Survey: Google+ boasts most satisfied social network users

Why? Because it shines where Facebook falls flat, this PR pro says.

For many in the social space, including me, the jury is still out on Google+. Although the site’s user base is far smaller than Facebook’s, new statistics reveal an interesting finding: Google+ beats out all other social media sites in terms of customer satisfaction.

According to numbers from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Google+ not only debuted on the index for the first time, but dominated the rankings with a higher customer satisfaction score than YouTube, Pinterest, Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. That surprises me a bit. I mean, those Pinterest users are a rabid bunch (myself included).

What makes Google+ so appealing to its users? It shines in areas where Facebook falls flat.

According to a story on CNET, “Google+ does well because it doesn’t have traditional advertising, has more focus on privacy and provides a better mobile experience. Facebook users, on the other hand, complain about ads and privacy concerns, with the most frequent complaint being changes to the interface, with the most recent one being the introduction of Timeline.”

As compared to Google+, Facebook is far superior when it comes to market penetration. Yet Google+ purportedly offers a better customer experience. It will be interesting to see which attribute is more important in the long run.

It’s no surprise Google+ doesn’t have traditional advertising. It doesn’t need it. And Google+’s better mobile experience is a huge deal. (As an aside, I participated in a Google Hangout the other day using my mobile device. It was stupendous. Score one for Google+ on a better mobile experience.)

It’s easier to build an audience if you already have a solid, effective product that makes users happy, or if you have early adopters who like to experiment and dive into new and different things. I think many Google+ users went into it wanting to like it—and loved it from the very beginning. I know I did. I still enjoy using Google+, even if I don’t use it as often as I do Facebook, Twitter and other social networks.

It’s no easy feat to build brand loyalty, and it seems Google+ at least partly tapped into some customer satisfaction secret sauce with the tech and early adopter crowd. We in that crowd don’t really care what the haters think, and it’s fine with us if every Tom, Dick and Harry doesn’t flock to Google+. We also don’t tend to mind change—in fact, we’re often the ones who suggest it.

Facebook, on the other hand, has an “everyman” user base. Facebook continues to innovate, which is great for the company, but not always for a vast majority of users who typically loathe change. Facebook’s regular addition of new features and capabilities is a constant source of irritation for its user base—both personal users and brands.

Facebook is like the lover we just can’t quit. We rail against it, hate the constant changes to the user interface, loathe privacy violations, and constantly gripe and whine—but we just can’t quit it.

Facebook and Google+ will continue to battle, and the rest of us will watch and wait to see what happens.

Are you a Google+ hater or fan? Do you think the results of this survey make sense? Weigh in!

Shelly Kramer is the CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing. A version of this article originally appeared on the V3 Integrated Marketing blog.

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