What are ‘Street Teams’ and ‘Brand Ambassadors’?
In the context of marketing, the terms ‘street team’ or ‘brand ambassador’ likely conjure images of young, energetic people handing out free swag or products in your nearest city center or college campus, often to drive sales of said product. But having real people on the ground can be a useful tactic for increasing awareness of your nonprofit, generating social proof of your value for your followers, or building buzz about your campaigns. Your nonprofit’s staff are most likely busy and stretched thin. Putting real, passionate supporters out in the world advocating for your organization and its mission, especially if your staff can’t, is a valuable way to increase engagement with your community and humanize your nonprofit brand. And there are some great street team apps to help you along the way.
Working with brand ambassadors on your street team is similar to managing influencers on social media. They might even (and probably should) overlap with your influencer marketing strategy! Recruiting brand ambassadors who are already highly engaged superfans will make your job even easier, as they will have made strong connections to your mission and can already speak confidently about you. Reach out to any volunteers you’ve previously worked with or donors looking to get more involved. Once you’ve made your hiring decisions, make sure to train your team on your goals for the team, as well as key talking points.
So you’ve set up a goal for creating your street team, interviewed, hired, and trained your organization’s best advocates, and are ready to get your team out there. But in between all your other responsibilities, how do you manage your street team remotely? What if your nonprofit is relatively young or unknown and doesn’t have many engaged advocates? Luckily, we rounded up 4 of our favorite street team apps for nonprofits.
Street Team Apps to Increase Your Nonprofit Impact
You’ve definitely heard of this platform by now, which can definitely function as a street team—maybe your colleague sent this link over your office channel. Slack is a widely used messaging and collaboration service available in-browser, as a desktop app, and as a mobile app. Slack makes it easy to professionally contact teams or individual colleagues regardless of your operating system, without resorting to group chats via text or social media.
The best way to use Slack is by setting up channels based on how your teams are set up. Perhaps you can set up a #general channel for any announcements to your entire team, a #watercooler channel for casual chatting amongst the entire team, as well as smaller street team channels based on location.
Our favorite part of Slack is their large ecosystem of integrations with other services, such as Google Drive and giphy. The Google Drive integration allows you to send previews of your documents. With the giphy integration, you can send randomized gifs by typing in /giphy followed by your subject. It sounds like a silly thing to note, but it’s important to build a fun, energetic culture to motivate your street teams to share with you and each other. Being on a street team can often feel isolating without peers constantly exciting you about your nonprofit’s mission or campaigns.
Slack’s free plan includes 10,000 searchable messages, 10 apps and integrations, 1-to-1 video calls, two-factor authentication, and their basic features. Their paid plans start at $6.67 per person, per month.
RunAmplify is a staffing platform connecting you with pre-screened brand ambassadors to fill your street team positions. This is a great solution if you are a younger or lesser known nonprofit looking to spread awareness of your brand and mission. Your street teams are equipped with GPS tracking systems, so you can ensure that your brand ambassadors are where they’re supposed to be and going where they’re supposed to go. The team will also send photos throughout the day as an extra layer of verification.
RunAmplify is also a full-service marketing agency. They’ll be able to design, print, and distribute any materials you need your brand ambassadors to hand out.
For pricing information, you can fill out a free consultation form, or speak to their chatbot, on their site.
SimpleCrew is a dedicated photo-based street team app, available as a mobile app for iOS or Android users. The app assumes that your team’s main activity is posting flyers. You can easily ask your teams to send in photos interacting with your community to make sure your street team is on-task, or to share on social media. SimpleCrew can create reports by team member and the number of photos they’ve uploaded, so you’ll know who your most dedicated brand ambassadors are. You can also sort your photo timeline by team member, date and time, and location and easily download photos to repurpose elsewhere.
You can try out SimpleCrew for free for 14 days. Once your trial is up, paid plans start at $49 per month for up to 5 team members.
Popbookings is a staffing app available on desktop and for both iOS and Android mobile devices. This app is the most built out, comprehensive street team app you’ll find. You’ll be able to post your job listing for free, review your candidates, and hire them. You’ll pay only if you find candidates that you like. In addition, you can create a database of your hires, booking them according to their availability with a drag-and-drop calendar. Automate tasks, such as reminders to staff to submit their timesheets. Like many of the other apps we’ve listed, you can also check in with your street team once they’re out in the field with the GPS feature, that also tracks the time team members were on site for accurate time reporting. As such, you’ll be able to pay your staff directly in the app based on those reports. On top of all these features, the app includes a messaging system for groups and individuals, so you can continue to create a vibrant community of brand ambassadors excited about your nonprofit.
Popbookings starts at $25 for 1-100 shifts per month.
Let us know how you use these apps and platforms for your street team campaign, or suggest others by tweeting at us @wholewhale.