Key Insights from Food Vision

Are food companies getting social media right? In a word, 'no'

By Nathan Gray

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Social media English-language films

Fear is a major roadblock to many food companies getting it right when it comes to social media, according to business mentor and entrepreneur Mike Greene.

Many food companies are getting social media wrong because they are controlled by older managers who are scared of the changes that embracing new ways of working can bring. However, firms looking to change should not just hire the first young person to show a bit of skill in social media either, warned Greene.

"It seems to me that a lot of the people who hold the budget [for social media] at companies are that little bit older, so they are not really naturally with social media,"​ he told FoodNavigator after speaking at the 2014 Food Vision event in Cannes.

"It scares them and they don't know what to do, so they stick to the media they know​," explained the business mentor, philanthropist and author.

"To me it's a bit like when the car was invented, and people were going around on horses. They couldn't believe that it was really necessary. They couldn't believe that it would be as reliable as their old way of doing things.

"We're seeing that with social media versus traditional media, and people just aren't making the transition, because of fear."

However, Greene also warned that it is 'crazy' to just assume that younger people will be better at social media in a business setting.

"They might use it, but that doesn't make them an expert. You need to know whether they know about social media, because there are rules that work, and ways that work, and the right mix of video and imagery and content is really important to get successful social media."

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The "other end"

Posted by Sultan , MSc BM & IT student,

I partly agree with Rob, since businesses focus to "flush" their content to the consumer, rather "fishing" their attention to interact.

Nowadays, they are doing wrong, but 38% successful businesses increased their ROI. because they use social media for marketing purposes effectively.


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Social Media and Digital, is Critical to business exposure

Posted by Nicholas Dogulin,

Nice article and some valid points.
It is so imperative for businesses to be on social media however a mistake which we noticed a lot of clients make is not only do they not have a clear strategy in terms of what content to post when, but more importantly is that they did not choose those social media channels which work for their industry and to their target market. Invest time to understand your market, where they play, where and what they read, what they comment on, who they associate with - this will make your content strategy all the more powerful. There is a massive potential for social media and the food industry.

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You're right, for the wrong reasons

Posted by Rob Metcalfe, Richmond Towers Communications,

Many food companies are getting social media wrong but largely, I believe, because they have been misled about its potential and purpose. People do indeed love food, but there will never be enough individuals who really love a food brand to make fmcg brand-led social media worthwhile IF you are counting your success on the basis of likes and 'engagement' - both of which are pretty meaningless measures. There is a fantastic role for social media for food companies who stop thinking about it as a marketing channel (it isn't) and start thinking about it as insight.

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