How do you get news from your neighborhood? In the digital age, you’re probably connected to your neighbors and community online, perhaps through Facebook pages and groups, or other social media. Maybe you’ve seen or used Nextdoor, a platform specifically designed to help you connect, share news, and get advice from members of your local neighborhood. But have you considered how valuable the platform can be for your agency?
We’re diving into what Nextdoor is, why it’s so powerful, and how it can be a valuable source of word of mouth referrals for agencies.
Why is Nextdoor such a powerful platform?
Nextdoor is different than other social media like Facebook or Twitter. We talked to Kim Angeli, a former agency owner who offers a Nextdoor Business Mastery Class, to get the scoop on what makes Nextdoor such a great platform for local businesses.
Nextdoor’s purpose is to connect you with the neighbors in your local area. Your feed is based on your home address, so you only see posts from people in your community. It describes itself as a platform “where communities come together to greet newcomers, exchange recommendations, and read the latest local news. Where neighbors support local businesses and get updates from public agencies. Where neighbors borrow tools and sell couches. It’s how to get the most out of everything nearby.”
That’s what makes it so perfect for small local businesses, including insurance agencies. “This is where your ideal client is living,” says Kim. “This is where women who are running households go to find services. They’re busy and they don’t have time to look everyone up on Google and call some service provider who’s not going to show up.”
Nextdoor allows people to ask for and share recommendations on local services, so people on the platform are actively looking for services in their area. In fact, Nextdoor has exploded in popularity since the pandemic, increasing its daily active members by more than 80% and recently announcing plans to go public as part of a $4.3 billion deal.
“During the pandemic people wanted to find out which grocery stores in their area still had toilet paper or what restaurants were open,” Kim says. “But if you post something like that to Facebook, it will go to your friends in every country and every state. People figured out they could go to Nextdoor and ask a question and it would only go to people in a radius of a few miles around their home, so they got much more relevant answers. So that prompted a shift for more people to start using Nextdoor as a resource.”
It’s a trusted platform
Kim considers trust to be one of the biggest obstacles between an independent agent and a prospective client. “Everybody who sells something has to get their client across the bridge of trust,” she explains. “And Nextdoor was built on trust. It was created to facilitate word of mouth and organic reputation.”
Nextdoor makes it easy to view a business’s page and see reviews and people who have given it a “heart,” or recommendation. Reviews are vital in today’s digital economy, and people give far more weight to reviews from people they know, and that are relevant to their local area. In addition, every business on Nextdoor is verified, and every user must have a verified address in order to interact with their local community. That means users can trust Nextdoor reviews and recommendations to be real and relevant, not faked or paid for.
It attracts high-quality, high-intent referrals
People go to Nextdoor for the express purpose of finding local services that their neighbors recommend. That means those on the platform are far more likely to be high-intent and eager to purchase than audiences on other social media platforms.
Kim says, “I could call any independent agent in the country and ask what works better for you, word of mouth referrals or leads from Google, and they would say word of mouth. It doesn’t take as many touches to convert them to a policyholder, because the trust from the referral source is already there.” Because Nextdoor facilitates word of mouth referrals, it’s a green field that will provide higher quality leads that can be closed in one or two touches, rather than tire-kickers who may be wasting your time or leave within a few months.
How to get started on Nextdoor
It’s clear that Nextdoor is a great place for agents to get referrals. But how does your agency get the Nextdoor machine running? Here are some steps we recommend for getting started on the platform:
1. Determine whether it’s the right platform for your audience
2. Join one or more neighborhoods
3. Create your business page
4. Ask for hearts and reviews
5. Publish posts regularly
6. Answer relevant questions in the community
Take a look at our blog on how to get started on Nextdoor for more details on each of these steps, along with tips and recommendations from agencies who use Nextdoor.
Harness the power of community
Nextdoor is only continuing to grow in popularity, and if your agency isn’t making use of it, you could be missing out on valuable leads and referrals. “Nobody wants to be alone in the process for insurance or claims,” Kim says. “Anything that helps you let more people know that you’re there to pick up the phone and care about them is valuable. If you can shout it from the rooftops consistently in places like Nextdoor, you’ll get word of mouth referrals from your raving fans who can connect you to others. You’ll be in a position to take only the best clients who understand your value and won’t leave you for anything. That’s the ultimate goal for any agent.”
Get Tips for Getting Started on Nextdoor
Check out HawkSoft’s article on 6 steps for starting your agency’s Nextdoor presence.
Since 1995, HawkSoft is a leader in management systems for independent insurance agencies that want effective workflows and a delightful experience for staff and policyholders. HawkSoft offers the following promise to insurance agents: your investment in HawkSoft will pay for itself in the first year. Learn more about HawkSoft’s unique father-and-son story here, or request a demo to learn more about our agency management system.
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