With the growing use of social media and its unique ability to bring people together, most businesses, including HOAs, are using various platforms to more effectively do business. As an HOA, your board should explore the use of social media platforms to foster communication, establish neighborly connections, and strengthen the sense of community.  But, before your HOA starts creating accounts, remember social media is only effective when it’s used strategically.

The following list will help you build a social media strategy tailored to your community and its needs.

  1. Outline your policy. Taking time to define your social media policy and following it can protect you from the pitfalls of social media, and it increases your effectiveness. A proper policy should include audience, objectives, and moderation/standards.
  2. Define objectives. Once you have a policy, sit down with your board and property management company to talk about what your HOA would like to accomplish with social media. Defining objectives is crucial because it provides direction for all future content creation.
  3. Choose your platform. Not all social media platforms are created equal, and certain platforms work better for some businesses than others. For example, most HOAs find Facebook groups to be extremely effective at keeping everyone up-to-date on community news and activities. Choose your platform(s) based on your objectives, and don’t over commit yourself to too many platforms.
  4. Engage your audience. The only way you’ll find success with social media is if you gather an attentive audience. If social media is new to your community, you’ll need to spend time and energy engaging residents. This can be done by sharing photos from community events, to engaging residents for feedback on the types of events to be held next.
  5. Remember Confidentiality. Because social media makes sharing information so easy, always take the time to ask yourself if it is necessary or even appropriate to share something. If you wouldn’t share it at an annual meeting or in a newsletter, skip social media too.
  6. Most Social media platforms provide statistics showing audience engagement. Take advantage of these features and use them to identify what content resonates with your audience and what doesn’t.
  7. Know the law. Everything you do and say on social media is permanent…even if you delete it. You always need to consider things like copyright, plagiarism, emotional distress, or violating privacy rights of residents. Again, always think twice before hitting “share”, and if you’re hesitant, get the opinion of other board members.

Related: Millennials and New HOA Demographics

Remember, although social media seems easy, a few Facebook or Instagram updates won’t do much of anything for your community. True social media success begins with strategy, and then you have to follow through. Your association will start to notice a difference in ease of communication and improved sense of community. If you’re struggling to implement your social media strategy, give us at Spectrum a call. Let us help you achieve your objectives and avoid common social-media pitfalls!