American Express (Amex) has unveiled the Open Forum, an online resource and networking site for business owners. The site is designed to forge business connections and provide practical, actionable information and insights from influential bloggers, industry leaders, and savvy entrepreneurs. In addition, the site will aggregate relevant online small business conversations from Twitter.
At the centre of the new forum is the Connectodex, a tool for American Express Open cardmembers which enables them to market their business, find vendors and build relationships. It allows members to navigate a virtual rolodex of credentialed businesses to make meaningful business connections. The Connectodex’s recommendation engine can help users find businesses with similar interests or in similar geographies, as well as connect with members that may offer complimentary services and expertise.
“Our research has found that nearly 60% of small business owners feel challenged in finding innovative ways to market their business, yet only 1-in-10 are tapping opportunities in social networking,” said Marcy Shinder, vice president of brand management for American Express Open. “The new Open Forum provides a one-of-a-kind community where business owners can equip themselves with the best information and resources available to build and grow resilient businesses, including opportunities to leverage social media.”
In the near future, the Open Forum will introduce the Pulse, an feature that can help business owners harness the information and collective brainpower of the popular microblogging website Twitter in one easy-to-follow location. The Pulse section curates and filters small business focused updates and allows users to sort by industry to help make it easier to follow conversations relevant to their businesses.
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