Nextdoor may offer the next lucrative marketing opportunity for businesses trying to tap into the hyperlocal market. At least, venture capital investors are betting it will be.
Nextdoor is a San Francisco-based social networking site that connects neighbor to neighbor much like Facebook connects friend to friend. In fact, both social media sites secured original funding from the same investor: Greylock Partners, which after a $21.6 million investment in Nextdoor, will have a seat on its board of directors.
The network services is now available in 8,000 neighborhoods in all states, with most people using it for recommendations like babysitters or mechanics, the New York Times blog, Bits, reports. If it’s not in your neighborhood, you can easily create a page through Nextdoor’s site. Unlike Facebook, many people connecting on Nextdoor don’t actually know each other. Instead, they’re using their location and community as common grounds for connecting. Indeed, Nextdoor verifies a user’s neighborhood through credit card records or automated phone calls.
For local businesses, Nextdoor could mean an online word-of-mouth marketing avenue similar to Yelp. But, unlike Yelp, where businesses can easily add to their own positive reviews and one disgruntled customer can ramp up negative reviews, Nextdoor offers users connections with confirmed neighbors, who they’ll more likely trust over anonymous posters.
Nextdoor, which launched in 2011, of course is just one of a slew of hyperlocal websites like Groupon, LivingSocial and Patch.com that hit consumers extremely close to home. But Nextdoor not only caters to one specific location-based demographic, it links those people to each other. So, marketers may do well to heed Nextdoor’s tagline, “When neighbors start talking, good things happen.”