- Consumer satisfaction with social media dropped 1.4%, according to the findings of the American Customer Satisfaction Index’s 2018 E-Business Report, which were revealed in a news release. Social media had a score of 72 on the 100-point index scale, ranking among the bottom of the five industries that ACSI measures and lowest in the e-business segments.
- Pinterest showed the largest gain in satisfaction, jumping 3% to an index score of 80. YouTube grew 1% to a score of 75. LinkedIn increased 2% to 66, but still falls in last place, tied with Twitter. Facebook ranks near the bottom with a score of 67. Satisfaction with Instagram dropped 4% for a score of 72.
- Online search engines and information rose 3.9% for a score of 79. Google was the leader in search, retaining its first-place spot and score of 82. MSN climbed 6% to 76. Search engines were given high marks for site performance, ease of use across devices, current content and video performance, and consumers said the ads were more tolerable. The report also found that FoxNews.com was rated No. 1 among internet news and opinion sites, jumping 1% to 78 on the index. NYTimes.com increased 3% to 75, but its readers reported less loyalty. CNN.com was in last place at 68.
The ACSI’s E-Business Report offers some key insights into what consumers like and dislike about social media, which marketers can use to re-evaluate their current strategies or drive future campaigns. Consumers rated social media highly on mobile compatibility and ease of navigation, but the number of ads on the sites was given an all-time low score. Advertising on social media has grown quickly over the past few years and the numbers suggest that the ad load may have reached full capacity or even gone beyond it in terms of what users will tolerate.
Consumers listed privacy protection on social media as lacking, which isn't surprising given a number of high-profile privacy breaches on the sites. Facebook was rated the worst of all the platforms. In contrast, consumers were more trusting of Pinterest, giving it high scores for the volume of ads and for privacy protection. Brands, especially in the fashion and beauty segment, are showing a growing interest in Pinterest and its 200 million monthly active users. The company is projecting that it will reach nearly $1 billion in revenue this year and plans to go public in 2019, according to an CNBC report.
The sentiment around Facebook likely stems, in part, from the Cambridge Analytica controversy, where millions of users’ data was misused by a company with ties to the Trump presidential campaign. In response, Facebook has made several changes to its platform in an attempt to protect privacy and improve user experience. But, the poor rating shows that the company still has a ways to go to regain consumer trust. Consumers also said Facebook’s ads were the most intrusive, and the platform has stale content and poor navigation and video performance.