Nextdoor has now introduced business profiles that can be claimed or created.
You probably would have got a notification about this from Nextdoor if you are an active member in your Nextdoor neighborhood. If not, you might want to know more about this private social network which has over ten million registered users.
How do you usually get acquainted with a neighbourhood when you move in? How do you find the best plumber or a good babysitter in your area? You talk to your neighbours and attend local events to get new contacts. You can do the same on Nextdoor, except you are doing it virtually!
Nextdoor helps you join (or build) your neighbourhood community where you can talk to people and share important information like about a theft or an event and to find trustworthy services.
To register on Nextdoor, users will have to get their address verified. After the user has provided his address and apartment number, he will be asked to verify his address using any of these methods –
Phone call – Nextdoor will call on the users’ mobile or home phone to verify their account. The billing address of the phone will be checked against the address they have provided.
Credit or debit card – The billing address of the card will be verified against the address the user has provided.
Postcard – If the user selects this method, Nextdoor will mail a postcard to the address they have provided. This postcard will have a verification code which the user can then enter on the address verification page to register.
This verification process spells a great advantage for business owners compared to other lead-gen channels. The business owner can reach out to a targeted audience in his neighbourhood who are for real!
How to Add or Claim a Business on NextDoor?
Go to the “Create Business” page on Nextdoor.
Choose “Business” if you are operating under a business name or “individual” if you are operating under your own name.
You can either link your existing account to manage your business page or create a new business account.
You will be asked to provide your phone number, service category (you can select multiple categories) and the street address. Also, your business page will be searchable only in your nearby neighborhoods.
Once you complete this process, your business profile will be linked with the relevant neighbourhood.
How to Generate Leads using Nextdoor?
There are two ways to get quality leads using Nextdoor –
Promote your business by responding to requests for recommendations by offering your services.
Create a business page on Nextdoor and your business profile will be displayed in neighbourhoods from where you have got recommendations.
These two ways might sound very simple but it actually comes with a number of conditions.
Promoting your Business by Responding to Requests
Whenever there is a request for recommendation, you can pitch in and offer your services. For example, if someone in your neighbourhood is asking recommendations for a babysitter, you could offer your services. There are some specific guidelines for how an individual can recommend his business on Nextdoor –
- A user may add the business information on his profile.
- A user can offer services under recommendation requests. While doing so, the user must also disclose his relationship to the business (owner, employee etc.)
- An owner may not post unsolicited business recommendations.
- A user can encourage other users to recommend his business on Nextdoor.
- A user can feature a commercial event like meet-ups or classes in the Events calendar for a particular neighbourhood but cannot post on the main newsfeed.
- Ads for businesses cannot be placed in the classifieds section.
Creating a Business Page
As a business owner, you can use Nextdoor to reach out to your potential customers (in your neighbourhood), respond to recommendations and keep your business information current for customers to reach you.
Your business page will be visible to the users once you have got at least one recommendation.
You can choose who can see your page from these three options –
- Nearby Neighbours – Nextdoor members in your neighbourhood plus five other neighbourhood
- Public – Anyone on or off of Nextdoor
- Nextdoor members – anyone on Nextdoor
Any user can find your business page through web search and all Nextdoor users can find your business page on Nextdoor. You can also share your business profile on Twitter and Facebook or through email to get more recommendations. You CANNOT advertise your business to specific neighbourhoods to get more recommendations.
Is Nextdoor the Right Medium for My Business?
Nextdoor is a good platform to generate leads if you are looking at a targeted audience. Let’s consider some cases to examine the pros and cons of using Nextdoor for reaching out to potential customers.
Rick bakes cupcakes at his home using fresh ingredients. He wants to reach out to potential customers.
In this case, Nextdoor can be an interesting medium to explore. Rick could directly pitch his business as an owner when there are requests for recommendations. He can also create a business profile, get recommendations and get more visibility.
Jon is a real-estate agent. He wants to sell a studio apartment in a neighbourhood.
Well, Jon cannot use the “Classifieds” section to list his property. Instead, he can create a business profile and also promote his business when someone asks for a recommendation.
The advantages are clear – Any local business can reach out to more people on Nextdoor in local context than it could reach using Twitter or Facebook. None of the other major advertising channels offer a way to specifically target people in a particular neighbourhood. For example, on Facebook, you can geo-target an ad within one-mile radius which spans across multiple neighbourhoods. Twitter just goes down to the zip-code level. And, there is no way to distinguish between visitors and locals.
However, local B2B businesses might not benefit much from this. Since a business has to get a review from someone in a neighbourhood before they can be found, businesses that don’t have personal, face-to-face dealings with their clients will not gain much from Nextdoor business profiles.
In spite of this obvious disadvantage, Nextdoor for business is still a great lead-gen channel for local businesses like landscapers, plumbers, and mechanics.
Ben Bowen, owner of Ross NW Watergardens at Portland, says Nextdoor has got him quality leads. “Getting leads on Nextdoor is not much different than old school word of mouth. First, you need clients who utilize the site. Then you have to do a great job so they are motivated to recommend you.
Maybe this will change in the future, but right now you need clients who are active in conversations on the site to benefit from it. From a marketing standpoint, Nextdoor can be frustrating because you have very little control over how visible you are. But since everything hinges on a client’s recommendation, the leads you do get are of high quality.
Besides filling out my profile and trying to be a real participant in my neighborhood I have also added Nextdoor to the list of sites that I send to clients when I request a review”, says Ben.
How Nextdoor business profiles are set to change in the coming future might affect the way the company is competing with giants like Yelp and Angie’s List. But for now, local businesses must definitely try using NextDoor for generating leads.