Capital One Takes Aim With Slingshot

Barry Moltz This is a guest post by Barry Moltz, author of Bounce!: Failure, Resiliency, and Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success

Capital One Takes Aim With Slingshot

What does social media mean to big business trying to connect with small business? A lot – since the statistics that I see are that billions of people are doing this social media thing daily. But what has major corporations taking notice is that what people learn and the opinions they find online are being given ever increasing credibility. Most importantly for corporate America, we are making purchasing decisions based on the opinions people express online.

Enter Capital One, who launched Slingshot in February to bridge the gap between small businesses. Capital One is not a pioneer in this area of course. American Express has OPEN and UPS has Pegboard. But what makes Slingshot different is that its not just about reading articles. It’s about connecting with other small business owners to create a community. Capital One decided to focus in two cities, Raleigh, NC and Denver, CO so they could truly get local critical mass. I was the key note speaker at both events (full disclosure- as a professional speaker, I was paid) so I was able to see the launch upfront and in person.

What I liked about the Slingshot network is that it does not have all the distractions for business people that other networks have. I am constantly inundated with people that have posted things on my wall in Facebook, or they “poke” me in Facebook, or people that are looking for jobs in Linkedin. All this becomes a huge waste of time to answer and maintain. Slingshot is just for small business people where you can find customers and suppliers through their network connections.

And this makes a lot of sense for Capital One who is one of the largest issuers of credit cards for small businesses. This is a good way to connect with them and sell to them just in case there are any business people out there that do not get Capital One’s direct mail!

Do large corporations have a role in setting up social media networks? Is it good that they use the power of their brand to bring people together? I believe this is exactly what big companies should be doing in the classy way Capital One has- what do you think?

Barry’s Book:

Barry Moltz is a nationally recognized expert on entrepreneurship who has given over 100 speeches to audiences ranging from 20 to 20,000. He was appointed by the Illinois Governor in 2005 to serve on the board of the Institute for Entrepreneurship Education (IIEE). As a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, he also has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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  • http://www.professionalpodcasts.com Steven Lubetkin

    Hey Chris! Thanks for this story. As you may know, as a newly fledged Senior Research Fellow at SNCR, I’ve been real-tagged to do some research into social media use by financial services companies, so any leads like this are welcome!

  • http://www.professionalpodcasts.com Steven Lubetkin

    Hey Chris! Thanks for this story. As you may know, as a newly fledged Senior Research Fellow at SNCR, I’ve been real-tagged to do some research into social media use by financial services companies, so any leads like this are welcome!

  • http://twitter.com/notoriouslb3 Lenny Brown

    As with any Beta, there are improvements that can be made. The UI for writing, saving and posting blogs is a little cumbersome but I expect those to be worked out in time.

    I think this site has the potential to fill in the business side that LinkedIn leaves out. Thanks for the post. Perhaps I’ll see you on SlingShot.

  • http://twitter.com/notoriouslb3 Lenny Brown

    As with any Beta, there are improvements that can be made. The UI for writing, saving and posting blogs is a little cumbersome but I expect those to be worked out in time.

    I think this site has the potential to fill in the business side that LinkedIn leaves out. Thanks for the post. Perhaps I’ll see you on SlingShot.

  • Tom O’Brien

    Hi Barry: Nice article – and of course guest posting on Chris’ blog is great!

    TO’B

  • http://http//humanvoice.wordpress.com Tom O’Brien

    Hi Barry: Nice article – and of course guest posting on Chris’ blog is great!

    TO’B

  • http://blog.techrigy.com Martin Edic

    I think corporate social networks are going to replace ‘traditional’ web sites. We just put one together (on Ning) and it’s already getting a lot more traffic than our site- of course we’re in the social media business so that’s not surprising. However if you centralize access to About info, products and services, customer support, company blogs, etc. in a social network then it becomes the primary destination for everything related to the company- a community.
    The big challenge that corporate marketers need to face in social media is the need to participate- you cannot orphan your efforts by not adding value on a constant basis. I think Capital One is wise to roll out gradually because of this factor.

  • http://blog.techrigy.com Martin Edic

    I think corporate social networks are going to replace ‘traditional’ web sites. We just put one together (on Ning) and it’s already getting a lot more traffic than our site- of course we’re in the social media business so that’s not surprising. However if you centralize access to About info, products and services, customer support, company blogs, etc. in a social network then it becomes the primary destination for everything related to the company- a community.
    The big challenge that corporate marketers need to face in social media is the need to participate- you cannot orphan your efforts by not adding value on a constant basis. I think Capital One is wise to roll out gradually because of this factor.

  • http://rickmahn.com Rick Mahn

    Barry, great piece on SM by large orgainzations. Yes, I believe that big business needs to be involved in social media. In this case it seems to have made sense for CapOne to create it’s own social network for what it was trying to do.

    In many other cases, I think there is room for a couple industry-specific (vertical) social networks that multiple 3rd party corporations could leverage together. Providing a place for their customers to easily network and consume products is a smart move.

    Rick

  • http://rickmahn.com/ Rick Mahn

    Barry, great piece on SM by large orgainzations. Yes, I believe that big business needs to be involved in social media. In this case it seems to have made sense for CapOne to create it’s own social network for what it was trying to do.

    In many other cases, I think there is room for a couple industry-specific (vertical) social networks that multiple 3rd party corporations could leverage together. Providing a place for their customers to easily network and consume products is a smart move.

    Rick

  • http://www.bizunite.com Sonciary Honnoll

    Yes, but I can’t help but think about the company I’m helping to launch this summer – BizUnite – that will do all Slingshot does and much much more for independent businesses.

    We’ll combine the networking and collaborating functionality with tools that actually impact the biz’ bottom line. We’re going above and beyond.

    Very exciting stuff.

  • http://www.bizunite.com Sonciary Honnoll

    Yes, but I can’t help but think about the company I’m helping to launch this summer – BizUnite – that will do all Slingshot does and much much more for independent businesses.

    We’ll combine the networking and collaborating functionality with tools that actually impact the biz’ bottom line. We’re going above and beyond.

    Very exciting stuff.

  • http://www.eyeballeconomy.com David Weiner

    Chri

  • http://www.eyeballeconomy.com David Weiner

    Chri

  • http://www.eyeballeconomy.com David Weiner, PR Newswire

    Chris,

    This campaign has gone a long way in changing the way staid Financial Companies look at social media. There have been a few trails blazed, like Marketwatch Community, Reuters Buzz, and even the prediction communities on TD and eTrade. This not only gives COF an elegant entrance into this world, it does good. Imagine that?

    Looking forward to that beer all the way from Finland…

  • http://www.eyeballeconomy.com David Weiner, PR Newswire

    Chris,

    This campaign has gone a long way in changing the way staid Financial Companies look at social media. There have been a few trails blazed, like Marketwatch Community, Reuters Buzz, and even the prediction communities on TD and eTrade. This not only gives COF an elegant entrance into this world, it does good. Imagine that?

    Looking forward to that beer all the way from Finland…

  • Pingback: Visa Joins Facebook. Gives $100 dollars to small business owners. « Social Media Meanderings

  • Pingback: Visa Joins Facebook. Gives $100 dollars to small business owners. | Social Media Meanderings

  • http://www.othersideboardsports.com/brands/kiteboarding/slingshot.html Slingshot Fuel

    This is really one of the best articles I have read in recent times, you have done a great job, keep coming with interesting articles like this, i am totally impressed. Thank you.

  • http://www.othersideboardsports.com/brands/kiteboarding/slingshot.html Slingshot Fuel

    This is really one of the best articles I have read in recent times, you have done a great job, keep coming with interesting articles like this, i am totally impressed. Thank you.

  • Joe

    What happened to Slingshot? Is it still running? I'm being redirected to a generic Capital One resource center page now…

  • http://www.savetubevideo.com youtube downloader

    What I liked about the Slingshot network is that it does not have all the distractions for business people that other networks have. I am constantly inundated with people that have posted things on my wall in Facebook, or they “poke” me in Facebook, or people that are looking for jobs in Linkedin. All this becomes a huge waste of time to answer and maintain. Slingshot is just for small business people where you can find customers and suppliers through their network connections.