Visa Inc. on Tuesday launched a new business network on Facebook and is paying for $2 million of advertising on the site. (Found this on the San Jose Business Journal today, but it makes a wider point)
Through the new site, Visa said it expects to tap into Palo Alto-based Facebook’s more than 80 million active users, while Facebook expects to bring in more advertisers to its site and generate more revenue.
The new site is expected to help small business tap into a global network of peers and advisers from among the more than 80,000 small businesses already on Facebook. The site will also provide small business owners with business tools and help identify and target prospective customers by reaching more than 80 million active users worldwide.
In order to promote the campaign, Visa will provide the first 20,000 U.S.-based businesses that join the Visa Business Network with a $100 Facebook Ads credit. The small businesses that receive the advertising credits are expected to use Facebook to market their services and products online in the future.
Antonio Lucio, Chief Marketing Officer of Visa Inc. said, “Working with Facebook, Visa is breaking new ground by harnessing social networking to connect business owners. We are putting the power of the network in the users’ hands, and it will be fascinating to see how the community evolves.”
Several thousands of Internet programs have been developed specifically for Facebook, but the majority of these applications are dedicated to gaming, music and picture-sharing, rather than to commerce.
I’m a small business professional and I don’t need to pay to message 500 strangers. I need qualified and timely referrals. ( bold & emoticon added by me)