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Food brands cut back on staff social media monitoring

The number of food businesses keeping check of employees’ social media use has dropped to a record low.

Almost three quarters of businesses (73%) say they do not monitor employee’s use of social media in the workplace, according to the annual Social Media at Work Report.

Conducted by food specialists Roythornes Solicitors and marketing and PR agency, Pelican Communications, the survey polls a wide range of businesses on their policies and practices in relation to social media use in the workplace.

Only 27% of businesses questioned are monitoring their employees’ social media in 2018 – the lowest figure since the survey began six years ago.

Phil Cookson, a partner at Roythornes who specialises in all aspects of employment law, said: “Whilst concerns about privacy continue to trouble social media networks, food businesses appear to be paving the way in terms of confidentiality. It’s imperative that we remember the cost of repairing reputational damage far outweighs that of ensuring preventative measures are in place.

“The statistics are a reflection of those headlines, potentially because businesses do not have time to look into employees’ increasing use of social media, or because more robust social media policies are now in place.

“Despite this, a third of our respondents still do not have a social media policy. I cannot stress enough the importance of having quality policies and procedures in place which are effectively communicated to staff.”

The annual report also looks at the food industry’s preferred social media channels. Corporate use of LinkedIn has grown year-on-year with 77% of businesses now confirming they are active on the platform compared to 53% in 2012.

But Twitter remains the social media channel of choice for most businesses with 80% or respondents saying they use it.

The survey also revealed more businesses than ever before (94%) are monitoring their own online presence.

Michael Bennett, managing director of Pelican Communications, said: “Despite the number of active Twitter users continuing to decline, it remains an important marketing tool for food businesses – whether it remains an effective tool however, must be considered.

“Despite fake news, data leaks and social media controversy continuing to dominate the headlines, it is clear that social media continues to play an integral part in our daily lives.

“Social media can make or break a business – it must be a key consideration in every company’s business strategy.”

For more information and to view the full report and the rest of its findings, visit: https://www.roythorne.co.uk/site/business/employment-solicitors/social-media-policies-solicitors/