With smart-phones dominating the cellular market, people now have Internet access anywhere and everywhere they go. While shopping and “googling” are leading reasons to use the Internet, the rise of social media has radically changed the way people interact with one another, with businesses, and even with their condo association neighbors and administrators.
A recent CNET report found that 27 percent of small businesses are on Facebook, 18 percent are on LinkedIn and seven percent use Twitter. While the Facebook percentage may appear small, the report found that social media use in this demographic has doubled, with 75 percent of businesses polled owning a page on some type of social networking site. Boards and home owner associations that have not taken the plunge should consider the importance of having a social media presence. For example, 64 percent of Twitter users and the 51 percent of Facebook users say they are more likely to buy brands if they “follow” a company or are a “fan” of a company.
“More and more directors—even ones from older generations—are using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+,” says Attorney Donna DiMaggio Berger, managing partner of the Fort Lauderdale-based law firm of Katzman Garfinkel & Berger. “Because of this, it is important that our common interest ownership statutes keep pace with technology and the way boards operate today.”
“Social media has allowed for two-way conversations to take place on the Internet using the same vehicles that consumers, no matter their age or generation, are already using,” says Deborah Boza-Valledor, chief marketing officer for the Miami Association of Realtors.
Social networking initially grew in popularity due to the personal one-on-one experience best facilitated by Facebook. This trend has entered the business world, with more realtors and brokers using the service which translates to how boards and management companies are beginning to communicate and interact. “Realtors can now have true market and information conversations, as well as social conversations,” says Boza-Valledor. “They can go where the consumer goes.”