Social media HOA sites are becoming increasingly prevalent tools for marketing and for communication—and as such, more and more community associations are coming to adopt the use of social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Your HOA could potentially benefit from the use of social media in more ways than one. Social media can help you more conveniently communicate with your residents (especially if you live in a younger-skewing or tech-savvy community), and social media can also be helpful for marketing your community.
Of course, it is also possible to misuse social media, and on that note, there are a few things to stay away from. First and foremost, remember that your HOA has a certain obligation to protect the privacy of your members, so you should never use your social media channels for sharing what could be personal or confidential information about anyone in your community.
It is also important to remember that your association’s social media HOA profiles do reflect on your “brand”—so you want to avoid posting things that might make the community look bad, especially to outsiders. If a board member is relieved of his duties because of wrongdoing or ethical breaches, that needs to be addressed with your residents—but Facebook is not the place to do it!
It is critical to note that a social media HOA page cannot be run on “autopilot.” It is important to monitor the page on a daily basis and to post appropriate responded to whatever feedback you receive—whether it is positive or negative! This role should be expressly assigned to someone on the HOA board (or, where applicable, someone from the HOA management company).
A final note: It is vital to protect against even the appearance of favoritism. As such, you might have a policy that your property manager is not to “friend” any of your community members on Facebook or other social media sites.
Social networking can be a powerful tool for HOAs—especially when it is done prudently and strategically.