Staples ask small business to join its network

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — Staples and LinkedIn have teamed up to launch SUCCEED: Small Business Network, an online forum for small business professionals.

SUCCEED gives small business professionals the opportunity to network, seek advice, have discussions and share success stories and professional hurdles, while giving Staples the opporunity to engage with one of its core customers segments. The forum will also offer information and content in a variety of ways, including a small-business oriented special edition of LinkedIn Today, an editorial platform that aggregates and curates highly relevant and targeted news from one million publishers across the web.

“At Staples, we’re always providing new ways to help our small business customers succeed,” said Alison Corcoran, SVP of marketing, Staples Retail. “Together with LinkedIn, we have the opportunity to develop a vital small business community and build on our relationships with this important segment through the leading social network for professionals.”

To engage members, the managed group will offer benefits such as industry expert profiles, targeted events, incentive awards, spotlight Q&As and weekly polls. The content will be managed and monitored by a dedicated editorial staff at LinkedIn.

“We are pleased to work with Staples to create an environment which offers content that matters to small business professionals,” said Jonathan Lister, VP, North American Sales, Marketing Solutions, LinkedIn. “Through SUCCEED, we aim to give our members the resources they need to be more productive and successful within the digital and social context that is most relevant to them.”

Staples branding will be visible throughout the group’s page, including a “Powered by Staples” tag and four areas of branded content on the right rail. LinkedIn has also placed measurement tools on the group’s page for administrators and members to gauge performance using on-site analytics.

Both companies aim to engage existing Staples customers as well as capture the attention of new small business professionals. As such, both companies will amplify insights from the group through a combination of member-facing emails and e-newsletters, messaging on the Staples LinkedIn Company Page and posts on social media channels. The forum is accessible at Linkedin.com/succeedsmallbiz.