The success of a social network largely depends on user satisfaction. Because participation is optional, a major misstep in user experience or privacy rights can cause a once-thriving site to fizzle out. This is why Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerburg was so bullish in his assertion that the social network is not faltering with user satisfaction among younger user demographics. If Facebook’s appeal is dwindling with teens, marketers may need to explore alternative platforms on which they can leverage their social media content.
“There’s been a lot of speculation reporting that fewer teens are using Facebook,” Zuckerberg said during the Q2 earnings conference call Wednesday. “But based on our data that just isn’t true.”
Brafton covered the Pew Internet & American Life report that launched a thousand suppositions about Facebook’s waning dominance, but took away a different message. The vast majority (94 percent) of surveyed consumers have a Facebook account, but they are dabbling in other networks that offer niche experiences.
Only 5 percent of 12-to-17-year-olds surveyed are on Tumblr, 1 percent are active on Pinterest and 3 percent are on Google+. There is growing traction around other up-and-coming content curation sites including Vine and Instagram.
Also coming to Facebook’s defence is data from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), released earlier this week. The survey found that consumer satisfaction for the site actually rose year-over-year. On a scale of 100 points, respondents gave the site a 62. It earned a 61 out of 100 last year.
While Facebook reigns supreme as the biggest social network, it does face competition for user satisfaction, the ACSI data revealed. Pinterest earned a 72 out of 100 and Google+ took the lead with a 78. Twitter also beat Facebook slightly with a rating of 65.
This doesn’t mean Facebook marketing does not drive results for brands’ bottom lines. It’s important that marketers consider which networks their target audiences prefer. Strong engagement rates, follower count increases and steady referral traffic back to home pages indicate businesses’ social media marketing are meeting prospects’ expectations.