Nextdoor Launches new help map, group features and vetting mechanism in response to COVID-19

How Nextdoor’s Response to COVID-19 Can Help Your Efforts

  |   Coronavirus, Insights   |   No comment

As the initial weeks pass since COVID-19 first appeared in the United States, more organizations are stepping up to support communities and help shape America’s future.

One such organization is Nextdoor, the hyperlocal social network: they are seeking to address the tough logistical challenges society is facing for the first time in the digital era.

Now, more than ever, we’re seeing that digital communications have great capacity to keep us together when we are apart. Here are three ways Nextdoor is helping:

“Help Map” Creates a Local Support Network

Neighbors can mark their homes on the new Help Map to signify they’re someone who “can pitch in for neighbors who need it.” As a neighbor marks their home, they can also add the errands or support they’re able to assist their neighbors with, making it easy for neighbors to find assistance and connect via private message.

“Groups” Help Neighbors Find a New Normal Together

The new Groups feature helps neighbors connect with one another based on shared interests. Since the feature went beta, local Groups have doubled on a daily basis in the form of Parent Groups, Book Club Groups, Faith Groups, Elderly Check-In Groups and more.

Nextdoor Launches new help map, group features and vetting mechanism in response to COVID-19

Keeping Misinformation Out of the Digital Dialogue

Public agency staff know that Nextdoor can be a breeding ground for heated debate among neighbors, which can lead to rumors or misinformation spreading.

To make sure the truth reaches its users, Nextdoor beefed up its misinformation policy, specifically outlining its approach on critical COVID-19 and Census information, and added new measures to ensure residents receive accurate information.

  1. COVID-19 Public Agency Carousel: This new feature aggregates official Agency posts from cities, local and state public health, offices of emergency management and other public agencies at the top of feeds, making official information easy for residents to discover.
  2. COVID-19 Search Results: When a resident searches Nextdoor for coronavirus information, they receive a pop-up that directs them to public health officials.
  3. COVID-19 Information Vetting: Nextdoor encourages residents to verify COVID-19-related information with another pop-up that reminds them to make sure what they’re sharing is consistent with official information from the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization.

Is Nextdoor in Your Public Agency’s Communications Toolkit?

Understanding the digital landscape is crucial to reaching your audience. Remember that Nextdoor continues to offer an impressive amount of access to residents in your community. Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are all opt-in platforms that leave residents to decide whether they want to interact with your agency. Plus, social network algorithms will only show your agency’s posts to a small fraction of your followers. On Nextdoor, a public agency’s posts automatically reach all users within the Service Area (unless they opt out). Nextdoor’s address verification process results in this reliable network.

Take Tripepi Smith VIP Culver City for example: The City’s resident count has grown by approximately 25 percent since March of 2019, making its Nextdoor member count larger than its largest community Facebook Group by nearly 2,000 people. Facebook Group members may also not be residents, but those who work in or enjoy the City, further limiting the City’s reach to residents when interacting there. Notably, this popular Facebook Group has also grown at a slower rate than Nextdoor users in the City.

Because Nextdoor is where the people are, it is where agencies should find themselves, too. Understanding Nextdoor’s features and mechanisms are crucial to making the most of the platform. Read our other Insights on Nextdoor to learn more about how the organization has evolved into a public agency partner over the years:

If you found this article helpful, we welcome you to view the Tripepi Smith COVID-19 portal for more complimentary insights and resources to aid your community outreach.