Social Media Advertising Not Making Friends With Consumers

In spite of a staggering 20% increase in user volume over the past year, user satisfaction with social media websites at 68 is still one of the lowest-scoring industries among all those measured by ACSI. It surpasses only Internet service (65), which indicates that users are displeased with multiple components of their online experience.

So what reasons do users most often cite as the cause for their low satisfaction? According to ACSI’s July 2013 report, the main contributor is an increase in advertising on social media sites. Other concerns include wariness about privacy violations and unhappiness with the ease of interface use.

Wikipedia, the leading company for a fourth straight year at 78, is notable for its lack of advertising and easy-to-use interface. Pinterest, at 72, was the only site to make a significant gain (+4%) and also benefits from a streamlined interface that allows users to create and access their accounts via Facebook and Twitter.

Social networking sites Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are at the bottom of the category in spite of their popularity. Sites like these will likely need to step up their efforts in the crucial areas of advertising and interface development to improve customer satisfaction. In the meantime, they remain the lowest-rated companies in the e-business category.

Can Hotels Make Guests Happy Across Diverse Brand Portfolios?

For several years, the hotel industry has been a fairly steady performer when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to ACSI research. From 2008 to 2010, guest satisfaction with hotels was stable at 75 (on a 0 to 100 scale). Next came three straight years at 77—a record high for the industry, but middling compared with the national ACSI average of 76.5.

The hotel industry’s flat trend, however, masks differences in the customer experience offered by some of the biggest names by market share in lodging. More upscale hoteliers tend to dominate the category, with Marriott in the top spot this year at 82, followed closely by Hilton 80. Budget-conscious chains such as Choice Hotels (75) and Wyndham Worldwide (72) comprise the lower end of the industry.

But many of these corporations are home to diverse lodging brands—from upscale resorts to midrange business-oriented properties to family-friendly budget brands. For instance, Marriott owns JW Marriott, a luxury hotel chain, alongside Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, a midscale brand. Hilton, also know for its resorts, offers Hilton Garden Inn, an upscale property with appeal to both business and leisure travelers.

Next month, the ACSI will uncover the customer satisfaction differences—or lack thereof—among two dozen of the most popular hotel brands that come under the aegis of Choice Hotels, Hilton Worldwide, Marriott International, and more. The new study has the potential to reveal strengths and weaknesses within the brand portfolios of major hotel chains, as well as facilitate comparisons between competitors at the brand level.

 Read About ACSI Hotel Brand Study  »