Nextdoor has opened up its doors for local businesses to utilize paid ads and free marketing tools. Learn how to advertise on Nextdoor with these simple steps.
What is Nextdoor?
Nextdoor is a social networking platform based on members’ geographic location. It’s segmented by neighborhoods, with options to see and share posts only with neighbors within a certain distance from a member’s verified address. On their website, Nextdoor describes it as a place “where neighbors go to build connections, stay informed, and help each other in their everyday lives.”
I’ve used Nextdoor personally since moving to Talmadge in 2013. At that time, no businesses were allowed to be on or post to the platform. Since its early days, Nextdoor has grown and changed quite a bit. From a monetization standpoint, it’s no surprise that Nextdoor is now inviting businesses to the platform.
Here’s an example of a neighborhood here in San Diego on the Nextdoor platform. We typically think of an area such as La Jolla in San Diego as one neighborhood. However, Nextdoor divides up neighborhoods into sub-neighborhoods. Typically each Nextdoor neighborhood will have between 1,000-4,000 residents. Members can choose to post only to their own sub-neighborhood, or to surrounding neighborhoods.
Businesses on Nextdoor
Within this neighborhood overview, you can see local businesses that have been recommended by Nextdoor members. Overtime, some of these businesses have accumulated hundreds of recommendations!
When members search for recommendations for restaurants, shops, or service providers, businesses show up with all the recommendations they’ve received from neighbors. This social proof goes a long way in building trust for businesses. When someone you know, or who you know is your neighbor, recommends a business, you are more likely to trust them and give the recommended business a try.
One of the most recommended businesses in our example neighborhood in La Jolla is The French Gourmet.
I live about 10 miles away from this neighborhood and business, so when I click on it from my neighborhood, I’m shown three recommendations from neighbors nearby me, even one name I recognize! This continues to build trust through social proof.
All of these business listings have existed for some time on Nextdoor, even before businesses were allowed to publish or claim their own listings, edit them, or post on their own behalf.
Advertising and marketing tools on Nextdoor that enable business owners to post content as their business have just begun to roll out in 2020.
Now, Nextdoor is encouraging members to “build your business brand presence in your neighborhood whether you’re a store owner, a real estate agent, or a dog walker.” Let’s learn how.
Reach Local Customers on Nextdoor
Nextdoor is a great social networking platform for small businesses with local customers. It’s the only social networking platform that has geographic boundaries, so you can reach a hyper-local audience. Plus, you don’t have to have any sort of following (as you would on Instagram or Facebook for example) to begin reaching potential customers with your posts.
Create Or Claim Your Business Page
If someone has already recommended your business, Nextdoor has likely created a business page for you using data from Google. If not, you can create a page. Either way, you’ll want to claim or create your page, then update it to include your logo, information, and photos.
Here’s how the backend editor looks, just fill in the blanks!
Check out how our public profile looks here: https://nextdoor.com/pages/noble-intent-studio-san-diego-ca/
No Need To Build A Following
Nextdoor has a built-in audience, so there’s no need to gather followers. Plus, Nextdoor’s members must have a verified address within their respective neighborhood prior to joining. So, everyone you reach is guaranteed to be in proximity to your business.
Start Posting With 2 Free Posts Each Month
Nextdoor allows businesses to post up to two posts each month to surrounding neighborhoods.
“Share updates, crowd source for requests and feedback, and draw in new customers with a post in the most visible place on Nextdoor, the newsfeed.”
Here’s an example of a post we created about a project we were working on for a local business.
The post says, “We’re helping Bench Home announce their move next door! Have you seen the new mural in Kensington at Bench Home? Thank you to everyone who stopped by to offer kind compliments as our team painted last week! We’re thrilled to be working with Bench to announce their move just next door, behind their current shop.
If you’re one of 6,000+ neighbors who lives in Kensington or Talmadge, check your mailbox for a postcard announcing the move and take advantage of the 30% discount storewide Bench is offering online at benchsd.com during their move (use code THECOTTAGE).
We’d love to hear if you spotted the mural or saw the postcard in your mailbox this week!”
This helped us promote our own work of the printed marketing mailer and the painted mural, and also helped promote our client’s sale as well. We had a few neighbors comment that they had received the postcard in the mail and were planning to take advantage of the promotion.
Since you only have two posts per month, it’s vital to continue to use your posts to engage with any and all comments people might make.
Here we reply back to a comment made on the post.
Create A Local Deal
If you want to do more on Nextdoor with paid options, there are a couple of options Nextdoor provides.
The first is Local Deals, which has been around longer than anything else for businesses. Nextdoor touts Local Deals as “the only advertising tool with neighborhood targeting”. And it’s true, there is really no other advertising option where you can get this granular this easily on a social networking platform.
Here’s an example of a local deal we ran a while back for our neighborhood map prints.
You can get as granular as less than 1 mile from your business or up to 10 miles away. The prices vary per neighborhood between around $1-3 depending on the population within the neighborhoods.
I could run my ad for 30 days for as little as $1.29 to reach 222 neighbors in 1 neighborhood, or as much as nearly $1,000 to reach 314,000 neighbors across nearly 500 neighborhoods within 10 miles.
My Local Deal from 2019 ran for 1 month with a pretty low spend and got nearly 6,000 views and 19 clicks. It also got 2 saves, which means Nextdoor sent an email reminder to those people ahead of the deal expiring.
Sponsor A Zip Code
Nextdoor recently released a new feature allowing businesses to sponsor certain zip codes. If you want to reach customers outside of your own neighborhood, you can now purchase one or more zip codes and have the ability to make 2 posts per month to those neighborhoods.
Sponsorship also unlocks post types of Events and Polls, in addition to Updates and Local Deals.
Here’s the difference:
Essentials is the Free plan (although we expect that may change in the future), and Sponsor is the paid plan which varies in price based on the zip code(s) you purchase.
As an example, let’s go back to our La Jolla area neighborhoods example. Since this area is not where our business is located, we would have to purchase that zip code to reach people who live there.
This feature just rolled out on November 10, 2020, and as of now there are only 5 spots available for sponsors for most neighborhoods.
Whether you choose to go the organic route with marketing your business on Nextdoor using the two free posts per month, or the paid route with their advertising options, Nextdoor is definitely a platform every small business serving local customers should be on.