The popularity of a social media platform doesn’t always correlate with high customer satisfaction . . . just take a look at what happens when you do a side-by-side comparison of Facebook and Google+.
While Facebook users continue to far outnumber those with Google+ accounts (by many, many millions), Google+ can now boast a higher rating in customer satisfaction. In its most recent ranking of e-business performance, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) found that Google+ users expressed a much higher level of satisfaction than Facebook users did. More specifically:
- On a 100-point scale, Google+ made its ACSI debut at 78 points—17 points higher than Facebook.
- Facebook plunged 8 percent to 61 on the 100-point scale, setting a new record-low score for the social media category and settling in among the five lowest-scoring companies of more than 230 measured by the ACSI.
- LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest all outscored Facebook, with Pinterest leading the way with 69 points.
- Even the lowly “All Others” category of social media networks came in at 64 points, a stronger customer satisfaction showing than Facebook.
“It’s worth asking how much customer satisfaction matters for Facebook, given its unrivaled 800 million user base,” admitted Larry Freed, President and CEO of ForeSee, the company behind the ACSI study. “But I expect Google to leverage its multiple properties and mobile capabilities to attract users at a rapid pace. If Facebook doesn’t feel the pressure to improve customer satisfaction now, that may soon change.”
And Facebook is not the only e-business that may need to adapt to changing consumer preferences and expectations. A quick look at the news and information, portals and search engines, and social media categories rated in this study shows that overall satisfaction dropped 1.6 percent between 2011 and 2012.
The portals and search engines category was down 1.3 percent, but remained on top of the e-business sector by a large margin at 79. Not surprisingly, Google performed well here also (82 points), but has Bing nipping at its heels (81).
Although unchanged from a year before, Ask.com (80) has shown the greatest increase in customer satisfaction for this group, a noteworthy 29 percent over the past decade. AOL consistently lags behind its competitors in this category, but at 74 points looks like a star when compared with the ratings posted by many of the social media platforms.
As for the news and information sites, Foxnews.com led all others in customer satisfaction, and in fact posted the highest score of all the e-businesses in this study, at 84 points. ABCNews.com, USAToday.com, CNN.com, NYTimes.com and MSNBC.com all had scores in the mid-seventies, while relative newcomer The Huffington Post (acquired by AOL in 2011) came in last in this category, at 69 points.