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NextDoor for Veterinarians

The NextDoor office building.

NextDoor is a local social network platform that is limited to “neighborhoods” based on your home or business address. It is designed for local people to post questions, ask for recommendations, and give/get general updates for their area. In fact, many of the posts start with ISO or “in search of.” 

Using NextDoor for Veterinarians

NextDoor is a great platform for veterinarians because people who live close to your practice will be searching for your services. When someone posts a question asking about a veterinarian, their “neighbors” reply with suggestions. Real names are required on NextDoor for safety and to show the legitimacy of posts. For example, in my local area, this post was made by a “neighbor.”

Screenshot of a NextDoor post.

In response to her question, 83 people wrote in suggestions of veterinarians–including information about wait times they experienced for those practices. However, not a single veterinary hospital wrote in and became part of the conversation! Instead, pet owners were giving recommendations and suggestions on which hospital the person should use. 

To check out if it was an isolated, geographical trend, the staff at Beyond Indigo Pets posted in their local “neighborhoods” and searched for posts about veterinarians. A team member posted this for a vet recommendation, and within a few hours received 15 comments back with suggestions. Again, not a single hospital was part of the conversation. We checked multiple other geographical areas, and found similar results. Veterinarians were missing the conversation on NextDoor and the potential of new business

A NextDoor post.

Establishing a Presence

Being seen on NextDoor requires a presence in the form of a business page, which is free. Since business listings are a newer addition to NextDoor, the listings are pretty simple. Basically all you need is a picture, the name of your business, a brief description, a phone number, and (sometimes) an address. As an example, you can see the simple listing for Beyond Indigo Pets.  People can then “recommend” a business or initiate contact through this page. People can “tag” the business page as well, which allows readers to easily view the business. In order to activate a new business place, NextDoor will send a code to the practice address to verify it is truly the hospital that wants the page and will control it. 
Once your business page is set up, NextDoor “gives” two free posts per month that it will show in the local neighborhood(s). The platform might also show information about your business in “sister” neighborhoods that connect to your neighborhood. This depends on your geographical area. Make sure to take advantage of the two free posts per month on NextDoor to expand your local reach.

The Beyond Indigo Pets NextDoor page.

NextDoor Paid Options

Like other social networks, NextDoor offers the opportunity to pay for ads. You can do so with the following:

  1. Offer Local Deal is what NextDoor calls sponsorships or ads. There are four types of deals, which are:
  • Percent Off
  • Buy One, Get One Free
  • Fixed Discount
  • Custom Deal

The Custom Deal can be any configuration you prefer. For example, you might offer the sixth day free for doggie daycare. This ad can be a one-time deal or a subscription that renews monthly, and can be canceled at any time. The rate of the ad depends on how long it runs and how many neighborhoods can view it. For a 3-mile radius around a hospital, it could be low as $10 for 14 days. 

  1. Manage Plan is a new pay-to-be-seen option on NextDoor. A business sponsors a zip code. There are only five of these sponsorship slots open in any particular zip code. One zip code can cover multiple NextDoor neighborhoods. If all five slots are filled, NextDoor will put your business on a waiting list for no charge. When a slot opens and you are the next on the waiting list, NextDoor will reach out to see if the pay-to-be-seen option is something you wish to engage with at that time. 

Become Part of the Conversation

The upside of NextDoor is local brand awareness that simultaneously allows you to be part of the conversations that are already occurring in your area. We have seen 30,000+ views on NextDoor ads, which are only seen by people living in and around your business. Just remember, to truly be part of the conversations of NextDoor, your veterinary  hospital needs to engage and post in the discussion threads when questions pop up. If possible, assign a team member(s)to check NextDoor each day for the business’s neighborhood and respond to relevant questions and conversations.

If you are exhausted and done trying veterinary marketing on your own, however, give us a call. Beyond Indigo Pets is here to help you and your business through these changing times. Our full-service marketing plans for vets make it easy for you to maintain a relationship with your current clients and reach out to new clients so you can grow. Call (877) 244-9322 ext. 100, or click here to get started.

Have questions about this veterinary industry marketing topic? Want tips on what else to look out for or how to improve your business' marketing? Come ask questions, share solutions, and join the conversation on VetMarketingTalk, a new online community designed for the veterinary industry and powered by the marketing experts at Beyond Indigo Pets. Click here to sign up today—FREE for the first 30 days, no credit card required.