As the calendar approached the start of 2012, more than 800 million people were on Facebook, 200 million people sent updates on Twitter, around 125 million were chatting away on MySpace and around 120 million people were registered users networking on LinkedIn. It’s no wonder that condominium and homeowner associations were using social media outlets to communicate with their residents, market themselves and build community.
Technology has transformed the way that people communicate with email, message boards, and social networking websites, and the arrival and popularization of smartphones has enabled nearly everyone to carry the Internet and all its conveniences in their pocket.
Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites and mobile apps have also made inroads into condo, co-op, and HOA communities, enabling managers, residents, trustees and board members to stay in touch and communicate with each other on a more regular basis.
“Many communities are discovering that Facebook, in particular, allows them to convey information, encourage owner involvement and build community more effectively than the websites, newsletters and e-mail on which they now rely,” says attorney Stephen Marcus, a partner in the Braintree, Massachusetts law firm of Marcus, Errico, Emmer & Brooks, which handles condominium law throughout New England. “Younger residents, especially, don’t monitor their e-mail regularly and they’re not likely to visit a community association’s website, even if it’s a good one. But they live on Facebook and Twitter.”
While growing in popularity, not everyone has taken to the sites as quickly.