Facebook, as well as many other social media sites, is not only a place to catch up with friends, but also a helpful tool to circulate information. Many homeowner associations are also jumping on board.
How Social Media Can Benefit Your Association
Many associations reap the benefits of having a social media page. There are several ways in which having a social media site can make communication among members faster and easier.
- Governing documents, meeting minutes, and budgets can be posted online for easy access. Of course, access to these documents should be limited to association members only. Most social media pages provide security settings that can restrict who can view specific documents.
- Discussion groups can be made so members can input their ideas and thoughts on issues in your association. These discussions should be monitored by a board member to ensure that no discussion goes off topic or no inappropriate comments are made.
- Emergency disaster plans can be posted. Also, if a disaster occurs, Facebook can keep members updated on where to evacuate to, when it is safe to return, and who to contact about damages.
- An electronic copy of your association’s newsletter can be posted.
- An event calendar can be added to your page to keep all members informed of upcoming meetings and other activities in your association.
- Online invitations can be sent out to members about an upcoming block party, member meeting, or other event.
- Photos of events can be added for every member to see. This may entice more members to participate in the next event.
Protecting Your Association
There are a few precautions your association should take when starting a social media page. First, not all association members will join the group. This means that decisions should not be made based solely on online discussions. Newsletters, calendars of events, and event invitations also need to be made available in hard-copy form to non-Facebook users.
Make sure that your association’s page is continuously updated and monitored. Some members may choose to make inappropriate comments in a discussion that need to be removed. Also, keeping the page updated will encourage members to check back frequently to stay informed.