PartnerUp, which has built an online social network for entrepreneurs and small businesses, is now aiming for large, enterprise-sized companies with its Customer Community Solution, a platform for building customer social networks.
A social network builder for businesses? Be still my heart. But even though there are many companies doing something that sounds similar, PartnerUp is coming at the problem from a different angle. The idea isn’t to help companies create communities from scratch, but rather to build on the social network PartnerUp has already created. So the new Customer Care Solution isn’t for any company hoping to build an online community. Instead, it’s focused on companies that would benefit from connecting to PartnerUp’s main site, because their ideal customers are the small businesses that have already joined the PartnerUp network.
PartnerUp helps companies reach those businesses in ways beyond the community site — the product also includes ad targeting and reports as part of the package. So these companies are both building social networks and becoming PartnerUp advertisers. An early customer is SCORE, a group of more than 11,000 counselors who advise small businesses. When someone visits SCORE’s community site, they can also find and contact the “hundreds of thousands” of businesses that PartnerUp says are part of its network.
Minneappolis-based PartnerUp is owned by Deluxe, a public company. (Disclosure: PartnerUp has previously sponsored posts on VentureBeat.)