It’s probably reasonable to say, at this point, that social networking isn’t going to fade away any time soon. Look up the statistics of how Facebook use has skyrocketed over the past five years, for instance, and you might be shocked to see that the numbers have increased by hundreds of millions of users! For an HOA, however, the question is one of how this social technology can work for your community communication.
Some HOA boards use social networks very heavily; others, not at all. What you need to remember is that, while social networking can be very effective, it also requires a great deal of work. Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you think about whether to use Facebook to communicate with community members:
- Remember that using Facebook for your HOA requires maintenance. Somebody needs to create the page but also update it regularly, and respond to posts from other users. This could potentially be a fair amount of work, so ensure you have a clear understanding of it, and of who is going to do it!
- Also ensure that whoever is in charge of the community Facebook page has a clear understanding of what is expected in terms of how they will represent the community, the kinds of things they can and cannot say, and so forth.
- Be clear in your photo uploading policy, and remember that not all community members will want their photos on the site. It might be best to obtain written consent before posting any photos of community members!
- Social media can provide a great way for you to showcase your personality and display the human side of your HOA, but don’t take that as an invitation to become slack in your standards of professionalism. Ensure you use proper grammar and spelling.
- Always maintain accurate and up-to-date information.
- Ensure that you maintain confidentiality on Facebook; don’t talk about community member violations, for example.
- Finally: It is vital that you are always respectful, polite, and professional on Facebook—just as you would be when addressing community members in person!