Social Media: Friend or Foe?

April 23, 2019 Kris Toffel

The use of private social media groups for managed communities is constantly debated among community managers. While social media increases visibility and provides an alternative avenue of communication, things can turn sour and get out of hand quickly. However, social media doesn’t have to be your enemy – homeowners and HOAs can actually benefit from using social media if done correctly. The following are 5 tips that will help social media be your friend, not your foe.

  1. Define the purpose of social media.

Encourage your residents to use social media for neighbor relations rather than community issues. If residents want to share news about a lost cat or introduce themselves, they should do it on social media. However, neighborhood issues should be posted on a community platform where the CAM can see it.

  1. Partner with your board.

As a CAM, it’s likely that you aren’t in your community groups on social media. Because of this, it’s important to partner with the board so they can be your eyes and ears if negativity begins to spiral. When there are complaints or issues arise, tell your board to alert you immediately so you can take action and educate residents. Additionally, encourage your board and residents to post about the positive things happening in your community, not just the negative.

  1. Address issues quickly.

If your board notifies you about an issue, be sure to address it quickly. I have found that the best way to address an issue promptly and professionally is not by stepping into the ring, but taking the issue out of the group and posting it on a community platform where the management company is involved, like TownSq.

  1. Communicate.

Good communication is key to a successful community. Communicate as much as possible with your residents, preferably on the phone or face-to-face if the matter is sensitive in nature. Additionally, make sure your residents know who to contact if they have a specific issue or question that you may not be able to answer.

  1. Learn from your mistakes.

Remember that all communities have issues, and if you make a mistake, don’t dwell on it – learn from it. Over time, you’ll find out how involved you should be in some issues. You’ll find out if board members commenting makes things worse or better, and you’ll learn what works best for your individual community.

About the Author

Kris Toffel

Kris is a Community Association Manager (CMCA) at Associa McKay Management where she manages a portfolio of HOAs including single family homes, condos and mixed-use property. With 20+ years’ experience managing people, financials and facilities, Kris joined Associa McKay Management in 2016 following a career in process improvement for companies such as Russell Athletic, Fruit of the Loom and Plantation Patterns. An avid traveler and craft-a-holic, Kris is in constant motion.

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