Food businesses “exposing themselves to risk on social media”

Maz Dannourah
Maz Dannourah

Businesses in the food industry are exposing themselves to risk on social media, according to the 2015/16 Social Media at Work Survey conducted by food lawyers Roythornes and Pelican Communications.

The survey, which polls a wide range of businesses in the food sector, asks questions about policies and practices relating to social media use in the workplace.

The results show that while around 80 per cent of businesses have some form of online presence, 26 per cent have no policy regarding social media use in the workplace.

The survey also showed that the number of businesses allowing staff to use their own personal devices to carry out work-related social media activity has increased from 30 per cent in 2012 to 53 per cent this year.

Maz Dannourah, associate at Roythornes, said, “It’s great to see the large increase in the of businesses monitoring their online presence over the last four years; 90 per cent of respondents now keep an eye on what is being said about them online compared to just 66 per cent in 2012.

“However, there is always room for improvement and I can’t stress strongly enough the importance of having quality policies and procedures.

“The cost of repairing reputational damage following an incident can often far outweigh that of ensuring preventative measures and appropriate protections are in place.”

The survey also shows that around 80 per cent of companies have a presence on Twitter, with both Facebook and LinkedIn also being very popular. However, few respondents said they used Instagram despite its popularity with consumers.

Michael Bennett, Managing Director of Pelican Communications, said, “Food is an integral part of people’s daily social media activity and companies are using it more and more proactively to promote their brands.

“However, while we see wonderfully creative campaigns being created, the survey shows that many companies remain unprotected when it comes to policies and procedures.

“As social media becomes increasingly commercial and companies begin to use it as the central core of their promotional strategy, ensuring policies and procedures are in place is vital.

“It helps to not only ensure a strong and consistent brand image and voice, it also provides a vital safeguard in the case of misuse.”