THIS JUST IN: Nextdoor recently started working with large and small businesses and WebPunch is excited about getting on that bus.
Nextdoor—both a website and an app—can be a powerful tool for tapping into your local community. Even better, because of how it’s set up, Nextdoor has more opportunities for positive conversations to happen around your business than there is potential for negative chatter. It’s also a platform for you to turn your business into more than just a service but a strong resource and steward for your community.
Right off the bat, someone viewing a business’s profile only has about five places to click and one of those places is the "Recommend a business" button (see screenshot 1, above). When the viewer clicks that button, a box pops up for them to write about their recent experience with that business (screenshot 2). Keep in mind, this is a recommendation box and not just any ole comment box. People clicking on this button are gearing up to give your business some love.
To the left of the recommend button are all of the tiny thumbnail pictures of neighbors who have also recommended the business. Scroll down and you can see what they all had to say. Once you get to the bottom of the (hopefully endless) list of reviews, there is a button that says “Add a Comment” (screenshot 3).
This is where people have the opportunity to review a business negatively. Even so, they can only do so in their comments, which, of course can still be damaging (screenshot 3). Fortunately though, there is no option to discredit the business with a poor star rating, a thumbs-down, or anything like that; they can either recommend it or just click the “No Thanks” button (screenshot 4). We like the simplicity of this.
There are two ways a business owner can launch their profile. One is by claiming their business page. Nextdoor has a list of businesses in each neighborhood and if you’re the owner, you can claim it. However, your business may not already be listed in the search results. Thankfully, setting up a profile is easy and really just requires your personal email and your key business details. It’s especially easy because Nextdoor for small business profiles don’t require a lot of curating like Facebook (refer back to screenshot 1 for an example). Business pages, as seen by your neighbors, will have a map located at the top with a pin indicating the business’s location. Below the map is the business’s name, website link, “more info,” and a horizontal list of all the neighbors that recommended your business.
The “more info” link shows the business name, physical address, phone number, website, and categories in a pop-up (screenshot 5, below).
Recommendations are King
For your business to show up in search results or in a recommended category (screenshot 6), you’ve got to be recommended by someone first. Neighbors can get to the screen below by clinking on the "Recommendations" button in their lefthand sidebar.
One of WebPunch’s Reputation Defenders, Doreen, specializes in getting businesses started with Nextdoor. She says, “Recommendations are a big thing. They want as many as they can get.”
Recommendations are what will enhance your ranking in the categories. The more recommendations your business has from neighborhood residents, the higher up you will appear in your categories. Not only that, more recommendations means you'll have a larger outreach; your business will show up in more neighborhods when it's searched or its category is searched for.
When you are getting started and receive your first recommendation, you may only show up in searches within a 50-mile radius of your business’s address. More recommendations means you’ll reach a larger area, more neighborhoods, and more people...which means you’ll be getting more leads.
“Hungry to Answer”
Sound good so far? We think so. However, Doreen told us that business owners need to be “hungry to answer.” Your business listing (which can be linked to your personal profile) will be connected to your business’s email. That means that your devoted team at WebPunch can’t respond to every hail from the neighborhood, unfortunately.
While we would definitely suggest you catching a ride on this bus with us, you’ve got to be ready to answer questions, provide quotes, and respond to any and all messages from your neighbors; that’s how you’ll get plugged in. It’s an opportunity to be more than just a business looking for new customers, but a solid resource for your community.
We are at the beginning stages of really understanding the full potential of Nextdoor app for small business, and thus far, we like it! It’s a great way to generate leads, create more positive conversations about your business, and genuinely connect with your neighborhoods and communities.
Start a personal profile, a business profile, or both, and start exploring this new platform with us. Looking forward to the ride!