Building an Online Community Website? Facebook? Twitter? What’s Hot, What’s Not

Social media is the means of fostering a community digitally and sharing information among like-minded people.

Or is it?

Yes and no. For condo associations in New England, the trend seems to be websites, private groups, and web portals with only the occasional community opting for social media (namely, Facebook). Despite their popularity among many internet users, resources like Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and the other platforms aren’t players here yet.

“Not many of our boards or communities have embraced social media as an outlet for communicating to/from their owners at this point,” says Justin Gargiulo, senior vice president and director of corporate operations at Great North Property Management, headquartered in Exeter, New Hampshire. “We certainly would be more than willing to help a community set up a Facebook page. The demand just doesn’t seem to be there at this point, though.”

Janet Aronson, an attorney at the law firm of Marcus Errico Emmer & Brooks, P.C. in Braintree, Massachusetts, and Karla Kelley Brenner, vice president of client services at American Properties Team in Boston, agree. When it comes to brainstorming, Kelley Brenner has seen discussions emerge in Google or Yahoo groups. Rather than exchange lots of emails, communities hash things out via a group discussion.

But the most popular option is a website with public and private areas (the latter are called portals). From a public standpoint, says Aronson, a well-done website can be a marketing tool and can show a prospective buyer what a community is like.

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