Does Social Media Really Satisfy Consumer Demand? The Latest ACSI Report Says "No"

The latest E-Business Report from the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) includes social media for the first time, measuring how well it satisfies its customers. And results are surprisingly dismal: compared to other e-businesses, social media ranks extremely low. Are customers unsatisfied with their social media because they’re comparing it to more established e-businesses? Or is Facebook & co. failing to provide customers with an essential service they crave?

Ranking e-businesses on a 100-point scale, the ACSI E-Business Report uncovers trends in online customer satisfaction. Search engines and portals, for instance, enjoy a relatively high ranking of customer satisfaction – Google received an 80 point ranking, despite it dropping 6 points from last year. And interestingly, Bing measures second in search engines with a score of 77. News sites are measured as well, and the category received a ranking of 74 overall.
So where does social media fit into this? Its debut measurement, being added to the index for the first time this year, was a low 70 points. That means that roughly 30% of customers are not satisfied with their social media experience.
Breaking down this number, the E-Business Report shows a wide spread between the individual sites. Wikipedia is the number one ranking social media site with 77 points, and – surprisingly or unsurprisingly, depending on your opinion of the site – Facebook limps in at last place with only 64 points.
This low showing for Facebook could be a result of several phenomena. First, Facebook has such a large market presence and such a wide niche that it might not be able to satisfy everyone. Simply due to the vast number of users – expected to reach 500 million any day now – Facebook might be suffering from too many consumers wanting too many diverse things from its services. It is impossible to satisfy everyone, and the more diverse a company’s niche the more obvious this truism becomes.
Another possibility for this low customer satisfaction is that Facebook is simply not meeting the demands of its users. Privacy and security are two of the largest concerns of social media users, and Facebook has been plagued with problems in both these arenas as of late. Maybe the report is unearthing the severity of prolonged privacy problems, and its effects on customer satisfaction.
As this is the first time social media entered the index, there are no previous numbers to compare to in order to see if customer satisfaction is on the decline or increasing. When the next E-Business Report is released a year from now, the results should be even more revealing.