For better or for worse, social media has become an indispensable part of people’s lives, and as such, a crucial part of business strategy as well. The evolution of social media has changed the way people communicate and the platforms people use the most.
Homeownersassociations should always strive to maintain excellent lines of communication with their members. Social media can be an effective way of reaching your members where they’re already at on the internet. Of course, there are some drawbacks to the world of social media, as well.
Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of having an HOA presence on Facebook in Arizona, from the perspective of an experienced HOA attorney.
It’s quick and easy: If you build a heavier presence on social media, you don’t have to spend as much time designing and cultivating a newsletter to get it printed, distributed to your community and hope they read it. Your members are likely already on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, so you can more easily deliver member communications.
It saves money: Again, if you’re not doing as much graphic design, printing and mailing, you’ll be able to get your HOA messages out to members in your community in a much more financially friendly manner.
Better communication among members: Social media isn’t just a great way for you to get messages out to your members — it’s also a great way for members to communicate with each other. You might have a closed Facebook group specific to your HOA community, for example, or a dedicated page on which people can comment and interact with what you’re posting. This not only can enhance the community aspect of your HOA, but can also help everyone to feel like they have a voice in what’s happening in their community.
Legal issues: While social media can be a great communication tool, you cannot rely on it to post legal communications or provide notices in accordance with HOA regulations. You could run into issues such as defamation, invasion of privacy or other issues. Any legal issues involving members should be communicated in an appropriately private manner.
Complainers: Inevitably there are going to be people who use your HOA’s social media platforms as a sounding board for their rants and complaints. You’ll need to engage in regular moderation to make sure things don’t get out of control.
Commitment: There’s no point in having an HOA social media platform if you’re not going to post anything, so it does take a bit of time commitment and intention to keep it active and effective. You need to set policy guidelines for usage of HOA social media platforms.