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Finding recommendations and ideas for service providers is of course easier than ever online. We can Google it, Facebook about it or maybe search Pinterest for ideas.
And now as of summer 2017 or a few months ago, Facebook allows you to ask your network for recommendations specifically. Here's how that looks when you post a request for recommendations:
On Facebook, my wife got one share – from me – and one like – also from me – and there were no people commenting nor leaving recommendations at all.
We then also posted it on our neighborhood network on Nextdoor.
On that network we received over 10 responses. Many of them were of companies we had never even heard of. But they were all local and all appeared relevant. People even left phone numbers and since we were using the network's app on our phones we could simply click on the phone number and call the business directly.
I wasn't sure if I called the right business based on the voicemail message I was receiving during one call and my wife asked me if I doubt the right number. I said: "I just click the number in the app." 😂
While we're still checking bids and pricing I would say early indications are that the Nextdoor network worked much better for recommendations than Facebook.
It's not like I necessarily want Facebook to close up shop but I constantly wonder when other networks will take over a certain market share from Facebook. In this case Nextdoor won.
A bit more about Nextdoor
When the network first came online I didn't find myself too interested. While I'm obviously into social media and find great value in it overall I just didn't see any with this network. Why would I want to connect with my neighbors virtually?
I kind a let it go and didn't sign up and then one day we got an invitation in the mail. Yes, that mail. The one that arrives in my mailbox on paper. And that direct mail piece of paper invited us to join our neighborhood network. ✅
Turns out that this is an actually very good way to get all the neighbors to sign up. Once I logged in using the information on the card I saw that virtually everyone in our immediate neighborhood has signed up.
And people do post information from time to time that is relevant to the neighborhood. A lot of it is people looking for recommendations or summer jobs for the kids or things like that. One time I did post a note on there when there was some police activity in the neighborhood.
So there is certainly a potential for a network that has a high adoption rate and is based on geography. It also would be a great place for people to share stories that the neighborhood would care about. Of course, I would think they all would have some geographic tie in. I'm just thinking about the people that I know that live in my neighborhood and there's a wide range of professionals. I wouldn't even know what their shared interests are other than the physical proximity.
So there are other benefits for the neighborhood network. For now, I have to say it by far beat Facebook in us getting relevant recommendations for our question.