On the Way to the Forum: Web Forums Build New Platform for Small Business Owners

by on Feb 05, 2015

web_forumSmall business owners have a lot of choices when it comes to financing, with a multitude of banks and credit card companies offering credit and charge cards, to say nothing of “alternative lenders.” To help engage entrepreneurs and market their offerings, credit card companies frequently maintain thought leadership outlets for small business owners. Firms provide business advice articles and content to educate business-owners and get them to return to their sites. On blogs and in social forums, firms offer advice to business owners on everything from management tips to adapting the latest technologies to small business operations. Credit card companies have created a niche where visitors can discover engaging articles that offer tips and insights from other small business leaders on issues important to their companies and industries.

Two Small Business Card Monitor firms in particular are maintaining interactive forums for entrepreneurs. American Express’s OPEN Forum and Bank of America’s Small Business Community both let visitors create profiles and post to their respective communities. On AmEx’s OPEN Forum, users can follow articles and posts on relevant topics like marketing, money, technology and more. Community members can opt to follow individual users from the business world so that those users’ posts display in a social media-style news feed on the site. Users can post their own questions and comments, and interact with the community. Posts are tagged by topic so that users can follow threads that are of interest to them. The OPEN Forum’s strong visual focus, attractive design and frequent use of images in its articles all make for an engaging resource for business owners.

 

american_express_open_forum

American Express OPEN Forum

Bank of America also lets users create personal profiles and post questions in its Small Business Community. While the site’s design is a bit more outdated, users can peruse message board-style tables, and can post and respond to questions from others. The firm regularly provides articles on topics like business finances, marketing and technology.

bank_of_american_small_business_communityBank of America Small Business Community

 

Both firms offer users an interactive way to read business advice and engage with the small business community. These resources give visitors an opportunity for dynamic engagement with advice content, beyond just the sharing and reposting of articles and other information. For more a more detailed analysis of these trends, check out this month’s Small Business Card Monitor update, which examines the advice resources that credit card companies are offering to entrepreneurs.

For more information, or to obtain a copy of the Small Business Card Monitor update, please contact Fred LaPolla, Senior Analyst.