Ten years ago, business owners operated under the mindset of “think globally” when it came to marketing strategy. Five years ago, that mentality got thrown out the window as consumers figured out they didn’t want global—they wanted to “go local.”
It’s no surprise then, as the consumer has shifted towards a “go local” attitude, that the growth of local social networking has exploded.
Enter Nextdoor, the social networking app for neighborhoods and communities. How it works is a homeowner (or renter) signs up for an account. They then have access to a neighborhood portal, where they can post discussions, chime in on neighborhood news, and recommend local businesses. You can see the interface in the video below:
Guess what? You can use Nextdoor to help grow your business. Stay with me, and I’ll tell you how.
Author’s Note: Nextdoor advertising is only available for select national and regional brands, so SMS does not offer Nextdoor advertising services at this time. We will update this post once ads have rolled out to more companies, and then we will be happy to help you with your Nextdoor ads!
How Can Nextdoor Help Your Business?
Yes, Nextdoor for businesses can help grow your client base and increase your reach. If you’re a social media nay-sayer, hear me out:
Nextdoor isn’t like most popular social platforms where users are looking to self-promote, post poorly-timed jokes, and spout off annoying political commentary. It’s a place neighbors go when they need something, or they have information pertinent to the neighborhood. Nextdoor’s user base inherently trusts the reviews and recommendations from neighbors, which is the main reason this platform is so valuable—It’s this inherent trust in local reviews and recommendations that will help your business.
THE POWER OF NEXTDOOR REVIEWS
We’ve written volumes on why reviews matter for your business. I’ll condense it for you:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
Those are some pretty powerful statistics.
Now, Nextdoor’s philosophy is that a recommendation from someone in your community carries more weight than, say, a Yelp review from a stranger on the Internet, or a carefully calculated Google advertisement. I have to say—I agree. If I had to choose between hiring a company my neighbor recommended vs. a company some Joe Shmoe from another city recommended, I’m going to go with my neighbor’s advice. (Hey, if their recommendation turns out to be a disaster, I know where they live…)
Point-blank, as a business owner, you can—and should—capitalize on the fact that users take recommendations from people in their social circles. Basically, you should embrace Nextdoor reviews as if they were your only child.
How to Get Started With Nextdoor Local Pages for Businesses
So, how do you get in on the action? It starts by claiming your business page (see video instructions below). Nextdoor Local Pages are for any business or individual that provides a service or sells something. This can range anywhere from the neighbor that cuts lawns to the Home Depot down the road.
If your business creates and claims their Local Pages on Nextdoor, you will only be able to see and reply to the comments that members have chosen to share with them.
HOW TO CLAIM A BUSINESS’S LOCAL PAGE
To claim your business’s Local Page, you need to be an employee, owner, or another authorized representative of the business. You have the options of claiming a page as a business or as an individual.
When to claim as a Business: If you operate under a business name, have more than one employee or 3rd parties helping you run your business, or you use a business email address.
When to claim as an Individual: Claim your Local Page as an individual if you personally provide the good or service. Individuals who occasionally offer services, like neighborhood babysitters, dog walkers, or tutoring, should also claim as an individual.
- Search for your business’s Local Page here.
- Click Claim to the right of your business.
- Choose to claim as a Business or as an Individual. (Read more on which type is right for your business.)
- Enter your name, the email you’d like to use, and a password. Alternatively, if you already have a personal Nextdoor account, you can claim your Local Page by clicking Sign in to use your personal account to claim. NOTE: if you do this and need to share your account with an employee to help you manage your Local Page, that will mean sharing your personal email and password. We do not recommend doing this if you operate your business out of a separate business account.
- After claiming your page, Nextdoor will verify your business by calling you with the number they have on file for your business (you can update the number if it’s incorrect). You’ll then be asked to enter a verification code, and presto! You’re verified.
Advertising on Nextdoor
Yes, there is an option to advertise on Nextdoor. No, it’s not available to you yet. Currently, Nextdoor is only working with select regional and national brands (that lovely image above is from them), but they are anticipating opening the ad platform to small, local businesses soon. We will keep this post updated as those changes roll out.
What Types of Businesses Would Benefit from Advertising on Nextdoor?
Really, any business. In my personal experience I’ve seen the same amount of recommendations for dogwalkers, national grocery chains, and local plumbers. However, you won’t succeed unless you are targeting your immediate local service area.
Local businesses have the opportunity to thrive on Nextdoor because they are owned and operated by local people who are likely users of the app. Perhaps your neighbor on the corner owns a local remodeling firm, and Dave down the street is co-founder of an HVAC company. Maybe you are a partner at a nearby law firm, or your wife owns a bakery in town. By making it known that you are a business owner, each and every one of you has the opportunity to make a splash on Nextdoor.
How Your Business Can Leverage Nextdoor
Nextdoor users typically want to know about businesses and services offered in their communities, especially small business endeavors and offers from neighbors. However, unlike other social networks, the app respects the fact that users do not want to be bombarded with unsolicited marketing and advertising. So, how do you use this network to get the word out about your business?
- List your business on Nextdoor. It’s encouraged that you claim your business page so neighbors can easily find your business when they are looking for recommendations.
- Add your business affiliation to the bio of your user profile. By adding your business name to your profile, you are branding yourself as an authority on that company. It may spark conversation among neighbors and naturally spread information about your services.
- Respond to requests for recommendations with your business information. If you are up-front about being affiliated with the business you are recommending, then it is acceptable to promote your business to neighbors seeking recommendations for services you offer.
- Announce commercial events in the Events Calendar. Users can create events and invite neighbors through the app’s calendar feature. It’s a great way to get the word out about a sale or promotion your business is running.
Again, at the moment advertising is only limited to a select few businesses. However, Nextdoor is actively working on solutions for local businesses to offer paid advertising solutions in their communities without turning off current users from the platform.
Nextdoor Tips for Businesses
Even though Nextdoor does not allow formal advertisements just yet, you shouldn’t ignore this platform. The key of “social networks” is you have to be SOCIAL. That being said, there are few rules for business owners looking to post about their companies or services on the network. Follow these best practices to get the most from your Nextdoor efforts.
- Fill out your profile completely. Give people as much info as you can about your business, and update your profile photo. People are drawn to photos, so having a recognizable profile photo is a MUST.
- Never make unsolicited posts about your business in the newsfeed. All users in your neighborhood can see the newsfeed, and Nextdoor aims to avoid spam-like posts to every user’s device.
- Keep your event posts in the Events Calendar. Posting commercial events in the newsfeed violates Nextdoor’s user guidelines.
- Always disclose your relationship to a business. Before posting a recommendation, a classified ad, or event make sure to include how you are related to the business. If you are the owner, tell your neighbors—honesty is an important value for Nextdoor.
- Consider conflicts of interest. Recommending businesses and services is something your neighbors will love, but make sure your answers are genuine. Nextdoor likes to remain local, so be transparent about your connections if any exist.
Need Help with Your Social Media Marketing Strategy?
We are officially a “local” economy, so you better get on the local social networking train—or else you’ll be left at the station alongside the other businesses that clung to outdated ideas. Managing and continuously curating Nextdoor and many other social accounts can be lucrative for your local business. Keeping up with it all, however, can be a lot for an overworked business owner. Fortunately, you don’t have to go it alone! To get the best results, let me handle every aspect of your social media marketing and strategy.