Should An HOA Have A Facebook Group?
If you’ve been on Facebook lately, you’ve likely seen a rise in the number of neighborhood or community-specific pages and groups. While many of these have popped up as a way to keep neighbors connected and informed, the board of your homeowner’s association (HOA) might be considering HOA websites or creating a Facebook group.
After all, why wouldn’t your HOA board members want to join the digital age and use a platform like Facebook to communicate with residents? It could help foster community and keep residents informed of local matters. However, before diving into creating an HOA Facebook group, board members should consider both sides of the coin.
Let’s look closer at the pros and cons of an HOA having a Facebook group – and how your HOA can make the right decision for its members.
What is a Facebook Group?
A Facebook group is created and maintained by members with similar interests. It’s like a virtual meeting place where people can share ideas, ask questions, post information or updates, and comment on posts – all in one central location.
For HOAs or communities, a Facebook group is an ideal way to connect board members with members (and prospective members) quickly and easily. With the proper rules in place and managed properly, it could be an excellent tool for staying up-to-date on social events and important HOA news.
Pros of An HOA Having A Facebook Group
With the ability to quickly send out messages, keep members up-to-date on events, and provide important information, board members should consider the many potential benefits of creating a Facebook group.
Facebook groups can help board members better communicate with their residents. From sharing HOA documents and guidelines to announcing community events, board members can easily inform their members about the neighborhood’s goings-on.
With a Facebook group, board members can boost engagement and foster a stronger sense of community among their members.
While board members would still need to communicate with members in person, a Facebook group can enable them to have an ongoing dialogue with their residents – and make it easy for board members and other HOA volunteers to respond quickly to member concerns or questions.
Ease of Use
Board members don’t need to be tech-savvy to make an HOA Facebook group work. With its intuitive design and user-friendly features, board members can easily create and manage their own Facebook group without hiring an outside firm or contractor.
Cons of An HOA Having A Facebook Group
While board members should consider the potential benefits of creating an HOA Facebook group, board members should also evaluate some of the potential drawbacks.
As board members open their community up to outsiders, they must be mindful of any privacy concerns or legal issues that could arise from having an HOA Facebook group – such as if board members post personal information about residents or board members.
Depending on how active the HOA Facebook group is, board members may find it to be time-consuming to moderate the posts and comments made by members – especially if board members are not used to dealing with online interactions.
For instance, a well-meaning page may quickly become full of unwanted spam or inappropriate content, which board members would need to monitor and delete when necessary.
Legal Issues Related to Free Speech
Depending on board members’ HOA rules and regulations, board members may need to closely monitor posts or comments made by members that could be considered inappropriate or offensive. This could lead to potential legal issues if board members don’t handle them properly.
Creating a Successful HOA Facebook Group
If board members decide to create an HOA Facebook group, board members should take the necessary steps to create a successful online presence.
1. Create A Clear Communications Policy
Board members should come up with a comprehensive HOA communications policy that outlines what is allowed and not allowed on their Facebook group – from profanity to political or religious posts and more. This will serve as a roadmap for keeping board members, residents, and visitors on the same page.
2. Monitor And Moderate Posts
Board members should also stay active in moderating posts and comments made by members – this includes board members deleting inappropriate or offensive content when necessary and responding to questions or concerns from board members in a timely manner.
3. Consider Investing In An HOA Website
While board members may find that having an HOA Facebook group is sufficient for board members’ needs, board members could also consider investing in an HOA website.
An HOA website can provide the board with more control and flexibility when it comes to managing board members’ HOA communications and outreach activities – from creating webpages for board information to providing board members with a platform for the board to host discussions and events.
Facebook or Website? Making The Right Choice
Ultimately, board members need to evaluate whether or not board members would benefit most from having an HOA Facebook group or investing in an HOA website. A great way to determine board members’ needs is to survey board members and residents – this will provide board members with valuable insights as board members decide what’s best for board members’ HOA.
Whether board members decide to use a Facebook group or invest in an HOA website, board members should always strive to create a safe, welcoming community for all residents.
Take the time to create board members’ HOA communications policy, monitor posts and comments, and answer board members’ questions or concerns promptly – board members can feel confident board members have created a successful online presence board members and board members’ residents can be proud of.