Heard of the new social media app Clubhouse?
Chances are you’ve heard of the app. Chances are that you’re not using it - yet.
Clubhouse, as its name suggests, is an app that’s (currently) about being part of an exclusive club.
Even if you’re not using the app though, you’ll want to know all about it and see if you can score yourself an invite. Clubhouse has a bunch of potential for a savvy marketer who wants to make the most of getting their name and product out there. Here's what you need to know about Clubhouse in case you soon find yourself using it.
What is Clubhouse?
Think Houseparty meets your favorite podcast, Clubhouse is a social networking app based on audio-chat. The app is exclusive as it’s invite-only. You can’t just download it off the app store and create an account.
Like a podcast, you can listen to interesting people talk about interesting things (Tiffany Haddish, Jared Leto and even Elon Musk are some of the more influential users of the app). You do this in different “rooms”. Once you join a room, it’s kind of like a conference call. Most people are listening and the people hosting the conversation are talking.
Unlike a podcast, however, you have to be in the room at the time the conversation was being held to hear it. Once the conversation is over, it’s not saved or uploaded anywhere - just like a conversation you’d have at a really good dinner party.
Conversations can be about anything; anyone can host them. To get you started, the app will suggest rooms for you based on interests that you tell it at the start. The main way to navigate Clubhouse is by following other people. Curating a quality list matters, because the app recommends rooms based on who you follow.
Invite only? Where can I get an invite?
People love things that are exclusive, which has likely contributed to the quick success of Clubhouse.
Clubhouse has grown from 600,000 to over 10million active users - all from the app allowing you to invite only two friends of their own to the platform.
So, right now, the best way to get on the app is to be on the good side of someone that’s already on it and score yourself an invite. Sorry android users, the app is also only available to iPhone users at this moment.
If you’re not so lucky, you can still register for an account on the app. Once you set up a basic profile, give your contact information, and select a few topics you're interested in, you'll see a screen that says you've joined the waitlist.
How do I use Clubhouse?
As we mentioned, Clubhouse will suggest rooms for you based on interests that you tell it at the start - options include crypto, fashion, geopolitics, spirituality and even Burning Man.
After that, the main way to navigate Clubhouse is by following other people and finding people that are talking about the things that you’re interested in. To get started, here’s a list of some of the most influential people on the app.
Once you’ve followed a few people on the app, it’s time to get involved by doing the following:
Like being part of a Facebook group or page, clubs are groups of users interested in the same specific topics and a great way to build your network.
Once you join a club, you can see notifications of Rooms hosted by it. Clubs are also a great way to find or connect with Clubhouse users that have similar interests.
You can find clubs through browsing on the explore tab or tapping its search bar, selecting clubs and searching a topic that takes your fancy. From there, click on the club and hit “follow”. Once you’ve followed, you’ll get notifications when the admins are launching a room.
Drop into Rooms
Checking out rooms related to your industry is a great way to build your knowledge and get some discussion-topic inspiration.
When you see a room that you want to join, you just need to tap it to start listening.
You’ll enter the room muted and be able to see the room speakers and moderators at the top of the screen (this is known as “the stage”).
Scroll down below the stage and you’ll be able to see attendees the speakers follow under the "Followed by speakers" heading, and a list of general attendees under "Others in the room.” All attendees who are not on the stage are muted and cannot speak unless they're brought to the stage.
Request to Speak
Got something to say? A great way to gain awareness and more followers is taking part in a conversation.
If you want to speak, click the hand icon in the lower right to be added to a speaker request list, this is known as “raising your hand”.
When you raise your hand, the moderator will be notified and can either unmute or ignore you. When you’re first getting your head around Clubhouse, take note of how moderators manage room conversations while still allowing audience members to speak.
If your request is accepted, you’ll be moved to the speaker stage. Like you would with an in-person conversation, stay on point, be nice and don’t hog the mic. This will make sure that your contribution is valued and help build your perception as a valuable contributor.
Remember, hundreds of people might be requesting to speak in the room you’re in, so don’t take it personally if your request isn’t accepted.
Pros of Clubhouse
So, what’s the good and the bad about using Clubhouse? We think the pros outweigh the cons, but here’s a decision to decide for yourself:
Helps you build trust and community
In 2021, people want authenticity. This is because times of financial uncertainty and big news events make people feel unsettled, so they seek out connections they can trust - and that includes the brands they engage with.
What better way to create a sense of authenticity than with a live, unfiltered discussion? Unlike a podcast, the audience knows that a Clubhouse conversation is unedited, boosting the trust factor even more. Add in the ability to include your audience as speakers into the mix and you have a powerful community-building tool at your hands.
Ability to constantly evolve
While the app initially started out with panel-led conversations about entertainment, business, and technology, brands have evolved how they’re using the platform.
A cocktail brand called Loop hosted a Room where people could have a cocktail and join a casual conversation with no specific topic, demonstrating how the app can be used to build a sense of community and connection. If you’re wanting to get people talking about your product or just build a community, a similar idea might be a good place to start.
Show you’re a thought leader
Clubhouse's user base was built around influencers and thought leaders.
Good conversations make thought leaders. Boost brand recognition and credibility by hosting a room where you talk about your industry, or maybe the problem that your product solves, answering questions along the way.
Reduce screen fatigue and increase mobility
People are sick of screens and the audio only aspect of Clubhouse means they don’t need to be glued to one. Better yet, they can listen and contribute on the go, meaning they’re less likely to opt out of attending as they would during a Facebook Live or traditional webinar.
Cons of Clubhouse
Naturally, until Clubhouse is available to everyone its reach is limited. The double-edged sword of the app being exclusive is that it’s appealing but limited in reach, meaning that the audience is too limited for some marketers at the moment depending on who your target audience is.
We all know Mark Zuckerberg likes to either buy or create intense competition for any new successful app. In fact, it looks like Facebook has already started.
If one of the competitors took away the exclusivity of the app and gave the same experience to people on a platform they already have, they might not make the switch, limiting the apps growth potential.
It can feel like an unedited podcast or talkback radio show
Sometimes editing is a good thing. Ever turned on the radio and listened to a show that just couldn’t hold your interest? Podcasts are edited, but often this is so the parts you’re likely to be interested in are the only things you have to listen to. It will be interesting to see if people continue to enjoy longer, unedited conversations or begin to miss sharper, edited content.
Lack of moderation
Of course, a lack of editing means you can’t dodge any curly questions either. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, famously dropped into a Room with Robinhood Markets CEO Vlad Tenev and grilled him about why his stock-trading company stopped its users from buying and selling GameStop and other manipulated stocks. While that makes for a compelling conversation, it was likely not the conversation that Tenev wanted people to hear when he launched the room.
Five ways your business can use Clubhouse
So how exactly can your business use Clubhouse? Put simply there are five key ways Socialike thinks brands can take advantage of the savvy new app:
Build an engaged Clubhouse community
As we’ve chatted about, Clubhouse is great for creating an engaged community where your audience feels connected to your brand.
Use the platform to get feedback from Clubhouse users
Create a room and ask for feedback on your product, service, or idea. You may instantly have people giving live feedback on what they’d like to see or think is missing.
Keep up with industry trends and news
The exclusivity of Clubhouse means it’s the perfect place tofollow influential people in your industry. You can also keep tabs on your competitors, and stalk the categories related to your niche.
Issue announcements and company news
Create a room and announce your new product or features. If you’ve got an engaged community, this can help build anticipation and get feedback before you even hit go.
Connect with thought leaders and influencers in your industry
Make valuable business connections by contributing to discussions with those in your industry.
Is Clubhouse right for me?
As with any new social media platform, you'll want to spend some time on Clubhouse and see what the app has to offer before putting time and effort into using it.
Join the platform and have a play around, if you see potential, it might be time to start thinking about how you want your brand to be on it. A few good questions to ask are:
- Are topics related to your product or industry widely discussed on the platform?
- Are there any thought leaders or company experts you could host a room or two with to boost your awareness or credibility on Clubhouse?
- Are your competitors using Clubhouse? Could we make our experience better than theirs?
- Could you include Clubhouse in your existing audio-only strategy? For example, could you adapt any live video Q&As, webinars, or virtual events?
If you’re answering mostly “yes” to the above, Clubhouse may be right for you! For others, their audience might not be the right fit for the app.
Keen to have a chat about if Clubhouse would work for you? We’d love to chat! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or book a call.
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