Social media impacts just about everyone…few escape its presence in personal life or the business world. Whereas Facebook was once a leading platform for millennials, the portal has increasing appeal to the aging demographic, especially in lieu of Twitter and Instagram. Regardless of the chosen medium, social media has redefined 21st century communication.
CeBIT’s Social Business Trends for 2014 found that by 2016, 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks, and 30 percent of these organizations will consider social media as essential as email and phones are today. For many co-op and condominium communities, however, the preferred method of communication remains association websites and emails.
In most cases, the majority of boards and association managers are using some form of social media, but calculating just how many is tough to estimate. “In our experiences, and keep in mind we manage all different types of communities throughout North America, a little more than half use websites or social media as a communication tool for residents,” says Tod Meisner, director of digital marketing at Associa, a national property management company.
Elena Lugo, LEED AP O+M, director of marketing and operations at Chicago’s office of FirstService Residential, a national property management company, chimes in with some thoughtful insight. “The more common form of communication by a community board or management is through email or phone blast,” she explains, “which tends to be more successful in ensuring residents are up-to-date on current events and property situations.”
Demographics play a significant role in adopting social media portals, but there are other obvious benefits to consider. Detractors of Twitter or Facebook, who often refer to the platform as self-gratifying (i.e., “I just made scrambled eggs…I’m awesome”), may be vastly overlooking fundamental business attributes.