Facebook Earns Poor Customer Satisfaction Marks

July 22, 2010

Leading social media site Facebook earned a poor American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) E-Business Report score in 2010, according to analysis by ForeSee Results.

Facebook Below Generally Poor Social Media Scores
The aggregate social media ASCI score in 2010 was 70, placing it well below leading industries such as personal care and cleaning products (85). However, Facebook scored a 64, making it one of 10 companies out of 223 included in the ASCI index to score below 65 (including fellow social media site MySpace).


Furthermore, Facebook and MySpace were two lowest-scoring online companies out of 30 included in the index.

Despite Complaints, Facebook Remains Popular
When asked why they didn’t like Facebook, survey respondents gave answers including privacy and security concerns, the technology that controls the news feeds, advertising, the constant and unpredictable interface changes, spam, navigation troubles, annoying applications with constant notifications, and functionality.

However, Facebook remains extremely popular, with 9% of all US website visits and 55% of all US social media visits. ForSee analysis indicates reasons for this include Facebook’s large existing user base, a skew toward dissatisfaction with older internet users, provision of benefits despite poor customer service, and user investment in the site in terms of storing personal photos and videos.

Wikipedia Earns Praise, Less Frequently Used
Wikipedia leads the social media pack with the highest ASCI score (77). When asked what they liked best about Wikipedia, survey respondents most frequently mentioned ease of use, and the variety, depth, and breadth of information available. When asked what they like least, most respondents answered that either there was nothing they didn’t like about the site, or the credibility of user-generated information.

Wikipedia users are less frequent visitors when compared to other social media sites and tend to visit weekly or monthly, rather than daily. About one in five (20%) Wikipedia users visit daily (compared to the 57% of Facebook users who visit Facebook daily), but Wikipedia still enjoys a fairly loyal customer base, with a total of 65% of users visiting weekly or more often. Wikipedia also receives high marks for its lack of advertising.

Social Media Not a Major Product Recommendation Source
Social media does not appear to be a significant source of product recommendations for most internet users. Of the four social media sites covered (Facebook, MySpace, Wikipedia and YouTube), YouTube had the highest percentage of respondents say they seek out recommendations of products and services, 17%. There was little differentiation among the four social media sites in this area, with MySpace coming in last only three percentage points behind (14%).


Even fewer internet users have actually purchased a product or service based on a social media recommendation. YouTube also leads the four social media sites in this area, with 14% of respondents indicating they have purchased a product or service based on a YouTube recommendation.

There is a little more of a gap among the four social media sites in terms of the percentage of internet users who have actually made a recommended purchase. MySpace is also at the bottom of this ranking, with only 8% of respondents having made a purchase based on a MySpace recommendation.

SocNet Reviews Most Influence Younger Adults
A recent survey by Harris Interactive shows social network reviews of products as having a more substantial affect on purchase behavior, especially among younger adults. When asked how much reviews from friends or people they follow on social networking websites influence their decision to use or not use a particular company, brand or product, 45% of online adults said they have a great deal or fair amount of influence.

Broken down by age demographic, social network reviews are most influential on 18-to-34-year-olds (50%). This percentage drops with each advancing age group, hitting its lowest rate (37%) among adults 55 and older.

About the Data: The American Customer Satisfaction Index is a national economic indicator of customer evaluations of the quality of products and services available to household consumers in the US. Data from interviews with approximately 70,000 customers annually are used as inputs into an econometric model to measure satisfaction with more than 225 companies in 45 industries and 10 economic sectors, as well as more than 130 federal government departments, agencies, and websites.

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