The growth of social network Nextdoor is a reminder that local communities create a foundation for building reputations at scale. Nextdoor connects people who live in close geographic proximity to each other. Since its launch in 2011, the self-described “world’s largest social network for the neighborhood” has grown to include more than 220,000 neighborhoods, where members connect, discuss news relevant to their neighborhoods and have virtual garage sales. In addition, members can rate/review businesses, which is one of the reasons Nextdoor is growing into a place for businesses to build their reputations.
Businesses should think of Nextdoor as a hyperlocal Google My Business (GMB) page — another place to be found and to interact with your customers. On Nextdoor, a business can create listings, offer promotions and respond to customer ratings and reviews. Nextdoor is a natural fit for small-to-medium sized businesses, but it’s also a platform for national businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, as illustrated in this example:
And Nextdoor applies to multiple industries, including healthcare:
What really jumps out at me about customer ratings/reviews on Nextdoor is that they are more likely to be posted by people who know each other. That’s because of the way Nextdoor groups members into geographic proximity to each other: Once a person joins with a verified account, they are restricted to a neighborhood defined by Nextdoor. The downside of this approach (for a business) is that a customer’s rating or review has less scale. The upside is that those reviews are from verified accounts — and they are more likely to get noticed by someone who knows the reviewer, thus making the review potentially more credible to the community.
Although Nextdoor is still in the early stages of growth, I believe it merits your attention. Consider the following steps:
- Pilot a location by claiming a Nextdoor page with robust content. Apply the same approach you would on GMB to optimize content to be found, including SEO-friendly descriptions, accurate location information and compelling images.
- Mind your reputation by following what customers say about you, responding to them and learning from them. Potentially, Nextdoor can help you uncover operational issues that need to be resolved at the local level as well as ideas for new products and services that cater to the needs of different communities.
As Nextdoor scales its business – and it’s getting the funding to do just that – I would not be surprised if it creates more sophisticated advertising tools to help national businesses manage multiple franchises locally. For now, Nextdoor is ideally suited for self-managing franchises. Keep an eye on Nextdoor. We certainly are.
Interested in learning more? Download our free guide: What is Online Reputation Management?