Reigning champ 2021-2022. Invest in StartEngine
Reigning champ 2021-2022. Invest
Get iOS App Sign Up
September 28, 2016 | 5 Min Read

Find Your “Street Team”

Street Team

Find Your “Street Team”

Using Your Investors & Brand Ambassadors To Harness The Power of Social Media

Here’s something to consider: what do a trendy eyewear creator such as Warby Parker and a modern-day automaker like Elio Motors have in common? Surprisingly, much more than you would think.

Besides introducing two entirely unique products to fashion lovers and car enthusiasts around the globe, both startups actually opted to take a similar route when it came to marketing: Brand Ambassadors and Social Media.

The student co-founders of the fashion brand realized from the get-go that their fellow classmates at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business were their target customers. In order to sell their products, they united popular classmates and student leaders as brand ambassadors. They encouraged them not only to talk about their fashionable, affordably priced glasses, but also to snap photos of themselves trying on various pairs (via “Home Try-On Kits”) to share on social media.

The result: the creation of an engagement playbook that connected with millions of Millennials on their favorite platforms. They had a 500% growth in sales and gained the ability to reach a far broader consumer network than a few MBA kids could have ever expected.

The marketing team at Elio Motors had a similar plan when trying to bring their environmentally friendly three-wheeled vehicle to the masses. So as “a multi-pronged funding strategy,” they partnered with my Santa Monica-based OPO (Online Public Offering) company, StartEngine, which offers ownership opportunities to millions of Americans using the Internet. The outcome was tremendous all around and ultimately allowed Elio to raise nearly $17M from over 6,300 investors.

Facebook, Apple, Google and even ‘luddite’ companies have all figured it out by now: social media is king. Through social networks, companies are now getting their investors and brand ambassadors to spread the word about their products. Social networking is no longer just a place for family and close friends to routinely post random photos or intimate life details. It is changing and evolving with a slew of new private and public social networks that are making companies think more strategically about how to utilize each one to the fullest.

We are no doubt living in a digital age of transparency and consumer empowerment that has in many ways shifted the marketing into the hands of the people — it is no longer directly controlled by the companies making the products.

In this high-tech, high strung era, social media content is a key tool for businesses to help spread positive product news, to amplify key messages, to create peer-to-peer conversations, to manage global reputations, to improve marketing effectiveness, and to, most of all, increase overall sales.

By working with fiercely loyal customers who believe in the products, even once-lesser known companies such as Warby Parker or Elio Motors are now able to fully connect with the rest of the world by harnessing the influential power of ‘likes,’ followers, status updates, photos, reviews, and hashtags.

Social media has become impossible to ignore for every company, especially in an era when clarity and connectedness have gone from appreciated to expected by the public. People want to do business with people, it’s as simple as that, and social media allows for the creation of authentic endorsements from customers and fans without any formal obligations. It creates a platform to facilitate an authentic dialogue between consumers, brands, and their ambassadors that can work wonders versus billboards or jaw-droppingly expensive television campaigns.

It also serves as the ultimate key to building trusting relationships with your customers.

Obviously, Warby Parker rode this marketing trend early on, helping the company grow and succeed way beyond a kitchen-table startup phase. Just three weeks into business, the student co-founders had reached their annual target revenue. By graduation time, the four friends had a waiting list of 20,000 buyers to fulfill manually. The company’s first brick-and-mortar store,which opened in 2013, even had to shut down after two days because 100% of the inventory had been sold.

Today, it finds itself with a gigantic network of brand ambassadors, which includes department store buyers, maître’d’s, and a whole slew of other people who have come to know and adore their products. By taking full advantage of this generation’s information-hungry nature, their insatiable need to share, and their desire to consult with social circles before purchases, CEO Dave Gilboa and his pals essentially created a powerful social brand value.

The place to connect today is online, and there are dozens of effective techniques to reach your audience. Digitally inspired efforts such as these will not only sustain the value of your business, but also allow company executives to be actively engaged in the dialogue. Here are a simple few to get started with:

  • Promote special discounts and promotions via your channels.
  • Connect and interact with the broader network of trendsetters who characterize the brand’s target market.
  • Make others aware of your company’s cause or message through thought leadership via op-eds, events, and conferences.

The potential reach for brands and their ambassadors on social media is huge, and its influence is both a powerful tool and a dangerous weapon. With the help of various platforms and viral tactics, it is becoming far easier for companies to maintain a strong social presence and for them to use their Street Team. These days, it’s the way to strengthen any brand’s credibility, operations, and sales all at the same time.

In what ways have you taken advantage of the modern day street team to help your burgeoning business?

Get Started:

Want to stay up to date with the latest posts from StartEngine? Sign up here:

You May Also Like

Important Message


Unless indicated otherwise with respect to a particular issuer, all securities-related activity is conducted by regulated affiliates of StartEngine: StartEngine Capital, LLC, a funding portal registered here with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and here as a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), or StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker-dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA/SIPC. You can review the background of our broker-dealer and our investment professionals on FINRA’s BrokerCheck here. StartEngine Secondary is an alternative trading system regulated by the SEC and operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC, a broker dealer registered with the SEC and FINRA.

Investment opportunities posted and accessible through the site are of three types:

1) Regulation A offerings (JOBS Act Title IV; known as Regulation A+), which are offered to non-accredited and accredited investors alike. These offerings are made through StartEngine Primary, LLC (unless otherwise indicated). 2) Regulation D offerings (Rule 506(c)), which are offered only to accredited investors. These offerings are made through StartEngine Primary, LLC. 3) Regulation Crowdfunding offerings (JOBS Act Title III), which are offered to non-accredited and accredited investors alike. These offerings are made through StartEngine Capital, LLC. Some of these offerings are open to the general public, however there are important differences and risks.

Any securities offered on this website have not been recommended or approved by any federal or state securities commission or regulatory authority. StartEngine and its affiliates do not provide any investment advice or recommendation and do not provide any legal or tax advice with respect to any securities. All securities listed on this site are being offered by, and all information included on this site is the responsibility of, the applicable issuer of such securities. StartEngine does not verify the adequacy, accuracy or completeness of any information. Neither StartEngine nor any of its officers, directors, agents and employees makes any warranty, express or implied, of any kind whatsoever related to the adequacy, accuracy, or completeness of any information on this site or the use of information on this site. See additional general disclosures here.

By accessing this site and any pages on this site, you agree to be bound by our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, as may be amended from time to time without notice or liability.

Canadian Investors

Investment opportunities posted and accessible through the site will not be offered to Canadian resident investors. Potential investors are strongly advised to consult their legal, tax and financial advisors before investing. The securities offered on this site are not offered in jurisdictions where public solicitation for offerings is not permitted; it is solely your responsibility to comply with the laws and regulations of your country of residence.

California Investors Only – Do Not Sell My Personal Information (800-317-2200). StartEngine does not sell personal information. For all customer inquiries, please write to

StartEngine’s Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. For more information about this offering, please view StartEngine’s offering circular and risks associated with this offering.

StartEngine Marketplace

The availability of company information does not indicate that the company has endorsed, supports, or otherwise participates with StartEngine.

None of the information displayed on or downloadable from (the 'Website') represents a recommendation, offer, or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell any security. It also does not constitute an offer to provide investment advice or service. StartEngine does not (1) make any recommendations or otherwise advise on the merits or advisability of a particular investment or transaction, or (2) assist in the determination of fair value of any security or investment, or (3) provide legal, tax, or transactional advisory services.

All investment opportunities are based on indicated interest from sellers and will need to be confirmed.

Investing in private company securities is not suitable for all investors. An investment in private company securities is highly speculative and involves a high degree of risk. It should only be considered a long-term investment. You must be prepared to withstand a total loss of your investment. Private company securities are also highly illiquid, and there is no guarantee that a market will develop for such securities. Each investment also carries its own specific risks, and you should complete your own independent due diligence regarding the investment. This includes obtaining additional information about the company, opinions, financial projections, and legal or other investment advice. Accordingly, investing in private company securities is appropriate only for those investors who can tolerate a high degree of risk and do not require a liquid investment.

StartEngine Marketplace (“SE Marketplace”) is a website operated by StartEngine Primary, LLC (“SE Primary”), a broker-dealer that is registered with the SEC and a member of FINRA and the SIPC. StartEngine Bulletin Board ("SE BB") is a bulletin board platform that advertises interest in shares of private companies that previously executed Reg CF or Reg A offerings. SE BB enables shareholders to communicate interest in potential sales of shares in private companies and investors to discover, review, and potentially invest in private companies. As a bulletin board platform, SE BB provides a venue for investors to access information about private company offerings and connect with potential sellers. SE BB is distinct and separate from StartEngine Secondary (“SE Secondary”), which is an SEC-registered Alternative Trading System (ATS) operated by SE Primary. SE Secondary facilitates the trading of securities by matching orders between buyers and sellers and facilitating executions of trades on the platform. While a security may be displayed on the bulletin board, these securities will be subject to certain restrictions which may prevent the ability to buy and sell these securities in a timely manner, if at all. Even if a security is qualified to be displayed on the bulletin board, there is no guarantee an active trading market for the securities will ever develop, or if developed, be maintained. You should assume that you may not be able to liquidate your investment for some time or be able to pledge these shares as collateral.

Invest in StartEngine

190% YoY Growth: Invest in the leading equity crowdfunding platform.

This Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Crowdfunding, Inc. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment. For more information about this offering, please view StartEngine’s offering circular and risks associated with this offering.


Kevin O’Leary is a paid spokesperson for StartEngine. Read the 17(b) disclosure here.

Founder's Summit Application