Social media sites such as Facebook can be a huge asset to your homeowners association. These advances can help cut costs, boost the community’s environmental sustainability, and make communicating with residents quicker and easier. However, for all of the benefits that social media and other technologies provide there are always drawbacks if used incorrectly. Here is some practical advice about how to use social media in your HOA.
Remember that Social Media Does Not Constitute Written Notice
When using social media, it is always important to remember that comments on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media do not count as written notice, and will not be recognized as such in court. For example, a written warning regarding an infraction of the CC&Rs will not be considered legitimate if the interaction took place on social media. For such important items, it is still necessary to resort to the method of mailing a notice.
Remind Board Members to Use Care When on Their Personal Social Media Pages
When a board member is elected and accepts the position, they have taken on a large responsibility. Each board member is now held to a higher standard of accountability both in board meetings and in their private lives. Each board member should understand the inflammatory nature of social media and the way that it can affect their respectability. HOAs can improve the awareness of board members by holding special educational sessions about how to use social media.
Establish Social Media Guidelines for the HOA Page
Having a social media page for your HOA is a great idea, as it helps to build the type of community that your association is striving for. When establishing a site, it is a good idea to set down a few ground rules for how members should interact while on the page. These rules can usually be viewed by everyone who joins the page. Users can be restricted from posting anything offensive, false, or hurtful. The administrators of the site can moderate comments and block anyone who continuously disregards these guidelines.
Stick to the Facts
When it comes to utilizing social media, the best way to stay out of trouble is to always stick to the facts when posting information. For example, you can post information about the new pool code, upcoming meetings or gatherings, and the appointment of a new board member. However, it is best to avoid opinions or viewpoints at all times to keep inflammatory arguments from arising.
Maintain a Business Mindset
Board members should always remember that at the end of the day, the homeowners association is a business. Keeping this mindset will help everyone to post appropriately on social media. The social media page should present a professional aspect for any potential homeowners.
Although it can be a challenge to use social media correctly, it can be well worth the effort. By educating board members, sticking to the facts, and using it for informational rather than legal purposes, you can be well on your way to making the use of social media a community building exercise.