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If your Texas HOA (homeowners association) or COA (condominium owners association) has an active social media account, you need the right social media guidelines (or social media policy) to go with it. Such guidelines set the framework for online behavior and communication.  

In today's digital age, social media platforms are pivotal in shaping the community's perception and fostering a sense of belonging among members. A well-defined policy safeguards the association against potential legal issues and common social media risks by ensuring all communications are in line with state laws and the association's governing documents.  

Establishing social media guidelines helps maintain professional and respectful interactions, thereby enhancing the community's reputation and preventing misunderstandings or disputes that could arise from inappropriate or unauthorized posts.  

Essentially, a social media policy - complete with the right guidelines - empowers board members and residents alike to use these powerful platforms responsibly, ensuring that efforts to engage the community and share information are both effective and compliant. 

Social Media Guidelines Texas HOA COA Policy

Below, we’re outlining eleven social media guidelines tailored for Texas HOAs and COAs like yours.  

  1. Pause before posting pictures: Before you simply search and select an image from Google to accompany your next post, remember that many images are safeguarded by copyright laws, which could invite legal troubles for unauthorized use. To safely source images, consider using royalty-free photos from sites like Canva and Shutterstock.  

    Even better, use real photos from community events or those submitted by residents (of course, make sure you have permission to post these photos). Not only do real photos add a personal touch that’s much more effective than stock photos but using them ensures you aren’t violating any copyright laws. 

  2. Stay on top of it: It's imperative to actively manage your association's social media pages. This means engaging with the community, interacting with residents’ posts, and quickly addressing any posts or comments that violate your board’s social media guidelines. This is where it’s helpful to have a group of volunteers (or a committee) take turns to maximize time monitoring your social media pages. 

    See 8 Social Strategies to Manage Online Presence in HOAs & COAs

  1. Be careful with contests and giveaways: Contests are a great way to boost engagement, but it's important to align with legal guidelines to avoid any complications. This means being aware of the legal distinctions between contests of skill and those of chance, ensuring any promotional activity is clearly outlined and adheres to legal requirements. 

  2. Establish a social media policy: Work with your legal counsel to craft a comprehensive social media policy. This is crucial for protecting your association from liabilities and for maintaining an effective online presence. Your policy should include guidelines on post approval, comment moderation, privacy concerns, and standardized responses to common inquiries. 

  3. Use analytics tools: “Set it and forget it” is not an effective strategy for posting on social media. Take a more proactive approach! Schedule posts ahead of time using platforms like Sprout Social or Hootsuite, which can provide insight on prime times to post based on your audience, post performance, and more. By analyzing metrics such as engagement rates, click-through rates, and reach, your HOA or COA can continuously improve your content strategy and better understand types of content that interest your audience. 

  4. Encourage user-generated content: Engaging with residents and encouraging them to share their own photos on social media can provide valuable content for your association's platforms. User-generated content provides authentic material that resonates with other residents, making it an effective way to increase engagement. 

    See pointers on how to engage with social media users here

    social media guidelines texas hoa coa user generated content

  5. Call on a committee: This may be a communications committee that encompasses social media responsibilities or a social media committee on its own. Designate members who are knowledgeable about the platforms to manage your association’s social media page(s). Ensure responsibilities for each manager are clearly outlined - which platforms he/she will be responsible for, which type of content he/she will be responsible for posting, which hours he/she will be responsible for monitoring the platform(s), etc. 

    See guidelines on getting great volunteers for your committees here.  

  6. Use AI to craft clever copy for posts: Even the best social media managers are not the best wordsmiths, but the good news is they don’t have to be! Using free AI (artificial intelligence) programs like ChatGPT and Gemini (formerly Bard) are great ways to overcome writer’s block and post engaging content. Simply open the AI program online, provide a specific prompt about the post you’d like to write, and voila! The AI tool will generate copy you can paste over to a social post. 

  7. Always revise before posting: Check for spelling and grammatical errors and consider the reader’s point of view. If you’re using AI to post, it’s still important to revise the wording. Remove any “filler” words that aren’t relevant to the post or don’t align with your association’s brand. 

  1. Respect privacy and confidentiality: Never share confidential information about the HOA's dealings, residents, or staff. Respect privacy settings and obtain consent before posting pictures or stories involving individuals. 

  1. Stay professional and avoid promoting personal interests: Board members should not use the association's social media platforms to promote personal businesses, political views, or other interests that do not directly relate to the functions and activities of the association. 

Ultimately, the social media guidelines your board uses will vary based on your community and platforms. These pointers offer a foundation for creating a positive and legally safe online environment. As always, for specific legal advice on your association’s use of social media, consult your HOA or COA’s attorney. 

social media guidelines texas associations policy

How do HOAs and COAs choose a platform (and which social media guidelines to apply)? 

Choosing the right social media platform starts with knowing your audience and your goals. What’s the age demographic of your residents? Are you using social media to primarily talk to residents, or do you want to network with vendors, too? Take a look at these four platforms commonly used by Texas associations like yours, and decide which one(s) fit your audience/goals best: 

  • Facebook offers a broad reach, making it ideal for community announcements, sharing event details, and fostering a sense of community through regular, engaging posts. A private group can also serve as a smaller space for residents to connect and share information. 
  • Nextdoor works best for important updates regarding association policies or upcoming community events like wine tastings or yard sales. This platform can also work well for emergency alerts or safety tips tailored for residents within your community as well as surrounding communities. 
  • LinkedIn is more professional in nature, positioning it as the perfect platform for networking with local businesses, vendors, and service providers. It also serves as a valuable resource for sharing industry-related news, insights, and best practices among board members and property managers. 
  • X (formerly known as Twitter) favors concise communication. This platform is best for quick updates and highlighting important notices or achievements, thereby fostering community engagement through real-time information and dialogue. 

Note: The social media guidelines we’ve outlined above are not platform-specific – they apply across all platforms equally. 

social media guidelines texas hoa coa platforms

Social media engagement doesn’t depend on your number of followers 

Remember, regardless of your association’s social platform(s), success on social media is not just about the number of followers or likes. It’s about building a meaningful relationship with residents and providing value to the whole community.  

This is why it’s important to vary the types of content you post to see what your specific audience interacts with the most. For example, don’t just post policy-related information every day – mix it up with posts that include community event pictures, resident spotlights, a list of local events, helpful home-related tips, and more. 

social media guidelines texas hoa coa engagement


The role of social media in fostering community engagement and growth is undeniable. By implementing these social media guidelines, associations can mitigate risk, maintain an impactful online presence, and continue to build a thriving digital community.

Remember: Use social media as a tool for connecting with residents, but not at the expense of putting your association at legal or reputational risk. So stay informed, stay engaged, and try incorporating some of the above social media strategies for your next posts.  

social media guidelines texas hoa coa policy checklist

Does your community social media policy include the right guidelines? 

Download our complete Social Media Policy Checklist, which outlines the basic information that should be included in any social media policy. Of course, always consult your association’s attorney when crafting your policy.   

Social media guidelines texas hoa coa download checklist

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Tuesday April 16, 2024