Some Consumers Regret Their Actions on Social Media

July 30, 2013

This article is included in these additional categories:

African-American | Digital | Hispanic | Social Media | Staffing | Youth & Gen X

FindLaw-Social-Posts-Negative-Impact-July201320% of social media users in the US say they’ve posted something on a social media site that could someday negatively affect an employer’s decision on whether to hire them for a job or allow them to stay at an existing job were they to see it. That’s according to recent survey results from FindLaw, which also discovered that the 25-34 age group was most likely to feel this way. Consumers also regret liking brands, according to a separate survey.

Turning first to the FindLaw results, the study shows that among respondents aged 25-34, 95% reported using social media sites, and of those, 32% said they have posted something that could potentially negatively affect their employment prospects in the future. Of course, 25-34-year-olds aren’t the only ones worried. Of the social media users surveyed, 23% aged 18-24 have posted something that could hurt them in the future, as have 24% of Blacks and 26% of Hispanics.

A number of these respondents have removed photos, videos, comments, personal information or other postings from social media because they were concerned it could result in a negative reaction from their employer or a prospect employer. Overall, 52% of those who had posted potentially burdensome content at some point also reported having removed some posts. Interestingly, the propensity to remove such content was higher among youth than older respondents, showing a clear age trend.

But consumers don’t only regret posting content with the potential to hurt them from an employment standpoint. According to a study from Aimia [pdf] released last month, 20% of American consumers regret liking or following a brand on social media. These consumers are suffering from “marketing fatigue,” according to the researchers, with 26% also regretting registering online with a company or brand website.

About the Data: The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced survey of 1,000 American adults. The Aimia data is from a survey of 2,000 American consumers conducted in the summer of 2012.

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