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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, that as the consumer has shifted towards a “go local” attitude, the popularity 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 by verifying their address one of six ways (more on that later). Once their identity is verified they then have access to their neighborhood’s portal where they can post discussions, chime in on neighborhood news, and recommend local businesses. You can see what the interface looks like in the video below (no sound):
Guess what? You can use Nextdoor to help grow your business, and Blue Corona has some insider tips on leveraging the platform—we teamed up with them to offer advertising options to smaller businesses, and along the way, we’ve learned a lot. Stay with me, and I’ll tell you:
- How Nextdoor can help your business
- What the resident verification process looks like
- How to get started with Nextdoor Local Pages for businesses
- How to take out paid advertising on Nextdoor
- What types of businesses can benefit from Nextdoor
- Final tips and tricks to leveraging your Nextdoor presence
Scroll down to learn more, or fill out the form below to get started with Nextdoor advertising for small and medium-sized businesses. Want to see the process for taking out Nextdoor paid ads with Blue Corona? Go here »
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 other popular social platforms, where users are looking to self-promote, post poorly timed jokes, or spout off annoying political commentary. It’s a place neighbors go when they need something or have information pertinent to the neighborhood. Because all members are verified, 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 verification process and inherent trust in local reviews and recommendations that will help your business.
Nextdoor’s Resident Verification Process—And Why It Makes This Platform So Valuable
One thing that frustrates the heck out of marketers is accidentally paying to serve social media ads and posts to spam accounts. It wastes advertising dollars and there aren’t many ways to control for fake social accounts.
Not with Nextdoor. The account verification process requires that you use one of six methods to verify your name and address:
- Matching phone number
- Credit or debit card
- Postcard sent to your address
- Last four digits of your SSN
- Invitation from a neighbor
Essentially, you are GUARANTEED that only real-life, local humans will see and interact with your posts.
The Power of Nextdoor Reviews
Nextdoor users love to ask each other for recommendations:
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, 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…)
Bottom line, 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 favorite 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 instructions below). Nextdoor Local Pages are for any business or individual who provides a service or sells something. This can range anywhere from the neighbor who cuts lawns to the Home Depot down the road.
If your business creates and claims its Local Page on Nextdoor, you will be able to see and reply only to the comments that members have selected to make public to businesses.
How to Claim a Business’s Local Page
To claim your business’s Local Page, you need to be an employee, owner, or other authorized representative of the business. You have the options of claiming a page as a business or as an individual, but we recommend claiming it as a business unless you’re a one-man operation.
- 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.
- Enter your name, the email address you’d like to use for communication, 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 Nextdoor 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.
Can Businesses Advertise On Nextdoor? Yes—But There Are Restrictions
Who Can Advertise on Nextdoor and How Much Does it Cost?
Currently, you’re only able to advertise on Nextdoor if:
- You’re a company with an enterprise-level budget
- You’re a realtor or broker
- OR You’re a Blue Corona client
The vast majority of advertisements on Nextdoor are from national brands like ADT, Home Depot, or Ring, and there’s a reason for that—Nextdoor’s minimum monthly advertising investment levels are far beyond what the typical local/regional company can afford.
Exactly how much does advertising on Nextdoor cost? Nextdoor currently requires a minimum of $15,000 in ad spend per month. However, that minimum is cut in half for Blue Corona clients.
How to Advertise Your Business on Nextdoor
Wondering how to take out paid ads on Nexdoor? Until now, you were out of luck unless you had an enterprise-level budget and an exclusive invitation. However, Blue Corona has teamed up with Nextdoor to provide advertising options for businesses with smaller budgets.
If you have the budget to take out Nextdoor ads through the platform itself, you’ll need a few extra tools in your marketing toolbox in order to get the most bang for your buck:
- Professional copywriting tailored to social media platforms
- A landing page on your website dedicated to web traffic from Nextdoor
- A tracked phone line—as well as call and lead form tagging—so you can accurately measure phone calls and web leads from Nextdoor ads
- An accurate analytics and measuring system that enables you to track important metrics like impression to click, call to lead, and lead to sale conversion rates.
- Monthly reporting that ties campaign results back to your bottom line
Bonus: If you’re a Blue Corona client, you get all these added perks included with your ad package, as well as a dedicated account manager to monitor success and break down the data. Learn more here, or contact us to get started.
Where Ads Show Up on Nextdoor
There are two places ads currently show up: the neighborhood news feed and in Nextdoor’s digest emails, sent daily or weekly:
What Types of Businesses Would Benefit from Advertising on Nextdoor?
Really, any business. In my personal experience, I’ve seen the same number of recommendations for dog walkers, 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 the 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 don’t 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 to “social networks” is simple: 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.
- 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.
Need Help with Navigating and Using Nextdoor for Businesses?
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. Having and leveraging a presence on Nextdoor and 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 us handle every aspect of your Nextdoor advertising and strategy.
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
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