If you’re a pastor of a church, social media can be a frustrating thing. You want to use social media to connect with people who might be looking for a good church, so you create a Facebook page. You put out the word, and people start “liking” your church page – but they don’t even live in your city, let alone your neighborhood! But instead, it’s your grandma, your high school best friend, 2 weird people from your email address book, and 3 spam accounts that want you to buy Oakley sunglasses.
If only there was some way to connect naturally with people right in your neighborhood! Some way to know what what going on in their lives, without stopping by 500 homes every week.
Then, someone created NextDoor.
It’s a social network that is geographically based by your address, not relationally based. You actually get to know your neighbors, people who live right in your neighborhood.
On Nextdoor, people:
- Share things they saw in the neighborhood
- Post events (garage sales, etc.)
- Warn about theft or vandalism
- Share news that’s relevant to the community.
- Post about lost or found pets
- Ask about good places to Trick or Treat
- And other things neighbors do…
Here’s why you should check out NextDoor:
1. Geographic connections.
Facebook is great, but it’s not easy to find people who are geographically connected. They may be connected by relationships, but it’s not a place where people come to connect with people who live two streets over. Besides, if you’re like me, you have too many FB friends to even see most things they post!
Nextdoor allows you to talk with people and stay up with what’s going on in your neighborhood, instead of lunch photos from that girl you went to high school with.
2. Early adopters & relational people.
For right now, those who are on Nextdoor are people who are very open to trying something new. They aren’t the last guy holding out from joining something new. As Guy P told me this past week when he visited our church (from Nextdoor), “I knew you were pretty savvy. You’re on Nextdoor, after all!” They’re also people who are tired of the phenomenon of 1/3 of Americans not knowing their neighbors. These are people you ought to get to know.
3. Ground floor influence.
I am now a Neighborhood Lead on my Nextdoor network, because I was one of the earliest adopters, and because I invited so many people. They make it easy to invite geographically, since they (at the time of this writing) pay for you to send postcard invites to 50 people at a time in your neighborhood. (You never have to touch the postcards, but you can customize the message with your name.)
For me, this was a no-brainer: Get to know my neighbors better, and let someone else pay for it? Yes, please.
I am planning to use Nextdoor more intentionally in the next few months. But without any particular plan, we’ve had 2 men start attending church from it in the past few months.
4. Very little noise.
Facebook and Twitter have been noisy for a while. And they are getting noisier, with all the ads and commercialization. Nextdoor is like a quieter room – you don’t have to talk with a megaphone to be heard.
In fact, on our Nextdoor, we will sometimes go for a few days with no posts at all. Which is fine with me. No one is feeling pressure to fill up the empty space, which makes your message stand out more.
5. No Farmville.
Right now, Nextdoor is simple. No apps, games, and ads. Maybe someday they’ll complicate it, but for right now, it’s uncluttered.
6. News about what’s going on in your community.
Oklahoma City is using Nextdoor to put out information about community events that are geographically based. Law enforcement in OKC is using it to share ideas about safety.
I use it to share graphics about what is coming up at our church, specifically events like Trunk or Treat, or Easter.
If you’d like to check to see if Nextdoor is available in your area, or if you can launch a Nextdoor for your neighborhood, CLICK HERE. (For a limited time, if you recruit enough neighbors to launch a neighborhood Nextdoor network in an area where it is not available, you get a $25 Amazon gift card.)