This article was updated on September 18, 2020.
How to Be a "Good Neighbor" Business
As a local business, you depend on your customers – often neighbors – to purchase your goods or services. Your business is hugely important to the local community, and on Nextdoor, your business can grow its reputation through a Nextdoor Business Page, engage 1:1 with customers through free Business Posts, and share sales promotions through Local Deals.
September marks Neighbor Month, a time to celebrate those in our communities who are doing good and coming together to play a positive part where we live. This month – and always – it’s important for your business to be a good neighbor. There’s a sense of connection and solidarity that comes from positively contributing to the local community. And, of course, it’s good for business. How can you use Nextdoor to not only promote your business, but also be a better neighbor?
First – what is the difference between a member account and a business account? Member accounts are meant to help you keep up with your neighbors, friends, and family that live in your local community. It’s where you can seek help looking for your lost pet, share safety information, or ask for advice and local recommendations.
In contrast, your business account is meant to be about your brand and the goods or professional services you offer. In order to manage your reputation, make Business Posts, and post Local Deals, you need a business account. Your Business Page is where you’ll invite customers to leave you recommendations, and where you can provide the important details that you want customers to know about your business.
Read on for 5 tips on how you can use your member account to show that your business is a “good neighbor.”
1. Be a good neighbor. As a business owner, there are many ways to use your member account to show that you are neighborly. Reply to neighbors’ questions, use a polite and respectful tone, and when new neighbors join, welcome them to the community. Participate because you genuinely want to be a good neighbor and positively contribute to the community. Neighbors will begin to recognize you and your contributions.
2. Recommend other local businesses, and share your business expertise when appropriate. Neighbors seek help and advice from fellow neighbors on Nextdoor for everyday decisions and tasks. Respond to neighbors’ requests for recommendations with the names of your local favorites. You may also proactively recommend your own favorite local businesses – doing so boosts the number of recommendations on their Business Page and creates good will, and also shows your willingness to promote other businesses within the community. If neighbors are seeking a good or service that pertains directly to your business, chime in and suggest they try your business.
3. Invite neighbors and fellow business owners. More neighbors on Nextdoor means more people to connect with and help one another. Make use of your free mailed invitation letters by sending them to anyone who is not yet on Nextdoor. When out and about in your neighborhood, mention that you run a local business to any neighbors you talk to and invite them to stop by sometime. If your favorite local businesses aren’t yet on Nextdoor, invite them to claim their own Business Page so they can build their local reputation.
4. Add your business and business title to your member profile. If neighbors want to learn more about you, they can visit your member profile. Don’t forget to include your link to your Business Page within your member profile!
5. Gather inspiration for your Business Posts and Local Deals. You can gain insights into what is going on in the neighborhood and what topics are of interest within the community by being an active member of Nextdoor.
Does your professional experience afford you expert knowledge about a specific topic that neighbors are talking about? Share insights with neighbors through a free Business Post. If someone responds with additional questions, it may be an opportunity to schedule a consultation with them.
When thinking about what offers and discounts to promote, keep in mind the conversations you’ve seen across the community. Are neighbors seeking something your business can provide? Consider targeting specific neighborhoods via Local Deals with a discount to get them in the door.
When using your business account – updating your Business Page, making Business Posts, or Local Deals – make sure to keep these things in mind to be a “good neighbor” business:
1. Provide up-to-date information. When neighbors visit your Business Page, they should see the latest information about your business. Take care to update your business hours, phone number, and email address. If you now offer local takeout or delivery options, mark the fields that show as such. While it may seem tedious to keep your online presence updated, you’ll have a better chance of earning new customers if they have a clear understanding of what you offer.
2. Make sure your Business Posts and Local Deals are relevant to the neighborhood. If you live within the same community as your business, your member account provides you insight into what topics are of interest and trending from fellow neighbors. This is a big opportunity! Are neighbors looking for a home service provider who takes COVID precautions very seriously? Or are they looking for a restaurant with outdoor seating? Let that information inform the content for your next Business Post and Local Deal.
3. Respond promptly to private messages or comments on your posts. Always try to respond promptly and thoughtfully to inquiries from customers or potential customers. This allows you to quickly clear up any confusion, tout your goods or services, and build relationships – before neighbors seek the same information from a competitor.
As a local business owner, it's important to be involved. In addition to claiming your Business Page, make sure you're also participating as a good neighbor within your community!