Posting photos showcasing your latest travels on social media is becoming increasingly common, but business travellers could be exposing themselves and their companies to increased risk by doing so, according to business travel payment solution provider Airplus International.
According to the company’s recent 2018 Travel Management Study, nearly half of the 2,180 business travellers surveyed sometimes or regularly show off on social media, also known as “Insta-bragging”.
This is particularly the case in Asia-Pacific, with 83 per cent of business travellers in India and 81 per cent of those in China at least occasionally engaging in a bit of “Insta-bragging”.
This figure is lower in some countries, such as Australia with just 43 per cent, however the Asia-Pacific region as a whole exceeds the global average, with 66 per cent of business travellers “often or sometimes” posting updates and pictures of themselves while on work trips.
Posting on social media doesn’t just extend to “Insta-bragging”, however. The study’s findings showed that travellers are more likely to post on social media about bad experiences (22 per cent) rather than good experiences (11 per cent).
But what, exactly, is the problem with posting about your work trip?
According to Airplus International, doing so can inform criminals of a person’s movements, exposing business travellers to a risk of kidnap or a burglary back home. On the less extreme side of things, commercial competitors could also be able to ascertain important insights about a rival’s business activities, opening up companies to commercial espionage.
That being said, Danielle Jones, country manager for Australia at Airplus International, notes that a blanket ban on posting on social media doesn’t necessarily need to be the solution.
“Not all aspects of on-trip social media communication are negative,” said Danielle Jones, country manager for Australia at Airplus International. “Business travellers may argue that posting has become a normal and engaging way to network with their customers, business partners and colleagues.
“One of the ways to ensure business travellers and corporates are on the same page when it comes to social media usage while travelling is the adoption of a robust social media policy, created in consultation with the relevant company stakeholders, such as travel managers, security departments and human resources.”