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Safe Social Media Practices for HOA Boards


Chances are that your association has its own website, Facebook page, and maybe YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, Flickr, etc.  Social media is great to communicate information about events, meetings, and community projects. But, community leaders need to be aware of potential legal problems lurking in the vast online network.

A social media plan is essential for your Board to develop and approve.  Decide what you want to accomplish online, the information you want to post online and monitor the results.  For example, if you want to reach owners, post content specifically tailored to that audience and evaluate your reach so you know when you’re successful.

Community Associations should treat all social media sites like they are extensions of their public websites.  In essence, each social media channel is just that.  Post information accordingly because once info is in cyberspace, it can’t be taken back.  Ensure that your information is safe for public viewing.

Don’t neglect social media channels.  The Board should assign someone to monitor every page daily where the public can post comments.  It’s important that the pages are reviewed for any comments (positive or negative) and appropriate responses posted.   This is a big responsibility for one person, so it helps to have a backup or to divide this task among two or three people.  In addition to general responses, they should also check for copyright information, personal views, and spam posts.

Set up Google alerts that can warn you of potential copycat websites, and list legitimate sites on your website.  If you locate a page that is not valid, ask the owner to delete or change it. If the owner doesn’t accommodate your request, notify Google of the copyright or defamatory pages.  Google will delete sites in many situations. For issues that you can’t resolve on your own or through Google, discuss these with an attorney who is well-versed in online community interests.

Request that Board members and mangers avoid connecting with community residents on social media sites.  This can prevent potential favoritism issues.  If not friending  others in the community isn’t possible or creates adversity, ask community managers to refrain from posting comments about the association on unofficial social media pages. The key here is to avoid or being a party to potentially harmful postings.

Preserving the community association’s brand and protecting its best interests is an important part of each board member’s responsibilities. This also includes managing the virtual brand. The secret is three-fold:  Refrain from posting harmful information, report detrimental content, and seek legal advice for potentially damaging information. Stop and Think before you Connect.

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Wise Property Solutions serves condominium and homeowners associations by addressing their financial, association and facilities management needs. The only certified and licensed community association management firm serving the Mountain South (Virginia, North & South Carolina, Tennessee) with offices in the Tri-Cities and Knoxville.  Wise Property Solutions provides condo and homeowners association management services in Johnson City, TN; Bristol, TN; Kingsport, TN; Knoxville, TN and the surrounding region.

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