More and more HOAs are using social media to communicate with their members—and why shouldn’t they? While the old-fashioned, paper newsletter is hardly a thing of the past, social media is increasingly the avenue people turn to for quick information and updates. It only makes sense for an HOA board to use social channels to quickly and effectively communicate with residents.
The virtues of HOA social media use are many. It offers greater transparency, and an easier way to make broad announcements about community life to promote Community Management Best Practices and Communication. However, misuse of social media channels can have some nasty consequences. Social media use brings with it the danger of disclosing personal information, or simply of casting the community in an unfavorable light.
With that said, there are a few ways in which your community can avoid HOA social media disasters:
- First and foremost, ensure that your social media communications never breach anyone’s attorney-client privilege, and that they never reveal any information that was intended to be confidential.
- Also important is never posting anything that will cast the community in a negative light. Yes, social media is great for informing residents about what’s going on in the HOA. It is probably not wise to talk about, say, recent firings or major budgetary problems, however. This could depress sales in the community.
- Be diligent in monitoring social media sites. This is especially true of Facebook. Your HOA cannot control what other people write on the Facebook site, so it’s smart to check the site daily and respond to any negative posts that might come from outside your community.
- Remember that whatever you say on social media sites can never be unsaid. It’s out there forever.
- A final note about using texting: While group text messages make sense in emergencies, they do not make sense for interacting with just one or two people. That’s when picking up a phone or sending an e-mail is more appropriate. Avoid accusations of favoritism by not making certain residents privy to personal texts while leaving others out.