What is a Virtual Street Team?

street teamLast week in the post 25 Ways to Promote your Church’s Christmas Service in Social Media, the first thing I recommended was to recruit a virtual street team.  There were a couple comments about that, and I think it’s a concept worth discussing more in depth.

What’s a Street Team?

To quote Wikipedia:

A street team is a term used in marketing to describe a group of people who ‘hit the streets’ promoting an event or a product. ‘Street Teams’ are a powerful promotional tool that has been adopted industry wide as a standard line item in marketing budgets by entertainment companies, record labels, the tech industry, corporate brand marketers, new media companies and direct marketers worldwide. Street team members that are highly trained are now called Brand Ambassadors.

Street teams started with bands and musical artists that weren’t getting radio air play and didn’t have a big label to get their album in stores or promote their concerts through mass media.  Since they were shut out of the mass distribution and media channels, they enlisted small groups of passionate fans to get the word out by:

  • Posting bumper stickers and posters all over town
  • Calling into radio stations to request the band’s songs be played
  • Bringing their friends to shows

Street teams were the original social media.

Street teamers usually don’t get paid, but they’re often given free tickets & merchandise.  Sometimes they info about the band before it’s released publicly and access to hang out with the band.  They often feel like an insider and like they’re helping to make one of their favorite artists successful.

Essentially, it’s an organized grass roots campaign.

What’s a Virtual Street Team?

It’s an organized small group of passionate fans of your organization, who are enlisted to get the word out online about who you are and what you’re doing.

The tools are already there – Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Email, text messaging, Foursquare, and more.

The people are probably already there.  Whether you’re organization is a church, business, school, ministry, or movement for social good, you’ve probably already got at least some people who are really excited about what you’re doing and want you to be successful.

All you really need to do is organize the team and give those people some direction.

Tomorrow, we’ll continue the conversation by talking about why virtual street teams matter.

Until then… what do you think of the idea of a virtual street team?  If it something you’d like to develop for your organization?

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

6 Responses to “What is a Virtual Street Team?”

  1. I do like this idea. With the School of the Prophets which we are preparing to launch this could really help plus it gives people who like the idea a way to take an active part – buy in without money so to speak. For my blogs this also makes since. I could see it having the potential to multiply the number of clicks and followers.

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