If you live in a neighborhood, chances are you’ve joined or, at the very least, poked around on Nextdoor, which touts itself as the private social network for your neighborhood. One in three U.S. neighborhoods now has a Nextdoor presence, and almost anyone who can prove their residency in said ‘hood can join their local group.
How Nextdoor Benefits Residents
Residents largely use Nextdoor for two things: commerce and local alerts. Personally, I’ve used Nextdoor to give away free boxes after I moved and to purchase a compost bin from a neighbor. Others use Nextdoor to ask for referrals to local professionals like plumbers, contractors, dentists, veterinarians and more. Another common use is local alerts – like asking for help finding a lost dog or reporting a crime. Nextdoor can be just as useful when something goes right as when something goes wrong, but it’s important to remember that just like any other online platform positive and negative sentiments can be exacerbated – so take them all with a grain of salt.
How Nextdoor Benefits Public Agencies
Public agencies like police and parks & rec departments have incredible opportunities on Nextdoor. In fact, Nextdoor offers services specifically for public agencies on their site. GFM and CenterTable have been working closely with client Denver Parks & Recreation on the “Be A Smart Ash” campaign, which has leveraged Nextdoor by posting universal notices about the availability of free trees and ash tree treatment schedules. Residents in every Denver-area Nextdoor neighborhood receive the same notice, while comments and questions are aggregated on the back-end, making monitoring and engagement streamlined for the client. So far, this has proven a very effective tool for reaching a very targeted audience – homeowners and residents.
How Nextdoor Can Benefit Businesses
Nextdoor is targeted at individuals, so how businesses can engage remains a bit limited at this time. That said, there are a few savvy ways that businesses can leverage the platform:
- If you’re hosting an event in or offering a unique service to a neighborhood, consider asking employees or friends of your business to post something on your behalf. They should be transparent by explaining their connection to the business in their post, but then also mention their local connection and their reason for sharing (e.g., “I am an employee of XXXX, but even more important, as a resident of XXXX I think this is great for our ‘hood!”
- Whenever possible, monitor for mentions of your business on Nextdoor. It’s easy to search for conversations within the platform, and monitoring for and responding to comments (positive or negative) can be a big benefit. And, ask employees or friends of your business to do the same. Of course, if you (or they) reply, it’s important once again to be transparent about your relationship to the business, and whether it’s a positive or especially a negative comment, driving the conversation into real life can go a long way (e.g., “Give me a call, I’d love to learn more…” or “Please send me a direct email so I can get the specifics….” Or simply, “Swing by the store, I’d love to meet you and discuss face-to-face…”).
Interested in hearing more about how Nextdoor works and how it could benefit you? Listen to this helpful podcast from The Verge. Or, simply reach out to us! We’d love to talk about how we’re using the platform individually both as residents/consumers and also as professionals, and how we’re seeing our clients leverage the platform, too.