How satisfied are consumers with social media sites? Today, the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) released its yearly E-Business Report, which takes an in-depth look at user satisfaction with social media, as well as portals and search engines, and news and opinion websites. Overall, e-business websites have seen a 2.9% increase in customer satisfaction since 2013, reaching 73.4 on ACSI’s 100-point scale.
The bad news: social media websites rank among the worst-performing companies researched by the ACSI.
However, there’s also good news: they have improved since 2013. Climbing 4.4% to 71, social media outlets are now the fourth lowest-scoring category in the ACSI; consumers are even less satisfied by airlines, subscription TV, and internet service providers.
Facebook and LinkedIn generated higher satisfaction this year, but according to their own users, these platforms are still worst in the industry. However, both platforms generated an 8% increase in user satisfaction, reaching an ACSI score of 67 – LinkedIn’s highest score to date. Twitter reached a record high as well, up 6% reaching a score of 69.
Pinterest has emerged as the new favorite social network for consumers, increasing 6% to an ACSI score of 76. Improved features and search capabilities have launched the site to the top of the social media category for the very first time.
After leading the category for four consecutive years, Wikipedia is the only major site to experience a decrease in user satisfaction, falling 5% for a score of 74 (and now ranking below Pinterest). Though struggling to maintain active contributors, Wikipedia remains as the world’s sixth most-visited website, and continues to overpower most of the industry.
YouTube has increased 3% to 73, matching the average of the “all other” social media category, which includes Instagram, Reddit, and Tumblr. Google+ has remained the same at 71.
Privacy concerns and an abundance of advertisements are responsible for low user satisfaction in social media, according to ACSI.
Search Engines and Portals
Customer satisfaction with search engines and portals increased 5.3%, reaching a score of 80 – largely because of the world’s most popular search engine, Google, which generated an 8% increase and an ACSI score of 83.
User satisfaction for other search engines and portals fall far below Google, however. Large competitors have seen their numbers fall – Bing has fallen 4% to 73, tying MSN (who fell 1%), while Yahoo! dropped 7% to 71 – its lowest score, and third consecutive year of decline. AOL remains in last place declining 1% to 70.
With Google as the leader, search engines have proven to give customers a better overall experience than any other e-business category. Because search engine freshness of content is much better than newspaper websites and social media networks, ads are more tolerated on search engines, according to ACIS.
News and Opinion Websites
User satisfaction with news and opinion websites has increased 1.4% to 74 – led by sources outside of mainstream media. Larger media organizations have registered declines in reader satisfaction, while the total score of smaller internet news sources (including BBC and NPR) has jumped 7% to 77.
For the first time in five years, FOXNews.com readers are not the most satisfied, as the site has fallen 7%, for a score of 76.
USATODAY.com has generated a 4% gain, reaching 76 – tying FOXNEWS.com for the very first time. ABCNEWS.com has fallen to 74, followed by NYTimes.com (73). CNN.com has fallen by 4%, tying TheHuffingtonpost.com at the bottom with 70.
Are you surprised by consumers’ lack of satisfaction with social media websites?
The ACSI E-Business Report (2014) is based off interviews with 6,259 customers of these three categories, chosen and contacted randomly between May 6 and May 29, 2014.