Should Board Members use HOA Social Media Channels to Communicate with other Board Members?
The obvious answer is yes, HOA social media can be safe to use and acceptable. The practical answer may be yes with caution. We all use some form of social media to communicate to our friends, neighbors and the general public. Informing neighbors of a potential danger is not only informative it may be critical to protect neighbors from an unforeseen circumstance. Neighbor to neighbor communication is practiced by all homeowner associations these days and it keeps communities safe and informed.
HOA board members are using the same sites to learn of different concerns in their community and what the members are dealing with. Issues that may have simmered for years can be exposed, discussed and hopefully resolved. It is also important for board members to provide resolution to concerns, updates on community events, board meeting dates, annual meeting dates, financial concerns etc. The question becomes, what is the most effective way for board members to communicate information and are there legal barriers that need to be addressed before a simple post becomes a complicated mess.
Should HOA Board Members use HOA Social Media Platforms to Communicate to the Members?
If you view our latest HOA podcast with guest real estate attorney Ben Karb, the answer would be no. I was at an annual meeting the other night, and the board was updating the HOA owners on information available on their community website. One board member then stated to the owners attending the meeting that they could also use the community facebook page to get and provide information. The board member then glanced over to me to I guess, reinforce that observation. I stated that the facebook page was not sanctioned by the board and communicating on facebook could lead to legal problems. A woman in back of the room then stated that she worked for a bank and they had a Facebook page. She wasn’t sure what the issue could be for participating on a community Facebook page. I believe the best answer is that the community page needs to be filtered for negative and possibly untrue comments directed at neighbors, which could lead to a legal challenge. There is a difference in social media sites that provide events and updates and sites that people communicate on. The best tool for communicating with neighbors is through a community website. A website provides important tools such as a community calendar and it also provides email addresses for board members to express concerns. Plus the added feature of a secure login.
Our point on all this is to make HOA members aware that what may look like an innocent tool for communicating could turn into a host of problems at a cost. Keeping HOA’s informed on legal issues and helping board members understand the challenges they face, keeps us motivated in providing quality service and keeping the best interest of the community first.
Key Community Management