Board members understand the need to convey community information to their members in an efficient, cost-effective, and expeditious manner. Accordingly, some associations have created Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter and other social media accounts for their communities. While there are many factors that need to be considered, technology can provide a number of benefits in sharing information.
Below are five ways your Association’s social media presence can be productive.
- Information exchange
Social media can quickly and conveniently disseminate Association communication such as meeting dates, trash can removal reminders, and community event headlines. The Board can also include direct links to frequently requested Association items such as community bylaws, property improvement request forms, and the Association’s assessment payment website.
- Breaking news
Rather than spending time and energy preparing and delivering physical mail, social media allows Boards to send immediate updates to owners on important topics such as construction postponements, pool closings, or road closures.
Social media can reduce the need for costly design, postage, and processing. If there are mistakes in a social media post, they can be easily corrected rather than reprinting a newsletter. Additionally, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter are free and can be managed by the Board with little training.
Engaging in social media can help foster community spirit by allowing owners to connect with one another with relative ease. Boards may see increased participation from Association members who feel more comfortable contributing in online forums rather than in-person at an open session meeting.
While Association leadership can at times be a thankless responsibility, information availability can illicit confidence in the Board. Owners can see what is happening in their community and the actions being taken by the Board to administer Association business.
With the rise of social media use by Associations, Board members should be cautious and restricted in the information they choose to disseminate via social media. Courts generally find that information posted on an online forum can be utilized in litigation. Accordingly, Board members should expect that communication shared on social media will be available in the event an owner initiates legal action against the Association.
It is imperative that the Association proactively work with their legal counsel to draft a social media policy that provides guidance and protects the Board from significant legal consequences including libel, slander, privacy, and harassment. Any of these can lead to issues can have repercussions involving liability and/or litigation.
If your Association has questions regarding your current social media policy or is interested in adopting a policy, do not hesitate to contact our law firm. Since 1983, KSN has been a legal resource for condominium, homeowner, and townhome Associations throughout the Chicagoland area. We have multiple offices including downtown Chicago, Mundelein, and Naperville. Please call 855-537-0500 or visit www.ksnlaw.com.
This article is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By reading this article you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the article author. This article should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state. © 2019 Kovitz Shifrin Nesbit, A Professional Corporation.