We all know the hype that a new social media platform gets when it enters the market. But is Clubhouse’s hype valid for you and your brand? Or is the isolation of the pandemic clouding your thoughts, and you need another voice besides the one inside your head?
Well, first things first.
What is Clubhouse?
Imagine that a WhatsApp group meets a podcast platform, adding a little bit of LinkedIn’s sense of community, where everyone can enter, listen and participate. That’s Clubhouse!
Clubhouse is sort of a Medium for podcasts. Clubhouse allows anyone to create a room on the fly, without any promise of future conversations. However, it differentiates when it comes to the recorded content. The conversations are not recorded and there’s no option for future listening.
Clubhouse conversations are open to any member who can find it, not only a select few. The conversation room has a limited number of people “on stage”, which hopefully creates a stage for people with something important or interesting to say. Also, not having to look at the screen while you’re talking is a nice change of pace compared with today’s daily video calls or live streaming events.
The platform was launched in March 2020, but it reached its peak of popularity in 2021. And we can partially blame Elon Musk when he popped in a Clubhouse room in January. The world’s richest man (for now) brought the service a lot of attention. Bill Gates doing the same recently ignited the flame even further.
Clubhouse is shaping up to be the next big thing in social media (especially in the wake of its recent $100 million valuation), when it eventually becomes available to the public.
How does it work?
We’re quite creative today, but imagine again being at a party (remember those?) where you don’t know anyone, so you casually poke your head into conversations and talk with people around the room.
Literally “talk” as in with your voice, because it is an audio-based app. You can upload a profile photo of yourself, but aside from that there are no options for images or video. Fear not introverts/people who hate the sound of their own voice — you can join any chat you want and mute upon entry!
What’s the point of Clubhouse marketing, then?
To connect. There’s no greater purpose on Clubhouse than the possibility of connecting with other humans. You can practice Italian while listening to independent producers’ new releases. Everything is possible.
It is the networking that adds great value to the platform. Since it is only available to a small group, the opportunity to connect with an exclusive network of celebrities, activists, musicians is one of its most alluring features.
People are joining for the chance of making personal and professional connections. Since it is a voice based conversation, there’s a sense of intimacy that we don’t get on Facebook or Instagram, for example.
Is Clubhouse for me?
As you can see from what you’ve read, Clubhouse is all about transparency and sharing knowledge. If you fill most of the items from this checklist, then you should consider joining the platform (or get invitations):
- You want to connect with other professionals outside your industry or niche;
- You want to create a spontaneous environment with real-time conversations on a variety of topics;
- You want to create a sense of community around your business;
- Your strategy is focused on high-value conversations rather than produced content.
Clubhouse creates an experience quite identical to an audio-only virtual event on a massive scale. There are more than 1 million users on Clubhouse and a 5000 limit to any room, and at any given time, there are a few thousand rooms where people from around the world are holding conversations about different industries, professions, and interests.
What’s the secret?
Just like any other social platform, Clubhouse needs a solid strategy. You need to accurately pick people, rooms and clubs you follow.
Following people randomly can lead to entering niches you’re not interested in. If you’re careful with what you follow, the hallway will almost show you rooms that correspond to your interests.
The name of the app explains its organization: Clubhouse. When you first open the app, you’re in the hallway and you’ll see a list of rooms.
These rooms will mostly be based on the people and clubs you follow but there’s always the option to enter trending rooms. If you’re new to the app, it will recommend some people for you to follow who are often contacts in your phone directory.
The style and size of rooms in the hallway will vary from big keynote-style rooms to large panel rooms to small rooms with a few people, any one of which could be hosting a discussion on any topic.
Get on Clubhouse’s stage!
Yes, just like a Club, there’s a stage on Clubhouse. If your goal is to position yourself and attract a following, you need to be active on the app and show up on stages.
While it might be tempting to jump into large rooms, the chance of you being noticed in a crowd of 5,000 other people is slim. Rooms with 5, 10, or 20 people have a better chance to be invited to the stage.
Make sure the rooms you want to enter are relevant to your vertical and try to know the people who are frequently in those rooms. The more active you get on Clubhouse, by showing up and actively participating in chat rooms, the more likely you are to be pulled up onto the stage. And just like an actual stage, the more followers you get.
However, when you’re on stage, don’t make the mistake of telling people who you are, what do you do, and so on. Focus on delivering added value to your crowd. Ask questions, challenge your audience to share stories and perspectives. Add value and people on Clubhouse will click on your bio to learn more about you.
Every time you open a room or join a stage, the people who follow you will get a notification that you’re live. Before you know it, you’ll have built a small community.
However, be sure you’re not alone on the stage. Partner up with people within your industry who have a bigger following than you do. When your partners come on stage, their followers get a notification and are likely to jump into the room and follow you as well. Social Media Examiner grants that this strategy can attract up to 500 followers a day.
Final thoughts on Clubhouse marketing and your business
With such rough times we’re living in, people are searching for a higher purpose in their new daily routines. Social media algorithms, overloaded with information and ads, are letting consumers in such disbelief when it comes to an added value that a brand can put into the market.
Clubhouse is bringing people together in a time where distance is king, so be sure to be close to them. That’s the greatest challenge of entering the platform: people want to see the transparency, the commitment with a community, the true voices behind a business or a brand.
However, these voices don’t need to be “clean and tidy” like the ones planned on other social media platforms.
There’s been quite a conversation on which path Clubhouse will follow when it comes to the public. Will it be flooded with branded content? Will brands see it as another platform to boost their sales, as it is happening with TikTok? Will the sense of community disappear as more people get onto the app? Will Clubhouse free access to everyone lead to the loss of its splendor?
Well, we’ll have to wait until the app is public to answer most of these questions. There are also some concerns regarding the monetization possibilities.
However, with the loss of exclusivity comes the ability to build communities that are easy to manage and engage with, without adding to an already crowded editorial calendar – social media managers, you know what we mean.
In the meantime, if you’re on Clubhouse, use the exclusivity to your advantage and start making those connections now.