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Social media log-out pages lackluster in driving app downloads

With an increasing amount of social media activity taking place on mobile devices, Web sites are using log-out pages to increase application downloads. However, simply plugging an app is not enough if companies want to see a hike in downloads.

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all use their log-out page to encourage consumers to download mobile app, visit mobile sites or sign up for SMS programs. However, every one of these sites could be more proactive in directing users to mobile with a few simple tweaks.

?Generally speaking, log-out screens offer a nice opportunity for marketers to extend their mobile brands through an otherwise unused digital asset,? said Craig Palli, vice president of business development at Fiksu, Boston.

?As always, savvy digital marketers most typically partner with their marketing attribution providers to understand the volume of downloads resulting from the log-out screen placement and the incremental value of interacting with consumers across the Web and in-app as opposed to just Web,? he said.

?Then as long as the incremental value created through the app promotional placement is greater than other uses of the log-out screen real-estate, brands should continue to promote their mobile apps.?

Social is mobile
Social media usage on mobile devices is growing by leaps and bounds.

For instance, a recent study from Google found that 66 percent of social media access begins on a smartphone. Of those users, 58 percent moved on to a laptop afterwards to continue their experience. Eight percent of the users moved their social media activity to a tablet, showing how consumers nowadays interact with content across multiple screens (see story).

Therefore, using a mobile call-to-action on the log-out page right as consumers are leaving the desktop version of a site can be effective for social media companies looking to connect Web and mobile usage. The key to doing this though is to keep the call-to-action as simple and action-driven as possible.

Take Facebook for example. The company uses a full-page log-out screen to encourage consumers to download the Facebook app. Users can then type in their phone numbers to be sent an SMS message with a link to download the app.

Eliminating a step for consumers to download an app is a smart move, but Facebook misses the mark on the follow through. The link in the text message directs users to a link on Facebook?s mobile site that users have to tap on to be directed to the appropriate app store. Instead, the company could have tied the SMS message to the app store.

Facebook's log-out page

Tweet on mobile
Twitter on the other hand uses its log-out screen as a catch-all for all of its mobile services. Calls-to-action for each of Twitter?s app are promoted with both a picture and a link to the store underneath, which includes apps for iPhone, Android, iPad, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7 and Nokia s40 devices.

Users can then click on the individual link underneath each call-to-action to either download the app from the desktop version of the app store or enter their email address to be sent a link. When opened from a mobile device, the email detects the type of device and directs consumers to the appropriate app store.

Twitter also uses the log-out page to promote the company?s mobile site. Although it does keep the company?s mobile site top-of-mind, showing users what a mobile site looks like on a desktop does not help carry a user from a desktop to a mobile experience like an app does.

Finally, Twitter?s log-out page encourages consumers to sign up to receive text notifications. The program includes a long list of criteria that consumers can select to opt-into and in order to sign up consumers must sign in to Twitter from a desktop computer.

The log-out page on Twitter

Missed connection
LinkedIn uses a large portion of its log-out screen to promote the company?s app.

When users tap on the link to learn more, they are directed to a page that showcases all of the platforms that the LinkedIn app is available for. Consumers can then click through to view the app in the desktop version of the app store.

Similarly to Twitter, LinkedIn also uses the log-out page to promote its mobile site.

Compared to Twitter and Facebook, LinkedIn is the least effective in letting users take a direct action from the log-out page. Including either a SMS call-to-action or even a QR code could help LinkedIn take more advantage of its log-out screen.

?Consumer attention with respect to log-out screens is extremely limited,? Mr. Palli said. ?As such, mobile app marketers need to make their calls-to-action short and benefit rich. The benefit is typically core to a brand?s value proposition.?

LinkedIn's log-out page

Value proposition
With consumers often jumping between multiple screens, mobile marketers must enlist both traditional and digital media to get an app noticed by consumers.

Discoverability remains one of the biggest problems in the app space, meaning that it is crucial for marketers to leverage every asset they have available to drive engagement.

Equipping collateral with QR codes and SMS calls-to-action can help overcome the discoverability issue, according to Marci Weisler, chief operating officer at EachScape, New York.

Therefore, in addition to log-out pages, Web advertisers also need to think about how to incorporate a mobile call-to-action while consumers are actively browsing and likely to download an app or sign up for an SMS program.

?We know we live in a multi-device world, so users will access services from different devices throughout the day,? Ms. Weisler said.

?There should be more promotion of the mobile services when users are engaged on the desktop, not just when they are signing out,? she said. ?Mobile device access to content and services is quickly surpassing access on the desktop ? apps are often the best mobile navigation for these services, so it's important to build the base.?

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York