A grassroots movement is a spontaneous and infectious movement that spreads organically through a community. Mostly occurring within political groups or non-profits, it's the most effective, yet the most challenging marketing strategy to execute. Even big corporations like Exxon, and Mcdonalds have attempted to construct their own synthetic movement, cleverly coined as "Astro-turfing, " to sway public opinion. So for this marketing Monday we've outlined 3 big lessons small businesses can learn from these movements.
1. Create a compelling story. A simple and effective strategy for storytelling is to tell the truth. Tell the truth and tell it quick. Consumers are clever and they’ll see through your deceit at once. Stay consistent and stay authentic. Don't aim at trying to connect with the entire world. The most effective stories match the worldview of a tiny audience—and then that tiny audience spreads the story.
2. Create shareable content. In order to build momentum and gain traction on any social media platform, you must have produce content. If your followers have a database of high-quality content and a defined hashtag, it will be easy for them to share and educate their fellow peers. Content from reputable sources is the most shared, and 90% of people listen to recommendations shared from friends.
3. Leadership is overrated. Derek Sivers explains how leaders tend to be over glorified, and true momentum doesn't come from leaders, but followers.
"The biggest lesson, if you noticed -- did you catch it? -- is that leadership is over-glorified. Yes, it was the shirtless guy who was first, and he'll get all the credit, but it was really the first follower that transformed the lone nut into a leader...
If you really care about starting a movement, have the courage to follow and show others how to follow. And when you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first one to stand up and join in."
It's very difficult to start a grassroots movement. It requires a lot of luck, and timing. But if you create a compelling cause, tell your story quickly and authentically, create content they can easily share, and make your followers feel included, you'll have a better chance. If you treat your followers as equals, you'll create an army of evangelists that will broadcast your message to the world.