December 5, 2012, 12:10 PM

Staples invites small business professionals to connect on LinkedIn

The retailer creates a new forum on the social network.

Kevin Woodward

Senior Editor

Lead Photo

Staples and LinkedIn have created a forum called Succeed: Small Business Network.

Small business owners looking for ways to share ideas with their peers have another online option. Office supplies retailer Staples Inc. and LinkedIn Corp. have created a forum called Succeed: Small Business Network, on the business-oriented social network.

The forum’s purpose is to offer information and content and enable small business professionals to network and share ideas, says Staples, No. 2 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 guide. Network members also receive small business news in the LinkedIn Today section on their LinkedIn home pages. LinkedIn employees will manage and monitor the forum, Staples says. Forum members also will receive profiles of industry experts, weekly polls and special event invitations.

The Staples’ brand is visible throughout the Succeed forum, including its Powered by Staples tag, and two ads and a sponsored LinkedIn poll on the right rail.

Staples is not alone in pursuing small business owners. W.W. Grainger Inc., No. 15, and Amazon.com Inc., No. 1, with its Amazon Supply site, both are courting this group of online purchasers with topical forums on social networks including LinkedIn and Facebook.

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