entire account sign-up and verification process optional – your users can start participating in your community without having to use new credentials, which means they can access your platform on a personalized level just by consenting to use their existing profile information. And as a pleasant benefit, you can get access to a fully-formed user profile that contains plenty of useful data that you can use for your marketing and engagement efforts.

Single sign-on

One downside of building profiles is having to remember the various credentials you’ve provided for them. For security reasons, it’s obvious that using the same information across multiple accounts is a major risk, and having to remember multiple passwords can be too much for some individuals. Sign sign-on technology is a great way to remedy this; it allows your users to use a single username and password across multiple platforms, which minimizes the need for multiple passwords and repeated entry on each access session. This is another aspect of identity management that can simplify the process of building an identity and getting involved on your platform, and it can be what sells some visitors on giving your community a shot.

Identity management benefits

Now that we’ve covered the basics, you might be considering how identity management can benefit your virtual platform. If so, we’ve compiled a list of some notable pros to implementing an identity management system on your website.

Increased traffic

A personalized account means a reason to go back and visit a website. Being able to quickly get back to where you left off and go over what was missed the last time they visited your platform will provide your audience with incentive to keep coming back and building upon their experience within your community.

Access to data

A user identity facilitates the use of cookies and other trackers to understand what each member of your online community is like on a personal level. Personal tastes, preferences, opinions, and behavior can all be interpreted on an informational level using identity management. This information can then be applied to customized marketing through recommendations and suggestions, which means your platform is much more effective at catering to what your audience wants to see.

Connects users across their devices

Having an identity profile for your website means that whether your audience decides to access your community through their computer, phone, or tablet, they’ll maintain the same experience and be able to switch around without any issues. This can be a critical sell for busy users that use different devices around the day or week, and it also helps you obtain consistent, accurate data for an individual across their interactions with your platform.

Increases engagement and builds community

Your audience is much more likely to contribute, discuss, and share content around your platform when they can speak as individuals. Additional features like profile spaces, the ability to save their favourite content, and displayable badges/awards for their profiles can be a great way to incentivize positive and continued engagement. This helps grow your virtual community and helps your organization achieve its goals.

As you can tell, there are several benefits to implementing an identity management system for your organization. If you’re interested in making this happen for your website, check out the following example of some identity management solutions you can use to help your audience engage with your brand on a whole new level!

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