LinkedIn Launches Small Biz Network

LinkedIn on Tuesday unveiled a new offering for the small business community sponsored by Staples. The Succeed: Small Business Network  will provide content including industry expert profiles and Q&As, events, incentive awards and weekly polls. It also includes a small-business version of LinkedIn Today, the site’s social news product, and a discussion section.

In a blog post today, Jonathan Lister, VP, North American sales and marketing solutions, said Succeed will have a dedicated editorial staff to curate and manage the group daily and work closely with Staples. Through its sponsorship, office supplies retailer will have visibility throughout the group’s page, including a “Powered by Staples” tag and four areas of branding on the right rail.

With the initiative, LinkedIn is surely hoping to keep its more than 15 million small businesses professionals sticking around and engaging more on the site. Succeed follows the model of a similar forum LinkedIn created earlier this year for women and sponsored by Citi. Earlier this month, the company said the Connect: Professional Women’s Network had attracted 70,000 members after launching in April.

LinkedIn also introduced a blog network in the fall that lets people follow more than 150 "influencers" including from President Obama, billionaire Richard Branson and Craigslist founder Craig Newmark.

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